Vol. XXXVIII, Number 18 - May 10, 2017
Latest News

Member Action Needed to Secure Solvency of Highway Trust Fund in Tax Reform Legislation

ACEC is asking lawmakers to support a bipartisan effort to include a sustainable funding solution for the Highway Trust Fund as part of a larger tax reform bill. Members are urged to contact their Representatives today—Click here to access a sample letter that can be personalized with firm-specific information.

Passage of major tax reform legislation is a key priority of President Trump and leaders in Congress. In addition to the opportunity to secure business-friendly tax code changes, this legislation creates an ideal vehicle for securing new revenues to restore long-term solvency to the Highway Trust Fund.

The bi-partisan leaders of the House Highways & Transit Subcommittee—Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) and Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)—are circulating a sign-on letter urging the House Ways & Means Committee to include a long-term, dedicated, user-based revenue stream to support transportation infrastructure investment as part of tax reform.

"ACEC has long supported an increase in the gas tax as well as recommending a transition to a vehicle miles travelled (VMT) system," noted ACEC President/CEO Dave Raymond.


ACEC Gears Up For Infrastructure Week

Infrastructure Week 2017, May 15-19, is a national week of education and advocacy on the need to invest in our nation's transportation, water, energy transmission and communications infrastructure.

ACEC is an affiliate partner of Infrastructure Week, and many Member Firms are sponsoring and participating in events in Washington D.C. and across the country.

Click here for more information, including social media content, advocacy materials, and a calendar of events.


House Passes Health Care Bill, Cuts Mandates, Taxes on Firms

The House of Representatives passed legislation last week that would make significant changes to the Affordable Care Act, including the elimination of certain mandates and taxes on engineering firms.

The American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA) would repeal the employer mandate penalties on firms with more than 50 employees that do not offer qualified health insurance. Several taxes would also be repealed, including the tax on fully-insured, traditional health plans sold to individuals and small firms, and taxes on wages and investment income paid by individuals who earn more than $200,000 and families that earn more than $250,000. In addition, the 40 percent “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health plans would be delayed until 2025.

The Senate is expected to draft its own health care reform legislation, the next step in what is likely to be a long legislative process.


Congress Protects Infrastructure Funding in FY17 Spending Package

Congress maintained—and in some instances increased—funding for infrastructure programs in the spending bill passed last week to fund the federal government through September 30.

In a letter sent to lawmakers prior to the vote, ACEC President/CEO Dave Raymond urged support for the bill, saying it “represents a prudent and reasonable approach” to funding key federal programs.

The measure fully funds surface transportation programs at levels authorized under the FAST Act and increases funding for water and wastewater projects through the State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs.

In passing the spending bill, Congress rejected most of the proposed program cuts requested by the Trump Administration.

The focus now turns to the FY18 budget process. “We have serious work to do going forward to protect the infrastructure investment programs that are so vital to our industry and to the nation’s economy,” said Raymond.


ACEC/North Carolina Hosts Congressional Delegation in Washington, D.C.

ACEC/North Carolina hosted a reception for its Congressional delegation during the ACEC Annual Convention. Representatives David Rouzer, Ted Budd, Virginia Foxx, and Mark Meadows attended, as well as staff members from several other Congressional offices. Pictured (left to right, standing): Reggie Scales, Clark Patterson Lee; Bill Hood, Amec Foster Wheeler; Bill Martin, VHB; Brian Glidewell, S&ME; John Weavil, S&ME; Steve Thomas, SEPI Engineering and Construction; Stu Matthis, STV; Scott Hinesley, REI Engineers; Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC); Jill Heath, CALYX Engineers + Consultants; Brian Johnson, The Wooten Company; Stephanie Hachem, Kimley-Horn; Jeremy Potter, HDR; David Eberspeaker, KCI Technologies; Jim Smith, ACEC/NC; Monty Irvin, Ramey Kemp & Associates; (left to right, sitting) Jay Barr, REI Engineers; Paul Meehan, HDR; Derek Clyburn, ECS Carolinas; and Gary Hartong, The Wooten Company.


