To the ACEC Community,
The COVID-19 pandemic forced ACEC to pivot to a rapid response mode in our communications. Over the past three months, we have stepped up our outreach to our MOs and member firms through Zoom calls, webinars, e-mails, and social media. We might be more physically distant than ever before, but I don’t think we’ve ever been this connected. Now that we’re three months into the pandemic, I feel that we have hit our stride in getting news out to you so I want to switch things up and use my weekly message to give you a snapshot of what we’re working on to promote and protect our industry.
On Thursday last week, the ACEC Research Institute hosted the first of three expert roundtables looking into the post-COVID 19 future of the engineering industry. More than 250 members listened in on a fascinating discussion among some really smart people about the impact that technology will have on our industry. A few of the key points that I took away were: the industry is going to become more decentralized, with the VR/AR and cloud storage enabling remote work from anywhere on the globe; there will be a merging of the engineering and tech industries; and the new engineers coming into the industry learn differently and will be more rounded and diverse. Click here to stream the video of the roundtable.
The second roundtable will be on Thursday, June 25, at 3:30 pm ET and will look at “The Buildings We Live and Work In.” The panelists will address what lasting impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the design of the commercial, high-rise, healthcare, and mixed-use buildings of the future and how firms can prepare. I encourage you to participate. Click here to register.
At the end of last week, the House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee passed the INVEST in America Act, which authorizes nearly $500 billion for highways, transit, passenger rail, and other programs. During the mark-up of the bill, we were successful in having two amendments withdrawn that would have limited the ability of state DOTs to contract out to firms.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has said that the full House will address infrastructure during the week of June 29. We can expect the INVEST Act to be the focus, although they will probably also include school construction, broadband, and tax provisions related to bonding, financing, and credits for investment in “green” infrastructure. We expect the T&I Committee to turn to WRDA and water infrastructure in July.
We’ve rescheduled the 2020 Engineering Excellence Awards Gala for November 21, 2020, at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, DC. Please save this date on your calendar. One word of caution: Given the continuing uncertainty due to COVID-19, the gala may have to be moved to a virtual event on a date to be determined. For questions about sponsorships and tickets, please contact Daisy Nappier.
Tomorrow, we’re presenting a free online class Engineering Tax Deductions (179D), the CARES Act and Making the Most of 2020. Sponsored by Brayn Consulting, the session will provide an update on the commercial buildings energy efficiency tax deduction, including a dive into a recent court case on the deduction, as well as CARES Act implications and how to plan for the rest of 2020. Click here to register.
That’s what’s happening at ACEC National. Have a great week and keep up your amazing work.
Linda Bauer Darr