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Association & Industry News

Last week, NRMCA unveiled an all-new website which has a cleaner, more modern look along with being more mobile-friendly and easier for members and visitors alike to access key information. Feedback is highly encouraged, so please take some time to explore the site and share your thoughts on further improvements that can be made along with what works or does not work for you.

You can share your questions, comments or concerns here. For more information on how NRMCA arrived at the decision to change its website, contact Gregg Lewis at glewis@nrmca.org.

NRMCA and PCA have named Craig Shuba to the position of controller who will support both associations and report to Chief Financial Officer Joe Roche. Mr. Shuba began his new assignment on July 20 and will be responsible for providing leadership and coordination of financial processes, planning and reporting. He will also ensure association accounting procedures meet best practices and that financial information conforms to generally accepted accounting principles.

Mr. Shuba previously served as controller at the National 4-H Council, a $51 million non-profit organization, from 2012 until earlier this year. He has extensive experience as a controller, having worked both in industry and public accounting for non-profits, associations, unions and for-profit entities. He has consistently developed high-performing accounting teams. Mr. Shuba earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Pennsylvania State University.

For more information, contact Joe Roche at jroche@nrmca.org.

The estimated ready mixed concrete produced in April 2020 is 29.8 million cubic yards, 7.5% lower than that in April 2019. The estimated production in the U.S. for 2020 through April is 107 million cubic yards, 3.3% higher than that during the same period in 2019.

Ready mixed concrete production is estimated from cement shipments reported by the U.S. Geological Survey. More detail is available to NRMCA members here.

   WAM USA, Inc.       CarbonCure Technologies Inc.    
Government Affairs

On Monday evening, the Senate released outlines and drafts of a $1 trillion COVID-19 relief package, called the HEALS Act. This proposal is Republicans’ opening position and will morph significantly before a final package is agreed on and passed. Due to disagreement within the Republican conference, the legislation is being released in discreet packages, though Leader McConnell has indicated that the next COVID-19 relief package will be the last. The package as written will also face opposition from Senate Democrats, and House Democrats passed their own $3 trillion Heroes Act in May.

NRMCA Government Affairs is reviewing the package and will provide additional updates on issues impacting the ready mixed concrete industry. While the package is subject to change, here are several of the highlights:

Modifications to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):

  • Expands the types of expenses that businesses may cover using PPP funds;
  • Provides additional flexibility on loan window;
  • Simplifies loan forgiveness eligibility requirements;
  • Makes some businesses eligible for second PPP loan; and
  • Limited inclusion of 501(c)6 organizations.

Limitations on unemployment insurance:

  • Unemployment benefits will be extended at a lower threshold through September and then be capped at 70% of lost income

Expansion of the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC):

  • Increases the refundable ERTC from 50% of wages to 65% of wages per employee, subject to a per-employee cap and overall company cap;
  • Expands credit to cover for all wages paid to employee (rather than just wages paid for not performing services as under CARES Act); and
  • Allows employers to take advantage of both PPP loan and ERTC with limits on overlapping benefits.

Liability protection for businesses:

  • Creates a federal cause of action preempting more restrictive state laws; and
  • Safe harbor for defendants who took reasonable efforts to comply with applicable mandatory standards and regulations.

Provisions of the package are subject to negotiation and change, but we understand that liability protection is one of Republicans’ highest priorities. The package did not include additional funding for state and local governments, such as funding for state departments of transportation. Timing on final passage of this COVID-19 relief package is uncertain and will almost certainly bleed into August. The House and Senate are expected to be in session for at least the first week of August and members have been advised that they will be on call through August recess.

For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at atyrrell@nmca.org.

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Earlier this month, NRMCA’s Andrew Tyrrell and Brian Killingsworth joined NSSGA to meet with Rep. Ben Ray Lujan’s (D-NM) office to provide technical assistance and input on legislation to address orphaned wells in the U.S. The legislation is intended to establish a grant program to fill and cap the nearly 56,000 orphaned wells throughout the country, supporting jobs and providing environmental benefits from closed wells. The legislation would provide business opportunities for NRMCA members as well as our partners in the cement and aggregates industries.

