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MARCH 15, 2021

Bellingham’s apprenticeship ordinance approved
The Bellingham City Council approved, by a 7-0 vote, an ordinance amending Bellingham city code to require apprenticeship ordinance for Bellingham Public Works contracts at the March 8 council meeting. The ordinance is substantially patterned after Whatcom County's program adopted in December 2019. Bellingham councilmembers believe this is an important step to increase opportunities to enter the construction trades with family-wage jobs. This program would further encourage the employment of apprentices in the Bellingham area by adopting apprenticeship-utilization requirements for city-owned public-works projects.

Bellingham’s apprenticeship program will start January 1, 2023 on public-works projects estimated to cost $1M or more and have a completion time greater than 70 working days and will require a minimum of 15% of the labor hours to be performed by apprentices. This will match the final stage of the Whatcom County Apprenticeship Program for County projects. Here is a link to the approved
Bellingham Apprenticeship Requirement Ordinance for further review.
County’s future dependent on Cherry Point amendments
There has continued to be significant ongoing activity related to Cherry Point Amendments process. We will reenter the final public phase of the amendments process very soon. It is more important than ever that AGC members reengage when the public process resumes.
Since the last public hearing in November 2020, Cherry Point stakeholders have continued to meet twice a week to negotiate compromises that all parties can live with. The stakeholder’s group is a diverse group made up of business, labor and environmental groups. They are at a very technical stage of those discussions and working through some the most challenging aspects of the proposed amendments -- predominately now focused on greenhouse gases and insurance liability coverage.
The refineries at Cherry Point are very complex and highly technical operations. The stakeholder’s group has continued to clarify to the County Council many of the consequences of the amendments as originally proposed. The group regularly updates the County Council on its progress while working with Whatcom County Planning and Development Services to work through staff questions about what is being proposed. AGC has remained in contact with all involved tracking the progress of the Cherry Point discussions. Read more…
Exxel Pacific highlighted for Living Buildings
Exxel Pacific has been recognized for their work on three groundbreaking projects considered for the City of Seattle’s Living Building Pilot Program. Exxel Pacific’s work on the Liza Apartments, Western & Cedar, and Magnolia Safeway multifamily projects are recognized for their sustainable design, construction and operations focusing energy and water efficiencies. This Daily Journal of Commerce article provides in-depth details on these innovative projects. Read more…
Senate passes capital-gains tax;
enactment likely

The State Senate narrowly passed capital-gains tax legislation that would impose a 7% tax on the sale of stocks, bonds and other high-end assets in excess of $250,000 for both individuals and couples. A person whose business makes more than $10M per year is also subject to the tax if they make more than $250,000 in selling the business. Retirement accounts, real estate, farms and forestry would be exempt from the proposed tax.

AGC strongly opposed the measure in the Senate and will continue to do so now that it has moved to the House. Nevertheless, it is expected to pass there as well, since a capital-gains tax is a top priority of legislative leaders and Governor Inslee. Even though it appears likely that the legislation will be signed into law, it still faces obstacles: It will likely face a court challenge based on its dubious constitutionality, and it could be repealed through a ballot referendum. Read more…
AGC Education Foundation launches
Core Plus Construction website