Learn How to Excel as an Expert Witness, Boston, June 15-16

Engineers are often asked to serve as expert witnesses in legal proceedings—but these potentially lucrative assignments require much more than technical expertise.

Register now for ACEC's long-standing seminar, Applying Expertise as an Engineering Expert Witness, which outlines how to prepare for and successfully provide expert testimony for discovery, depositions, the witness stand, and related legal proceedings.

Scheduled for June 15-16, 2017 in Boston, MA, this 1-1/2 day course will detail each step of the qualifications, ramifications, and expectations of serving as an expert witness. Click here for the brochure.


Engineering Compensation to Recruit, Retain, and Reward the Next Generation, May 16

A recent survey found that millennials expect to stay at a job for less than five years. Factor in the A/E/C industry's low unemployment rate—and baby boom retirement rates—and you have firms in full-blown talent panic mode.

In the online class Engineering Compensation to Recruit, Retain, and Reward the Next Generation on May 16, Sarah Walpert will demonstrate how to decrease turnover and weather the impending labor shortage by examining what motivates your young engineering talent.

You'll also review the current climate for recruiting star performers; examine changes and trends for compensation averages by discipline; identify strategies and structures for retaining your top talent; and compare compensation philosophies to decide which works best for your firm.

For more information and to register, click here.



The American Council of Engineering Companies
1015 15th St., NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC 20005-2605
Phone: 202-347-7474 - Fax: 202-898-0068
www.acec.org - E-mail: acec@acec.org
Alan D. Crockett, Director, Communications
Gerry Donohue, Editor/Designer
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    11—Conference Marketing: Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?, by Steve Walker, principal, SR Walker & Associates, Inc. and Bonnie Temple, regional marketing leader, Kittelson & Associates, Inc. Examine simple and effective ideas to help your team make the most effective use of industry conferences.

    16—Engineering Compensation to Recruit, Retain, and Reward the Next Generation, by Sarah Walpert, chief marketing officer, Ingenium. Learn how to decrease turnover and weather the impending labor shortage by examining what motivates your young engineering talent.

    17—Not Talking & Not Listening—The Two Biggest Wastes in the Consulting Engineering Industry, by Mark Goodale, principal, Morrissey Goodale. Learn: What listening really is and how to master the “master skill;” how to give and receive negative assessments; and how to make requests that get you what you want and need.

    18—Right Person, Right Message, Right Time: Bringing Context To Content for Big Impact, by Tim Asimos, vice president, director of digital innovation, circle S studio. Learn how to better engage your target audiences with marketing that acts more like a magnet and less like a bullhorn.

    23—Fundamental Elements for a Financially Sustainable Ownership Program, by Matt Fultz, Matheson Financial Advisors. This online class will provide a basic understanding of the financial concepts and factors that are paramount to successfully transitioning ownership in an engineering firm.

    24—The Millennial Makeover: Why the Angst About Generational Differences Is Overblown, by Mel Lester, BizEdge. Learn how to tap into the strengths the Millenials bring to the workplace, and how to respond to their inevitable growing pains.

    25—Clearing Up Changes, Claims, and Disputes, by Kevin O’Beirne, principal engineer, Arcadis U.S., Inc. This presentation provides an overview of the general changes/claims/disputes process for professional services contracts and construction contracts, particularly the contract documents of the Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee (EJCDC) and American Institute of Architects (AIA).


    1—Oh What a Feeling—From Bland to Brand, by Jen Newman, Ignite Coaching & Consulting. This presentation will look at how some of the best brands have been successful in eliciting positive reactions and how you can develop your brand to create a positive feeling and subsequent brand loyalty.

    6—Retaining Great Marketing Talent in 10 Easy Steps, by Frank Lippert, Go! Strategies. This webinar helps engineering firms of all size, learn how to hire and retain great marketing talent. Spoiler alert: it’s not about the money.

    13— Emerging Technologies for Engineers, by Paul Doherty, President & CEO, the digit group, inc. Join Paul Doherty on a journey of the technology forces that are driving change in the engineering profession.

    14—Conversation and Collaboration Win Sales, by Nancy Bleeke, Sales Pro Insider, Inc. Learn what it really means to be customer-focused and earn the buyer’s time, participant, attention…and business.