Vol. XXXIX, Number 37 - September 26, 2018
Latest News

House Passes FAA Reauthorization with Expanded QBS; Senate Approval Expected Soon

The House of Representatives approved a final, five-year Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill on Wednesday that includes an ACEC-backed amendment to expand the use of Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) on federally funded airport projects.

The provision requires that airports comply with QBS procedures if any portion of a project utilizes Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds. This is designed to prevent agencies from segmenting state or local funds for A/E services in order to avoid federal QBS rules.

In terms of airport infrastructure funding and financing, the legislation is a mixed bag. AIP funding is flat at $3.35 billion per year for 2018-2023. The bill also authorizes an additional $1.06 billion annually for airport improvement grants for small and medium-size airports, but those funds are not guaranteed and are subject to annual appropriations from the General Fund. FAA Facilities and Equipment is authorized at $3.33 billion in 2018, rising to $3.7 billion in 2023, also subject to annual appropriations.

The cap on Passenger Facility Charges remains at $4.50 per flight segment, but the bill allows flexibility for more airports to collect the maximum amount. The U.S. Department of Transportation is directed to conduct a study of airport infrastructure needs and make recommendations on financial resources and options to upgrade the aviation system to meet projected passenger volumes.

For unmanned aircraft systems, the bill includes provisions to facilitate the integration of drones into the national airspace; bolster research, development, and testing programs; and authorize more risk-based permitting for commercial UAS operations.

The Senate is expected to pass the legislation in the next few days. The current FAA authorization expires on September 30.

Click here for a summary of the bill.


Fall Conference Registration, Hotel Room Discounts End Today! Book Now!

Your opportunity to save $100 on your registration for the 2018 ACEC Fall Conference ends on Friday, September 28. Additional registrants from the same firm and first-time member attendees can save an additional $145.

To register now for the ACEC Fall Conference in Las Vegas, October 28-31, click here.

The ACEC room block at the Bellagio resort, with a special negotiated room rate of $280/night, also closes on September 28. To reserve your room online, click here.

The Fall Conference features internationally renowned speakers, CEO panels, more than 30 management education programs, CEO roundtables, the CASE Convocation, the annual ACEC Awards Luncheon, and numerous ACEC coalition, council, and forum events.

For more information, click here.


ACEC/Illinois Holds Golf Tournament to Raise Funds for ACEC/PAC

ACEC/Illinois held its second annual ACEC/PAC North vs. South Ryder Cup Tournament on Sunday, raising funds for ACEC/PAC. Pictured left to right: Pam Hobbs, Geotechnology; Roger Driskell, CMT; Dan Meckes, CMT; Greg Cook, Farnsworth Group; Steve Donahue, Horner & Shifrin; Mark Harms, SCI Engineering; John Carrato, Alfred Benesch; Orhan Ulger, 2IM Group; Chip Craddock, Clark Dietz; Scott Sutton, Somerset CPAs; P.J. Fitzpatrick, WBK Engineering; Darrell Eilers, EFK Moen; Joe Hagerty, Oates Associates; John Nelson, Hanson Professional Services; Gary Rademaker, ACEC/IL; Kevin Fitzpatrick, Alfred Benesch; Lou Gallucci, V3 Companies; Todd Welz, Quigg Engineering; John Ambrose, Baxter & Woodman; and Dave Bender, ACEC/IL.


National EEA Awards Online Submittal Portal Opens

The 2019 Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) online submittal portal is now open for submissions. To compete in the national EEA competition, all project materials must be submitted online through the portal.

To qualify for the national EEA program, projects must first be entered through your state Member Organization. All state programs are now underway. Click here for state executive director contact information and state EEA entry guidelines.

The entry deadline for the national 2019 EEA competition is January 4, 2019. Judging will be held in February and all award winners will be honored at the annual EEA Gala on May 7, 2019, during the ACEC Annual Convention in Washington, D.C.

Click here for more information.


Year-Over-Year Construction Employment Rises in 45 States

Forty-five states and Washington, DC added construction jobs between August 2017 and August 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Texas added 56,100 construction jobs, up 7.9 percent year-over-year. Other high-performing states included California (40,400 jobs, 5 percent), Florida (39,300 jobs, 7.7 percent), Georgia (18,900 jobs, 10.4 percent), Arizona (14,900 jobs, 10.2 percent), and Michigan (14,600 jobs. 8.9 percent). Five states reached record construction employment highs in August: Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.

