BY BOB LANHAM
One of the primary responsibilities of the AGC of America president is to travel the country to chapter and member functions, fly the AGC of America flag and help spread the word on how your national association is working for you. Since there were not very many opportunities to travel this year, my colleagues on AGC of America’s board decided to give me a mulligan and have extended my ten-ure as your national president for another 12 months.
Even though I have not done much traveling, it has still been an extremely busy — and successful — year. When I started my term as presi-dent last March, I wanted to focus on how getting members to engage today was the best way to ensure a stronger tomorrow. The past year has demonstrated just how powerful that engagement can be.
Halfway through my term, I am proud to report that we have accomplished a tremendous amount, thanks in large part because of the engagement of so many members. For example, member engagement helped us keep America building in most parts of the country by helping us make the case at the federal, state and local levels that construction is essential and safe. Your engagement helped us reinforce that safety message by implement-ing new coronavirus safety procedures and participating in our nationwide coronavirus safety stand down in April.
Thanks to the engagement of thousands of members, we made sure construction firms could qualify for federal Paycheck Protection Pro-gram loans and have worked since then to ensure loans are properly forgiven and remain tax free as originally intended. Member engagement helped us secure an additional $10 billion in highway infrastructure funding at the end of 2020 to sustain hard hit state transportation budgets.
Meanwhile, member engagement helped us deliver a host of successful virtual education offerings and meetings throughout the year. This virtual engagement kept members informed and connected while allowing your association to modernize and remain relevant. In other words, your en-gagement made 2020 a far better year for the industry than it could have been.
Despite the many successes during the past 12 months, we still have a lot to accomplish as we work to rebuild our economy and our nation. That is why I am calling on all of you to remain engaged. As government coffers continue to be impacted by the pandemic, we need members to engage in urging Congress and the administration to backfill depleted state and local construction budgets. We need you to engage in push-ing for coronavirus liability reform and new federal infrastructure funding.
We will also need members to remain engaged in pushing back against needless new regulatory burdens, including the PRO Act. We need your engagement in protecting workers, by participating, for example, in National Construction Safety Week beginning on May 3 this year. And we need members to sign up to receive, and act on, AGC of America’s Legislative Alerts. You can sign up for those updates at advocacy.agc.org.
We need your engagement in following AGC of America’s social media channels on Twitter (@AGCofA), Facebook and LinkedIn, for example, and to use the AGC Connection app. And we need your continuing engagement in our broad range of virtual and in-person education offerings, meetings and events planned for this year. This of course includes attending our annual convention, which is now taking place the week of September 20 in Orlando.
We have seen how much our association can accomplish when we engage. When we act as a single, unified industry voice, we can accom-plish quite a bit. Working together we overcame many challenges during the past 12 months. And I am confident that, together, we will engage today to ensure an even stronger tomorrow.