The AGC Education Foundation continues to move the Core Plus Construction program. Core Plus Construction was developed by the AGC Education Foundation with a goal of introducing high-school students to careers in the construction industry through hands-on learning. To assist in getting information out to the community, they rolled-out the Core Plus Construction website on March 10.
Workforce development director Sarah Patterson announced, “We want to celebrate the launch of the Core Plus Construction website and the approval by OSPI of the Core Plus Construction second-year program of study, and look forward to working with members interested in learning more about how they can get involved with the program.” AGC is making strides to help develop the future construction workforce. Please contact Sarah Patterson for more information or how to be involved.
AGC's small-business connections
In a recent conversation with one of our member GCs, they asked, "How do we find more opportunities to work with our small-business AGC contractors?" The GC expressed that their work did not have mandated requirements for hiring SBE/DBE/WMBE contractors, but that it was the correct thing to do to further strengthen our contracting community, and wanted to find better access to this group of contractors.
AGC of Washington has the solution to this with our Small-Business Connections pages on the AGC website. We provide resources to help Small, Woman-Owned, Veteran-Owned, Minority-Owned and other certified disadvantaged businesses connect with others in the industry and to learn about upcoming project opportunities and supporting services. Read more…
Congratulations to the 2020 Excellence in Contract Administration award winners
The winners of the annual Partnership for Excellence in Contract Administration awards, co-sponsored by AGC and WSDOT, were announced by the AGC and WSDOT at a virtual meeting on March 3. AGC and WSDOT also honored long time AGC member Scott Ayers for his two decades of service and valuable input on the AGC/WSDOT Structures Team, as Scott will soon be retiring.
These awards recognize and encourage extraordinary achievements by the contractor/WSDOT partnership responsible for delivering transportation projects in a timely, professional and responsive manner while also considering the needs of others who are affected by the project. Read more...
What’s in the COVID-relief bill for public and private construction investment?
Short answer: It’s not clear
(AGC of America)
On March 10, Congress passed, and the president signed into law on March 11, the $1.9 trillion COVID-relief bill, which provides $350 billion for state and local governments, $168 billion for K-12 schools and higher education, $30.5 billion for public transit and $8 billion for airports. The bill, however, appears to dedicate little, if any, funding to new public or private construction investment projects—infrastructure or buildings.

Generally speaking, the entities receiving these funds have broad discretion to use them however they see fit. It is unclear, consequently, how the vast majority of these funds will be used, and those debates will undoubtedly happen in ongoing or special state, county or municipal government legislative sessions. At a minimum, this funding could help prevent public owners from delaying or canceling construction projects. Read more…
Adding fuel to the logs’: Construction materials prices continue to soar
(BISNOW) The coronavirus pandemic has had a protracted impact on the construction industry, exacerbated by pre-existing trade tariffs on construction materials. Beyond the complications of workers falling ill and jobsites shuttered last year due to shelter-in-place orders, high prices and slow delivery schedules for construction materials such as lumber and steel have maintained a stubborn strain on the industry.
The supply-chain issues and rising costs began about a year ago when public officials across the nation issued orders halting work on many construction sites. As soon as those restrictions started to lift, there was a rush of demand for residential homebuying from people wanting to upgrade their square footage or achieve homeownership for the first time, which created a surge in demand for construction materials, according to Ken Simonson, chief economist of the Associated General Contractors of America. Read more…
Female tradesworkers overcome bullying, harassment to make their way in construction
(Construction Dive) While conditions are improving for women in the trades, a lot still needs to be done, according to sheet metal worker and advocate Vanessa Carman, a former field foreman and current detailer at Kent-based mechanical contractor Hermanson. A vocal advocate for women in construction, she is a member of the SMART (Sheet Metal Air Railroad Transit) International Women’s Committee and founder of the Sheet Metal Workers Local 66 Women’s Committee.
In a recent media report, Carman spoke out about her mixed experiences as a woman working in the construction trades. Here, she talks with Construction Dive about the strides that women have made in the industry and what still needs to be done.
Read more…
Save the date - August 27th

Plan your foursome and grab the clubs!! The 2021 AGC/AIA Scholarship Golf Tournament is back!
Plan to join the Northwest Washington Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Associated General Contractors Northern District as we host the 2021 Scholarship Golf Tournament at Avalon Golf Links in Burlington Friday, August 27. Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information, coming soon.

Masks keep
us open;

no masks

shut us down.

to learn how
you can help.

The AGC Education Foundation continues to offer virtual continuing-education classes in a live, interactive, remote environment. They're working closely with instructors to maintain high-quality training programs and are finding great success in the virtual environment. Visit the AGC Education Foundation website for more information on upcoming classes and programs.

General Contractor/Construction Manager Workshop
March 18 and 19 (9:00 am – 3:00 pm) | Remote Class
Register today

STP Unit 3: Planning and Scheduling
March 29 – April 8 (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm) | Remote Class
Register today

Construction Technical Skills B:
Interpreting Blueprint Plans and Specifications

April 5 – May 6 (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm) | Remote Class
Register today

STP Unit 4: Contract Documents
April 13 – 22 (5:00 pm – 8:00 pm) | Remote Class
Register today
Questions? Comments?  Please email Lance Calloway,
Northern District manager

AGC Northern District Report
is a publication of the
Associated General Contractors of Washington

1200 Westlake Avenue N., Suite 301, Seattle Washington 98109
Copyright 2021, AGC of Washington. All rights reserved.

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