ACEC Recent Highlights
ACEC Stock Index
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The ACEC Index compares the stock performance of ACEC’s publicly held Member Firms with the NYSE Composite Index and Total U.S. Construction Spending.
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Total U.S. architectural and engineering employment climbed in June for the ninth consecutive month.
Did You Know?
A 50-employee ACEC Member Firm saves an average of $4,840 on annual workers' compensation insurance coverage through the ACEC Business Insurance Trust. Click here for details.
ACEC secured contracting-out legislation that limits competition from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation. Click here for details.
To learn how member dues are an investment that delivers bottom-line results, see the ACEC Value Proposition.
AECOM Buys URS, Creating Engineering Colossus
Two of ACEC's largest Member Firms—AECOM and URS—will now become one, as AECOM announced its acquisition of URS on Sunday.
The combined company will have more than 95,000 employees in 150 countries and pro forma revenues of more than $19 billion (2013).
"In one step we will dramatically accelerate our strategy of creating an integrated delivery platform with superior capabilities to design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets around the world," said AECOM President/CEO Michael Burke.
For more information on the acquisition, click here.
House Approves Highway Trust Fund Patch; ACEC Calls for Long-Term Solution
The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to transfer $10.8 billion into the Highway Trust Fund in order to extend MAP-21 funding until May 31, 2015.
ACEC continues to work with Congressional leaders to craft a long-term solution.
In response to a recent ACEC Action Alert, Council members sent more than 500 email messages to their Representatives and Senators over the past two weeks calling for action.
In addition, ACEC ran ads in Politico—the most widely read Hill newspaper—highlighting the importance of infrastructure investment.
The Senate Finance Committee approved a similar bill last week, but it is unclear whether the Senate will vote on its own version or simply approve the House bill.
ACEC Urges Key Presidential Adviser to Support Long-Term Infrastructure Funding, Limit Regulatory Overreach
In a meeting on Tuesday with James Stock, a member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, ACEC President Dave Raymond urged the Administration to support long-term Highway Trust Fund solutions, including both a gas tax increase and a vehicle-miles-travelled program.
In addition, responding to Stock's assertion that the Administration is intent on implementing strong carbon reduction measures on industry, Raymond questioned the wisdom of enacting such measures without strong international agreements: "In a competitive world, I don't think the U.S. should undertake unilateral measures that would put our economy at a disadvantage."
ACEC Action Alert: Contact Your Senators to Preserve Cash Accounting
ACEC is working with a bipartisan group of Senators to oppose a proposal in Congress that would limit the use of cash accounting.
ACEC urges members to contact their Senators before July 18 on this issue. Click here to access a sample letter.
The proposal would limit cash accounting to firms with less than $10 million in revenues and to sole proprietors. Under the cash method of accounting, firms pay taxes on income when it is actually received, whereas the accrual method requires taxes to be paid when the work has been done even if the invoice has not been paid. This change would impose significant cash flow problems on many ACEC member firms because the vast majority of their costs are labor-related and must be paid well before firms are paid by their clients.
Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Angus King (I-ME), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) are gathering signatures on a bipartisan letter opposing the cash accounting changes. Current signatories on the letter, in addition to those listed above, are: Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), John Barrasso (R-WY), Mark Begich (D-AK), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Susan Collins (R-ME), Michael Enzi (R-WY), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), James Inhofe (R-OK), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Brian Schatz (D-HI), John Thune (R-SD), Mark Udall (D-CO), David Vitter (R-LA), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Infrastructure Professionals: Don't Miss Timely Sessions at ACEC Fall Conference, October 22-25
The ACEC Fall Conference, in Waikoloa, Hawaii, October 22-25, features transportation-focused programs that will help members better navigate political and public involvement and improve their firm's profitability.
• State Transportation Funding Initiatives: Recent Case Studies and Lessons Learned—Led by Paula Hammond, who heads Parsons Brinckerhoff's National Transportation Market Group, and ACEC/Pennsylvania Executive Director Eric Madden, this session provides an overview of recent successful transportation funding efforts in several states. Learn about specific legislative provisions as well as the public relations and lobbying campaigns used to get the funding packages enacted.
• The Latest on P3s—This session will examine the contract and risk management issues addressed in the new EJCDC model contract for public-private partnerships. Justin Weisberg of Arnstein & Lehr LLP will discuss parties' requirements and responsibilities, schedule and delay, permits and approvals, safety and security, and design and construction.
