Recent Highlights

ACEC Stock Index

Click on image to zoom.

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.

A/E Employment

Click on image to zoom.

Total U.S. architectural and engineering employment climbed in June for the ninth consecutive month.

 

More Industry News

EBI

 

ACEC Webinars

 
August
7—Lessons in Professional Liability, by Dan Buelow, managing director, and Robert Stanton, Willis A&E. Delve into risk management issues facing the design community today, including like contract trends, communication and documentation, as well as changes in the industry, jobsite safety and litigation.
 
12—Are You Fighting Fires Instead of Managing Your Employees?—Summer 2014, by Gary Bates, Roenker Bates Group. Teach specific steps to your people so they will fight their own fires.
 
19—The Seven Success Secrets of Super Project Managers, by John Doehring, president, J. Doehring & Co., LLC. Learn the core role of the project manager; leadership and management skills necessary for project management success; communication strategies that work; effective planning, scheduling, and budgeting techniques; and the singular importance of execution, taking action, and getting things done.
 
20—Ten Keys to Business Continuity Planning, by Bob Mellinger, president, Attainium. Learn the 10 keys to developing, implementing and maintaining an effective business continuity management program.
 
21—How Buyers Buy, by John Doehring, president, J. Doehring & Co., LLC. Learn the secrets of terrific communicators, especially those strategies and tactics that you can put into action today.
 
26—Creating a Social Media Policy , by Brett Johnson, founding partner, and Leila Johnson, Data-Scribe. The session focuses on the essential workflow that every firm needs to be successful when using these online tools. The presenters will review a sample social media policy and explain how to create a customized policy for your firm.
 
27—Mergers & Acquisitions 2.0, by Bill Mandel and Laura Howard, Fox Rothschild. Learn M&A essentials, including valuing your firm, positioning your firm for sale, understanding the process, and avoiding pitfalls.
 
September
2—Seize the Day! Strategies for Email Success, by Bethanne Kronick. Learn strategies and solutions to boost productivity and efficiency with your email system and practices.
 
3—Find the Lost Dollars: 6 Steps to Increase Profits in Architecture and Engineering Firms, by June Jewell, President/CEO, Acuity Business Solutions. Learn to get the most from people, processes and technology to gain a competitive edge and increase your firm's profitability.
 
4—"Documentation", by Dan Buelow, managing director, and Robert Stanton, Willis A&E. This workshop examines the importance of effective communication in the design process, addressing both what constitutes effective communication and pitfalls frequently encountered by engineers.
 
9—Betting the Firm: Managing the Risks of Indemnity Clauses in Professional Services Agreements, by Karen Erger, vice president and director of practice risk management, Lockton Companies. Participants will learn to identify and evaluate the risk represented by indemnity clause language, including the risk that it will not be covered by professional liability insurance.
 
10—Legal Issues Unique to Design-Build, by Mark Friedlander, partner, Schiff Hardin. A nationally-renowned design-build expert will lay out the business and legal issues that make design-build and engineering, procurement and construction projects unique.
 
11—Strategic Planning—Don't Waste Your Time, by Mark Goodale, principal, Morrissey Goodale. If you're going to invest time, money and effort into strategic planning, make sure you work on things that matter.
 
23—Ten Top Tips of Terrific Communicators, by Sylvia Montgomery, senior partner, Hinge. Learn what tips the scale for buyers of A/E/C services; which marketing techniques are favored by buyers but overlooked by 97% of sellers; what is the real value that your firm brings to clients; and what you can do to increase the referrals your firm receives.
 
24—A Tour of the Horizon for Architecture, Engineering and Construction Service Opportunities with the United States Government, by Jim McCarthy, owner and technical director, AOC Key Solutions, Inc. (KSI).Learn which federal agencies are the most active buyers; identify what type of A/E/C services will be produced; ascertain specific targets of business opportunity; discover opportunities for teaming and subcontracting; detect new and emerging trends; and receive strategies and tactics for winning.
 
25—Opportunities Lost: 16 Missing Things from Most Marketing and Business Strategies, by Wendy Nemitz, Ingenuity Marketing Group, LLC. This session unpacks the 16 things that firms fail to deploy in their marketing or business strategies, including no differentiation in competitive messaging, zero or weak calls to action, compensation plans that discourage nonbillable activities, and more.
 
30—Be Memorable and Win More Work: The Difference-Makers for Winning Proposals, by Jim Rogers, president, Fleetridge. Learn why being memorable is the key to winning more work. Find out why being memorable actually trumps being “better” than your competitors.
 

Latest News

President Expected to Sign Highway Trust Fund Patch; Raymond Calls it a "Band-Aid on Patient Needing Major Surgery"

Senator Tom Carper

President Obama is expected to soon sign into law a $10.8 billion Highway Trust Fund "patch" extending MAP-21 highway and transit funding through May 2015.

The legislation (H.R. 5021) averts a funding shortfall that would have forced the U.S. Department of Transportation to delay and ration project reimbursement payments to states. 

