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May 13, 2020

ACEC President's Monthly Update--May 13, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

April passed like a hypersonic blur as we focused our energies on supporting the engineering industry and our member firms during this pandemic. On the legislative front, our team advocated for additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding, assistance for state DOTs, and continued recognition of engineers as essential workers. Our Education team pushed out a dozen complimentary online programs to help firms deal with this unimagined business challenge. Membership has worked closely with the MOs, the Communications Department has kept our Coronavirus Resource Center up-to-date and on-point, and our Convention team has scrambled to make meetings work in a socially-distanced environment.

We held our virtual Board of Directors meeting on April 25. More than 300 members attended the meeting, which featured the transition of our national officers. Once again, I would like to thank Chair-Emeritus Mitch Simpler and the outgoing ExCom members for their hard work and guidance during the past year, and to welcome Chair Charles Gozdziewski, Chair-Elect Robin Greenleaf, and the new ExCom members for what promises to be a challenging year. Two key items at the Board meeting were the unanimous vote to forego the planned 1.6 percent Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase to 2021 member firm dues and the introduction of the ACEC Research Institute. Click here to visit the Institute’s website and view a promotional video.

At the end of the month, we launched our Rescue, Recover Rebuild (R3) advocacy campaign for an infrastructure-based economic recovery in a post-COVID-19 America. The campaign website is a central clearinghouse for fact sheets, letters to Congress, and social media resources to make our collective voices heard. And it will evolve along with our advocacy program, offering up-to-the-minute news and new resources.

In the coming weeks, we will send out a survey to the membership to determine firm travel policies and individual tolerances towards our holding the Fall Conference and the EEA Gala. Based on the results—and market conditions—we will decide whether to hold these events on-site or virtually.

Stay safe, Linda

 

PRESIDENT'S MONTHLY UPDATE
May 12, 2020


Advocacy

On COVID-19:
  • ACEC Advocated for a $50 billion infusion of federal funding for State DOTs in a letter to congressional leaders to backstop lost revenue and keep projects moving forward, complemented with a bipartisan, robust reauthorization of the federal surface transportation programs.
  • Submitted recommendations to DHS's Office of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) requesting more specific guidance on engineering services as part of essential infrastructure projects; ACEC also joined with others in the design community in making this case -- see letters here and here.
  • Called for additional PPP funding in a letter to congressional leadership.
  • As the federal government continued implementing provisions of the CARES Act, ACEC requested that OMB issue guidance to all agencies encouraging a more uniform implementation of Sec. 3610: Federal Contractor Authority. See our letter here.
  • Provided legislative updates and pandemic response briefings to ACEC members in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Nebraska.
  • ACEC was a featured presenter in Covid-19 webinars presented by the International Federation of Consulting Engineers, including ACEC General Counsel Charles Kim, who spoke on key contractual issues resulting from this crisis. Click here for a replay.

On Infrastructure:

  • Joined 70 other infrastructure stakeholders and business groups on a letter thanking the President for his continued emphasis on increased federal infrastructure investment as a top priority and highlighting the benefits of a multi-year highway, transit, and safety program reauthorization.
  • ACEC was a featured presenter in a special briefing for Blue Dog Democrat members and staff on ACEC priorities for infrastructure as a part of economic recovery legislation.
  • Developed and conveyed recommendations to the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee in support of draft water infrastructure legislation to authorize new Corps of Engineers water projects and new funding for water and wastewater programs.
  • Urged the Senate EPW Committee to support the removal of barriers to non-federal sponsor investment in water infrastructure.

Business Resources and Education

More than 2,000 members participated in our complimentary Rescue, Recover, Rebuild online series in April, which included eight webinars and four roundtables.

Upcoming Rescue, Recover, Rebuild online classes include Post COVID-19: Economic Outlook; Where Do We Go from Here? – Back to the “New Normal” for Your Workplace; New Environment in the Cyber World and COVID Security; Engineering Contracts in the Time of COVID-19; Large Firm Roundtable (201-500+ Employees); Small Firm Roundtable (Up to 50 Employees); Position Your Firm for Growth and Longevity: Lessons Learned from the Coronavirus Pandemic; Medium Firm Roundtable (51-200 Employees); ACEC Young Professional Series: Serving the Firm in a Virtual Environment; Guidelines and Protocols to Reduce Your Company’s Risk Exposure as You Bring Your Employees Back to the Office; Tools for Focus, Presence and Empathy in a Changed World; Controlling Healthcare Costs through Worksite Wellness; Young Professional Roundtable; Go Green – Save Green: Taking Advantage of Your Sustainable Designs and ACEC Young Professional Series: Working with Clients in the Age of COVID-19. Additional classes are still in development and updates to the schedule can be found on the ACEC Coronavirus Resource Center.

Each Monday in the Last Word Blog, we publish economic and market data relevant to the engineering industry, including numbers and analysis related to construction spending, the shape of the recovery, and impacts to the federal deficit.

Our two biggest Coalition best sellers during April COPS’ Job Descriptions for a Land Surveying Firm and CASE’s Guide to the Practice of Structural Engineering.

The Registered Continuing Education Program (RCEP) has a total of approved providers to 182 and 148,780 subscribers.

With more than 32 registered sites, April’s most popular regularly scheduled online class, Mastering the SF-330 – A Key Step in Winning Government Business, helped member firms learn effective decision-making strategies before and during preparation for SF 330 submissions, including how to present their team and its qualifications, and how to position themselves for success after submission.

Communications & Marketing

ACEC’s Engineering Influence podcast had a busy slate of shows in April, with episodes featuring Mitch Simpler’s last “Chairman’s Corner,” Langan CEO Dave Gockel, Black & Veatch VP Sean Goldwasser, new ExCom Vice-Chair Michael Cooper, and two Government Affairs Updates.

In addition, the MarCom team:

  • Produced a variety of visuals for ACEC’s virtual Board of Directors meeting, including videos for the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem, and the ACEC Research Institute.
  • Promoted the results of the ACEC Research Institute’s ownership transition study over social media and in a press release.
  • Supported the Council’s Rescue, Recover, Rebuild (R3) initiative by launching the landing page for the virtual advocacy campaign. We will soon launch the landing page for the series of sponsored R3 webinars.
  • Posted regular updates to the Coronavirus Resource Page and pushed out social media to promote COVID-19 related activities undertaken by the Council.

ACEC Research Institute

At the ACEC Board of Directors meeting, we officially launched the ACEC Research Institute with a new website and promotional video.

The Institute also:

  • Released the fourth, fifth, and sixth COVID business impact surveys.
  • In association with FMI, released the Ownership Transfer and Management Succession Survey executive summary

Membership & MO Services

To assist the Member Organizations’ recruitment and retention efforts, we developed and delivered the ACEC Members Response, which shows the value of ACEC during COVID-19.

Also, the department:

  • Facilitated six virtual “Leadership Breakfasts” with the MO regions.
  • Completed the MO Benchmarking Survey to gather data to inform some objectives and goals in the ACEC Strategic Plan. Based on the data, we will create a new resource for MOs to share best practices and information on how they operate, what programs and events they run, and more.
  • Conducted a virtual NAECE Annual Business meeting with a record high of 50.
  • Launched FY2021 Certification on April 28. 


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