On Tuesday, NRMCA, NSSGA and PCA sent a letter to the House Committee on Natural Resources supporting the legislation and urging its inclusion in a future COVID-19 relief package. The legislation would appropriate $4.6 billion to plug and reclaim existing orphaned wells on federal, state and tribal land, but would not create an ongoing program to address future wells or related bonding issues. NRMCA is also working with ready mixed concrete champion Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) on this legislation.

For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at atyrrell@nrmca.org.

   Euclid Chemical Company       Con-Tech Manufacturing, Inc.    
Pavement

With the approval of an ordinance to the New Orleans city code back almost a year ago, pervious pavements are becoming the norm for new developments in the city and surrounding parishes, reports NRMCA Senior Director, Local Paving, Amanda Hult. The staff at the Concrete & Aggregates Association of Louisiana (CAAL) along with NRMCA’s Local Paving Team members Hult and Ken Justice have been working to educate and promote the use of pervious concrete as the solution to the ordinance.

“CAAL has met with owners, contractors and ready mix suppliers to ensure a properly designed, delivered and installed product. For the owners, CAAL has provided information on testing and maintenance of the installed pervious concrete. For the contractors and suppliers, CAAL has conducted two pervious contractor certification classes over the past year and have additional classes scheduled,” said Hult.

Pervious concrete on Union Street (seen here), one of several pervious concrete projects slated in New Orleans, was placed in December 2019. The city needed a way to slow stormwater runoff to stem overflow to the existing drainage system. The pervious concrete system consisted of a layer of pervious concrete in the 8 foot wide parking lane placed on an aggregate base with an embedded perforated pipe. The pipe would eventually connect to the existing drainage system. NRMCA and CAAL member LafargeHolcim provided the concrete for this project and Hard Rock Construction was the contractor.

Click here for more information on the Union Street project or contact Amanda Hult at ahult@nrmca.org.

The MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) has scheduled a webinar titled The Carbin App: Assessing Road Quality Using Crowdsourced Smartphone Measurements for Thursday, July 30, at 11 a.m. Eastern time. Since 2019, CSHub’s Carbin app has crowdsourced over 250,000 miles of road quality and emissions data from around the world. In this webinar, Meshkat Botshekan, a CSHub research assistant, validates this crowdsourced approach by comparing data collected by Carbin users with data from the Federal Highway Adminis¬tration.

The CSHub webinar series offers information of general interest to members of the building, paving and construction communities as well as to educators, students, journalists, and law and policymakers interested in the environmental and economic impacts of decision-making concerning infrastructure. Videos of past webinars are archived to the CSHub YouTube channel. Webinars are free and open to the public. Presentations are geared toward a lay audience.

Click here to register and here to request more information. The CSHub is jointly funded by the RMC Research & Education Foundation and the Portland Cement Association.

   BASF Construction Chemicals       GCP Applied Technologies    
SEO

NRMCA’s Commitment to Environmental Excellence Awards competition offers producers national recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment and maintaining sound management practice in their operations. The program salutes companies that have not only met, but surpassed, governmental compliance measures and demonstrated a commitment to environmental excellence through plant and staff investment. NRMCA member companies producing ready mixed concrete from a fixed plant location in the U.S., its territories or Canada are eligible to enter.

Awards will be determined upon individual plant merits. Winners will be featured in a 2020 edition of NRMCA’s Concrete InFocus magazine and leading trade publication Concrete Products magazine.

Entries and photos must be e-mailed to Gary Mullings at gmullings@nrmca.org by Friday, August 7. Click here for more information and to download the entry form.

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Earlier this week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proposed protecting the personal privacy of workers and allowing for absentee ballot use during representation elections of employees on military leave. Specifically, the proposal would remove the NLRB’s previous policy of requiring that employers “provide available personal email addresses and home and personal cellular telephone numbers of all eligible voters to the Regional Director and other parties during an election campaign.” This provision, when originally proposed and adopted by the NLRB, was ardently opposed by NRMCA. The industry very much welcomes this latest development and will be submitting comments to NLRB in favor of the provision’s removal.