In a strategy session on next steps with Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), chairman of the Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee, ACEC President Dave Raymond supported Carper's proposal to deal with long-term transportation funding in a post-election lame duck session rather than wait until next year. 
 
“The patch is a band-aid when the patient really needs major surgery to survive,” said Raymond.
 

Strong Support for Cash Accounting in the Senate; Member Action Still Needed in the House

Strong Member Firm response to an ACEC action alert encouraged 44 Senators to sign a bipartisan letter in support of preserving the cash method of accounting for engineering firms and other industries.

The Council and its coalition allies are working with Congressmen Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Richard Hudson (R-NC), and Bradley Schneider (D-IL) to urge lawmakers to sign on to a similar letter of support. One hundred seventy-five Representatives have already signed on, but more are needed.  Click here to access ACEC’s Legislative Action Center for more information and to contact your Representative.  
 
ACEC’s efforts are in response to draft tax reform legislation that would limit the use of cash accounting solely to firms with less than $10 million in revenues and sole proprietors.  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.
 
The deadline for Representatives to sign the letter is August 26th.  For more information, contact Katharine Mottley, ACEC’s Director of Tax and Regulatory Affairs, at kmottley@acec.org.  
 

Short-Term Extension Possible on Reauthorization, Ex-Im Official Tells ACEC; FMS Opportunities Also Discussed

Stephen Rubright (center) of the U.S. Export-Import Bank updates ACEC International Committee members on the status of the bank's reauthorization currently being debated in Congress. Also pictured are ACEC Past Chairman Gregs Thomopulos (left) and International Committee Chair Carol Bell of Stanley Consultants.

Stephen Rubright, vice president for Congressional Affairs at the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), met with members of ACEC’s International Committee this week to discuss the status of reauthorization efforts in Congress prior to the September 30th deadline.  

House Republican leaders have targeted the Bank for elimination by letting the current authorization expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30, 2014. ACEC is working with business coalition allies to support the Bank’s reauthorization, and has urged Member Firms to contact their lawmakers. Click here for more information and to access a sample letter.

Rubright noted that, if supporters of the Bank are unable to secure passage of a reauthorization bill prior to September 30th, there may be an effort to include a short-term extension in a larger “continuing resolution” to fund government operations into the fall.  Should Congress fail to act, he said that the Bank would still be able to maintain support for existing loans, but would not be able to consider new applications.
 
Also appearing before the committee was Janet Phillips, deputy chief for security assistance at the Corps of Engineers, who discussed potential business opportunities for Member Firms through Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and related programs.  The Corps anticipates that a variety of projects overseas, including water, roads, environmental remediation, geospatial, and project/construction management, will require private sector support.  
 
“The gathering this week was very timely,” said Committee Chairwoman Carol Bell of Stanley Consultants.  “We learned valuable insights on business issues and opportunities that will be very helpful going forward.”    

 

Political Analyst Charlie Cook to Forecast Mid-Term Elections at Upcoming ACEC Fall Conference in Hawaii, Oct. 22-25

Charlie Cook, whom the Wall Street Journal has called "the Picasso of election analysis," will handicap the 2014 mid-term elections at the ACEC 2014 Fall Conference at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Waikoloa, Hawaii, October 22-25.

Editor/Publisher of The Cook Political Report and a regular columnist for the National Journal and The Washington Quarterly, Cook is widely regarded as one of the nation's keenest observers of U.S. elections and political trends.

Also highlighting the Conference will be Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Tony Clark;  business strategist Erik Wahl; more than three dozen bottom-line-focused business sessions; 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.

Register Now for ACEC 2014 Information Technology Forum in Denver, September 15-16

Participate in two days of peer-to-peer information sharing, problem solving and networking at the 2014 ACEC Information Technology Forum in Denver, September 15-16.

The annual forum gives IT professionals the opportunity to learn and share in an interactive roundtable format. Topics to be covered include cloud computing, storage, project management software, expanding the virtual desktop, security, IT social media tools, operations management best practices, and new emerging technologies.

Click here for more information on the IT Forum.

Save with New UPS Discount Program

Member Firms can now save up to 35 percent on UPS shipping services through an exclusive ACEC discount program.

 
Discounts include up to 35 percent on UPS Air letters, including UPS Next Day Air; up to 31 percent on UPS Air packages; up to 33 percent on international imports and exports; and up to 19 percent on UPS Ground shipments.
 
Discounts are available even if your firm already has a UPS account. For more information, visit savewithups.com/acec or call 1-800-636-2377. 

Nation's Drinking Water Infrastructure is Nearing the End of Its Useful Life, NAWC Says

 
Much of the piping that carries drinking water in the country dates to the first half of the 20th century, according to the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC).

Noting that age inevitably takes a toll, NAWC reports there are 240,000 breaks a year, a problem compounded by stress from an increasing population and budget crunches that slow the pace of replacement.

The association adds that nearly half of the pipes in the U.S. are in poor shape, and the average age of a broken water main is 47 years.

 

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