CONNstruction - Summer 2011 - (Page 13)

newsandviews Specialty Contractors Benefit from AGC and Vice Versa By John W. Butts AGC Executive Director With the proliferation of commercial building construction delivery systems that call for less self performance by construction management firms, the preponderance of the work on a commercial building project these days is supplied almost entirely by subcontracting firms and their craft trade employees. By evolution, it seems, craftsmanship on commercial building projects has become the exclusive domain of the specialty contracting firm. Specialty contractor firms have been an important part of the assorted fabric that comprises the membership of AGC of America and the Connecticut chapter for many years. Specialties embody approximately 40 percent of AGC’s nationwide membership, and in Connecticut, over half of the AGC contractor members are specialty contractor firms. They represent the broad spectrum of specialty trades and crafts, and they have assumed leadership roles at chapters and at the national level. In 2005, Joe Milazzo of S.G. Milazzo & Company, an acoustical and drywall subcontractor, became the chapter’s first subcontractor president and our immediate past president, Bob Berkmoes of James T. Kay & Company, is a mechanical subcontractor. Most specialty firms already are members of the national and state trade association that represent their particular trade, such as mechanical, electrical, roofing, structural steel, pre-cast concrete, and masonry. Every conceivable specialty trade has its own trade association whose benefits and services are focused specifically on that trade. It’s understandable that specialty contractors would flock to organizations of their own kind, but why would they want to be part of an organization that represents general contractors? The simple answer is that, regardless of its name, AGC doesn’t just represent general contractors. Because of its diverse membership, it speaks for the entire construction industry. AGC appeals to subcontracting firms for a variety of reasons. A national survey of AGC specialty contractor members asked respondents to rank the top reasons they value their AGC membership, and the results revealed that members regard access to industry news and information, forecasts, and networking opportunities as the top reasons for belonging to AGC. This tracks the feedback received when AGC of Connecticut subcontractor firms are asked why they join – to gain access to, and to be influential among, their customers – general contractors and construction managers. While specialty firms all share concerns about issues pertinent to their particular trade, they also want to be part of an organization that concerns itself with a broader set of issues that impact the construction industry as a whole. AGC always has its eye on what’s good for the entire construction industry and does not limit itself to any sector within the industry. AGC of America Executive Vice President Steve Sandherr is adamant when asked about its national legislative and regulatory agenda: “We are going to be engaged in every issue that impacts the construction industry. Period.” AGC is an influential voice in the industry and construction firms across the spectrum of the industry feel membership in it is a necessary part of doing business. With a larger and more visible presence in the industry, specialty contractors now have a home within the AGC organization. The Specialty Contractors Council (SCC) was created in 1997 to better serve the needs of the association’s growing ranks of specialty contractor members. It focuses on promoting best practices and fairness throughout the construction industry through collaboration within AGC, enhanced communication, and industry influence. Bob Berkmoes recently joined the Executive Committee of the SCC and serves as the Connecticut chapter representative on the national council. Bob is a believer in AGC’s value to specialty contractors and has devoted many hours of his professional life to serving the organization. He recently articulated his firm’s reasons for AGC membership this way: “AGC gives all of its members an opportunity to have at our disposal an avenue to address any issue concerning construction, whether it is legislative, training, labor, contractor/ subcontractor concerns, or forecasting our economic outlook. It is like ‘one stop shopping.’ It also gives us an opportunity to communicate with our labor partners, helping us to effectively and efficiently run our business, especially in this economic slow-down. It gives us the ability to participate in what is important to us on an individual basis, but also helps to navigate our industry in the direction we need to go collectively.” CONNstruction / Summer 2011 / 13

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CONNstruction - Summer 2011

CONNstruction - Summer 2011
Restoring Craftsmanship
How Hiring Preference Laws Could Impair Quality Craftsmanship
The Disappointing Performance of the NLRB
Specialty Contractors Benefi t from AGC and Vice Versa
New Life for Old Buildings
Maintaining the Tradition
Developing the FutureDeveloping the Future
New Perils for Contractors in the ‘Greening’ of Connecticut
The Associated General Contractors of Connecticut Annual Meeting – February 2011
Senator Richard Blumenthal at CCIA
CONNDOT Paving Conference
Index to Advertisers

CONNstruction - Summer 2011