The proposal also seeks to “…accommodate voters serving the United States in the Armed Forces in light of congressional policies facilitating their participation in federal elections and protecting their employment rights… [and] that a procedure for providing such voters with absentee ballots can be instituted without impeding the expeditious resolution of representation elections.”

The window for submitting comments on the proposal will be held open through the end of September 2020.

Click here to review the NLRB’s proposal. For more information, contact Kevin Walgenbach at kwalgenbach@nrmca.org.

   Xypex Chemical Corp       MAPEI    
Workforce Development

NRMCA’s Workforce Development Committee is asking interested association members to volunteer for one of three working task groups. Task group insight and guidance helps NRMCA gauge, as well as fulfill, members’ needs while planning for the future. We’d like to pull each group together for an online Zoom meeting in the near future. Your task group options are:

1. Strategies will focus on the broad umbrella of industry recruitment, retention and leadership skill development. It also includes oversight of ready mixed concrete-specific training, the annual mixer driver survey and the Developing Industry Leaders program since they each support recruitment, retention and leadership growth.

2. Partnerships is the committee’s external outreach. For the first time, NRMCA will give an HR-centric, federal voice to workplace policies that impact our industry and individual businesses. That encompasses HR-related regulatory, legislative and executive advocacy. The group will also look for untapped resources in the form of third-party partnerships, i.e., systems, to tap into military and prison release programs to hire new CDL drivers.

3. Practices will focus on HR best practices and trends, including HR-risk management. Additionally, this group will support NRMCA’s Financial Performance Improvement Group’s work on the annual compensation survey. The task group will also provide a network for many HR professionals who reportedly feel that when they arrive in the industry they are quickly functioning in a trial-by-fire mode in a very tough HR compliance environment. The networking here, and for the whole committee, should build professional HR acumen.

If interested in pushing the industry forward, please e-mail your task group choice to Eileen Dickson at edickson@nrmca.org.

   Concrete Pump Supply       Hendrickson Auxiliary Axle Systems    
Calendar

*Please note that e-mail and direct links to each event listed below can be accessed from NRMCA's Web site.

July 29, Online Course
Fundamentals of Concrete Part 1, Essentials of Quality Concrete: Hardened Concrete Properties
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-918-7101

August 5, Online Course
Fundamentals of Concrete Part 2, Forming, Handling, Placing & Finishing Concrete: Concrete Forming & Site Preparation
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-918-7101

August 12, Online Course
Fundamentals of Concrete Part 2, Forming, Handling, Placing and Finishing Concrete: Delivery, Placing and Finishing
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-918-7101

August 19, Online Course
Fundamentals of Concrete Part 2, Forming, Handling, Placing & Finishing Concrete: Extreme Weather Conditions & Troubleshooting
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-918-7101

August 26, Online Course
Fundamentals of Concrete Part 3, Concrete Standards, Requirements & Specifications: Standards for Concrete Construction
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-918-7101

September 2, Online Course
Fundamentals of Concrete Part 3, Concrete Standards, Requirements & Specifications: Standards for Production & Delivery
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-918-7101

September 9, Online Course
Fundamentals of Concrete Part 3, Concrete Standards, Requirements & Specifications: Project Specifications for Concrete
Email: Lionel Lemay, 847-918-7101

September 15, Charlotte, NC
Pervious Concrete Technician Certification Class
Co-located with Carolinas Ready Mixed Concrete Association
Email: Jessica Palmer, 864-238-7839

October 5 - 6, Online Course
Handling Concrete Specifications Online
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

October 7 - 8, *Now Online
NRMCA's ConcreteWorks 2020
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

October 20 - 22, Online Course
Concrete Safety Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

November 10 - 12, New Orleans
Effective RMC Supervisor Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

November 17 – 19, Online Course
Environmental Course for the Ready Mixed Concrete Industry
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

December 15 – 18, Phoenix
Plant Manager Certification Course, Phoenix, AZ
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

December 15, Charlotte, NC
Improving Concrete Quality Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

   Climate Earth       Penetron USA    

2021

January 26 – 29, Charlotte, NC
Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

February 10 – 12, Dallas
Effective RMC Supervisor Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

March 23 – 26, Boston
Plant Manager Certification Course
Email: Jessica Walgenbach, 703-706-4852

   Kryton International       BCMI Corp.