• Case Study: Infrastructure Funding and Other Innovations in Asset Management—Mike Baker, vice president of David Evans and Associates, will describe the creation, development and implementation of a multi-billion dollar, 20-year capital improvement plan for six major bridge crossings in Oregon.
• Managing Community Relations for Project Success—Managing community relations in the design and construction of new infrastructure has become increasingly important, but it is often overlooked or underestimated. HDR Public Involvement Manager Alex Cousins will offer case studies of public involvement challenges with tips and techniques to help firms know exactly when and how to engage the community.
The Conference also features General Session addresses by business strategist Erik Wahl, political analyst Charlie Cook and FERC Commissioner Tony Clark; Member Firm CEO panels on the nation's booming energy markets and the 2015 business outlook; CEO roundtables; exclusive CFO and CIO tracks; the CASE Convocation; and numerous ACEC coalition, council, and forum events.
For more information and to register, click here.
ACEC/PAC Crosses $500,000 Mark in 2014 Fundraising; Washington Post Highlights ACEC/PAC's Clout
ACEC/PAC has already raised more the $500,000 in 2014, the earliest the PAC has reached this threshold and more than $100,000 ahead of last year’s record-setting pace.
More than 30% of the funds collected to date are from new contributors—demonstrating ACEC/PAC's broadening base. Seven states—Indiana, South Carolina, Delaware, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Nevada—have already met their ACEC/PAC annual goals. Three more states are poised to cross the finish line this month.
ACEC/PAC funds provide the Council with timely political resources during this election year. With the Highway Trust Fund Fix still on the table in this Congress, the need for strong support of ACEC’s advocacy program is greater than ever.
In a recent Washington Post article on campaign finance, ACEC/PAC was singled out as a "big business" contributor, along with Merck and Norfolk Southern.
ACEC/PAC will again have a strong presence at the upcoming ACEC Fall Conference in Waikoloa, Hawaii. The annual golf tournament will be on Tuesday, October 21, and Wake Up with ACEC/PAC is scheduled for Thursday, October 23. Click here for more information.
For more information about ACEC’s political programs, click here, or contact ACEC Executive Director for Political Affairs Greg Knopp or ACEC/PAC Director Cara Gavagan at 202-347-7474.
Minuteman Fund Grant Helps Illinois Fight Unfair Labor Requirements
ACEC has awarded a Minuteman Fund grant to ACEC/Illinois to help defray the ongoing cost of combatting state agencies' efforts to impose a variety of adverse labor requirements and anti-QBS measures on design professional firms.
ACEC/Illinois has recruited other associations and industry groups to form The Professional Design Coalition (PDC) to help in this fight.
Click here for more information on The Minuteman Fund.
Private Sector Markets Offer More Promise, EBI Results Show
Engineering firm leaders are more optimistic about opportunities in private sector markets than in the public sector, according to the latest results from ACEC’s Engineering Business Index (EBI).
In the second quarter EBI survey of Member Firm chairmen, CEOs and presidents, at least half the respondents believe that opportunities in the Land Development/Surveying (54 percent), Buildings/Commercial (53.3 percent) and Industrial/Manufacturing (50 percent) markets will be better a year from now.
In contrast, public sector market expectations are low. Over the coming 12 months, only 41.5 percent of respondents anticipate growth in the Transportation sector and just 40.9 percent believe the Water and Wastewater market will grow.
To view a detailed summary of the latest EBI survey, click here.
How Does the SEC Municipal Advisor Rule Affect Your Firm? Find Out in Special ACEC Webinar on July 17
With the Dodd-Frank financial services reform law taking full effect on July 1, 2014, this timely webinar, The SEC Municipal Advisor Registration Rule: Does the Engineering Exemption Protect Your Firm?, will answer all your questions about how your firm can comply.
Amy Natterson Kroll, partner, Bingham McCutchen LLP, will lead the webinar, which will be held 1:30-3:00 on July 17.
The Municipal Advisor Rule requires firms and individuals that provide financial advice to municipalities to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The law includes an exemption for engineers providing engineering advice, such as feasibility studies and cash-flow modeling, but does the engineering exemption cover all of your firm's services?
For more information and to register, click here.