“These results show that contractors still expect to have plenty of work in the months ahead," said Ken Simonson, chief economist of the Associated General Contractors of America. "The question many in the industry are asking is whether they will be able to find enough workers to keep pace with demand.”

Construction employment fell in three states: New Jersey lost 6,600 jobs, down 4.2 percent, followed by Kentucky (-2,600 jobs, -3.4 percent) and Missouri (-1,000 jobs, -0.8 percent). Construction employment was flat in Alaska and Pennsylvania.


ACEC/Colorado Supports Representative DeGette

U.S. Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) (3rd from right), a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, met with ACEC/Colorado leaders earlier this month: (left to right) Heidi Gordon, ACEC/CO; Elizabeth Stolfus, Stolfus & Associates; Craig Watts, MKK Consulting Engineers | IMEG; Galina Leiphart, Tsiouvaras Simmons Holderness | RS&H; and Marilen Reimer, ACEC/CO.


Parsons Joins Appalachian Storage Hub Team

Parsons Corp. will perform the engineering, procurement, and construction for the proposed $3.4 billion Appalachian Storage and Trading Hub project.

The project, which would be located near the juncture of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, would store natural gas liquids derived from the Marcellus and Utica Shales.

According to the American Chemistry Council, the facility, which would include underground gas storage facilities, industrial plants converting natural gas into products like plastic and fuel, and facilities that rely on natural gas for power, would attract billions of dollars in investment and create tens of thousands of jobs in the region.

Currently, almost all of the region's petrochemicals are piped to facilities in other parts of the country or overseas.

The Appalachia Development Group, which is leading the development of the hub, plans to fund the project through a public-private partnership.


Mass Transit Enjoys Global Boom, But Not in the United States

Countries around the world are building mass transit networks at a record pace to meet growing ridership levels, but the United States is not keeping pace, according to a new report by the International Association of Public Transport (UTIP).

Annual ridership on the 182 metro systems around the world grew by 20 percent over the past six years. In North America, ridership rose by 10 percent, but Canadian metros and New York City accounted for all of that increase. Ridership on the other 13 U.S. urban rail systems fell.

Over the next five years, the report forecasts 200 new metro lines—both conventional and fully automated—and even more extensions will open. In 2018, more than 3,300 miles of urban rail are under construction and another 1,000 miles are in design stages. The majority of the activity is in Asia, specifically China and India.

To view the report, click here.


ACEC Boosts Scholarship Program to Attract Best and Brightest to Industry

To better compete with other industries for the best and brightest talent, the Council is enhancing a student’s ability to pursue an engineering career by boosting the ACEC Scholarship Program. Last year, the Council awarded scholarships to eight deserving students totaling $45,000.

To expand the program—making more and larger scholarships available—ACEC has launched a fundraising drive.

Members can invest in our industry's future by providing monetary support to the ACEC scholarship program today. All donations toward the program are 100 percent U.S. tax deductible.

For more information about the scholarships and to contribute, contact Daisy Nappier.


Design a Simple Incentive Compensation That Works, Online Class, October 2

How do we connect the daily decisions of our employees to the short and long-term health of the business? One key is implementing an incentive compensation program that works.

In the October 2 online class Simple Incentive Compensation That Works!, Ty Kicklighter highlights the simple principles that all of the best incentive compensation plans share. Understanding theses principles and implementing them into your plan may be just what you need.

Takeaways from the program include:

  • The purpose of a healthy incentive compensation program
  • Three principles of a healthy incentive compensation program that are often missing
  • A simple, customizable, easy-to-implement incentive compensation program for your firm

For more information and to register, click here.


College of Fellows to Hold Charity Fun Walk at Fall Conference

Walk a mile for a great cause at the upcoming 2018 ACEC Fall Conference in Las Vegas.

The College of Fellows will host its third annual Charity Fun Walk at the Fall Conference on Tuesday, October 30, featuring a one-mile lap that takes in the famous fountains at the Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas.

The walk will benefit the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation (NCCF), which provides social, education, financial, and psychological support services to families of children with life-threatening or critical illnesses. For more information about NCCF, click here.

Participants will receive commemorative T-shirts, sponsored by the ACEC Life/Health Trust. Power breakfast bars and Bloody Marys will also be provided.

For more information on the Charity Fun Walk and to register, click here or contact Daisy Nappier.



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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6—Essential Elements of Effective Leadership, by Randy Anderson, E3 Professional Trainers. Examine the key elements that contribute to lasting leadership, learn practical, easy-to-implement ideas you can use to improve your leadership effectiveness, and increase overall firm productivity.