February 15, 2021
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Pro Act Reintroduced in Congress - Contact Your Elected Officials Now!

On February 4, the misleadingly named Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act was reintroduced in Congress. This legislation would dismantle the delicate balance of federal labor policy that has endured for decades by providing unions with additional economic weapons without regard to their detrimental impact on an employee’s right to free choice and privacy and an employer’s ability to effectively manage its operations regardless of whether it is a union or open shop firm.

OCA and its national affiliate, AGC have made it easy for you to contact your elected officials about this problematic proposed legislation. Click the following link, TAKE ACTION to tell your members of Congress to oppose this anti-worker, anti-privacy, and anti-recovery legislation. Please tell your colleagues and peers in the industry to take action at advocacy.agc.org/proact or by texting "AGCA" to 52886.

To review a summary of the proposed legislation, click here.



News
Transportation Bill Introduced

House Bill 74, the transportation budget bill, was introduced last week in the Ohio House of Representatives. ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks testified in support of the bill and provided a general overview. Some key highlights from the testimony specific to funding include:

• As no surprise, traffic volumes in 2020 were down significantly compared to the previous year. The lowest point was in April when volumes decreased by 44.5 percent.

• At the lowest point, state motor fuel tax receipts declined by 33 percent when compared to original projections.

• From March – November, reductions in revenue ranged from $4 million to $62 million.

• The total loss of projected funding from March - November has been nearly $200 million.

• For the 2022-2023 biennium, ODOT is anticipating a revenue reduction of 9 percent, or $174 million from previous estimates for fiscal year 2022 and a reduction of 8 percent, or $159 million for fiscal year 2023.

• With state, federal, and bond revenues the total program for fiscal year 2022 is estimated at $2.495 billion. The amount for fiscal year 2023 is estimated at $2.981 billion.

• Broken down by category, spending for pavements will total more than $900 million annually. Bridge funding will be $260 million each year. Major new spending targets will be $100 million, down from the anticipated $150 million, in both years. The local and safety programs will see $357 million and $159 million a year, respectively. The remaining roughly $950 million will be dedicated to operating expenses.

Besides allocating funding for the upcoming biennium, the transportation budget is also an opportunity for ODOT to address any needed statutory or regulatory changes. In this year’s proposal, ODOT is seeking to modify bridge inspection requirements. Ohio is the only state that requires bridges to be inspected every 12 months. The bill would change that timeframe to no later than every 24 months to reflect federal standards. There is also a proposed changes to the force account law regarding small landslide repairs. The change would allow ODOT to forgo an estimate for these projects and instead have clearer guidance on what work they can/cannot perform using a pre-defined “scope of work” metrics similar to those currently in law for bridge and culvert projects.

Also a part of the bill is Governor DeWine’s Hand-Free Ohio initiative. This proposal would change Ohio’s distracted driving law to make driving while handling any electronic wireless device a primary offense. Ohio and Nebraska are the only states with secondary enforcement laws for distracted driving. While speaking to this issue, the Director shared that while traffic volumes declined in 2020, traffic deaths rose seven percent. Ohio ended the year with 1,238 deaths, an increase of 83 over 2019 levels. Traffic deaths have risen six of the past seven years despite safer vehicle technology. And, so far this year traffic deaths appear to be up again. Preliminary numbers for January show 28 more deaths this year than last. Addressing distracted driving will hopefully slow this alarming trend.

As always, we will closely monitor the transportation budget process and provide input. Please contact Michelle Holdgreve (mholdgreve@ohiocontractors.org) with any questions or if you hear from any legislators directly with any comments/concerns.


Free Workers Comp Webinar for OCA Members

CompManagement is offering the following workers’ compensation webinar to OCA and its members in March. There is no cost to attend the session.

MANAGING WORKERS' COMPENSATION IN THE TIME OF COVID-19

Designed for both private and public employers.

Everyone knows that these are “unprecedented times”, and the pandemic has touched all our lives in some way. We have gathered the current statistics on COVID-19 in OH along with the most frequently asked questions about how this pandemic impacts the way you manage your program. We will touch on topics from payroll reporting to claim allowance and issues involved with remote workers.

March 4

2 - 3 p.m. EST
 

This session has been certified by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) for 1-hour of the 2-hour safety training requirement for group and group retrospective-rated employers. To be eligible for the BWC safety training requirement credit, the attendee must remain in the session for at least 75% of the total session time.

For questions regarding a webinar, please email seminarrsvp@sedgwick.com.

Three business days prior to the webinar date, you will receive an email from seminarrsvp@sedgwick.com. The email will include detailed instructions on how to join the webinar along with a copy of the presentation (if applicable). Please be sure to add this email address to your Safe Sender email file to ensure receipt.

If the 75% qualification is met for workers' compensation, we will send a certificate of attendance via email within 3 business days of the session date.

Please note: our client education program is intended as an educational opportunity for clients of CompManagement only unless otherwise communicated during the promotion, registration, or confirmation of each topic.


Ransomware Webinar - Feb. 25th

Would you know what to do if your company was a ransomware target? Register now for OCA's upcoming virtual program that will give you information to help with this growing concern.

Connie Matthews Reynolds, Founder/CEO of ReynCon, LLC, REST-ReynCon Educational Services & Training and Kent King, Product Owner for the Workforce Development Cybersecurity program at Columbus State Community College will present Ransomware: What happens when all your computer systems are unusable?

 
Connie Matthews Reynolds
Bio
 
Kent King
Bio
OCA will be offering this program on Thursday, Feb. 25 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. – feel free to invite anyone in your company that is involved in securing your IT systems. There is no cost to attend.

Register here, or click here for the full program details. For more information about the program contact OCA Director of Chapter Development Melanie Kitchen by emailing mkitchen@ohiocontractors.org.


OCA Akron-Canton and Eastern Ohio Chapters Award Total of Seven Scholarships Totaling $13,500

The OCA Akron-Canton and Eastern Ohio Chapter Executive Committees are pleased to have recently awarded six local students with a total of $13,500 in scholarship money. One of the students received an award from both chapters.

We invite you to click here and view the Akron-Canton Chapter recipients and click here to meet the Eastern Ohio Chapter recipients!

Congratulations to all the students that recently received scholarships!

We appreciate the constant support of our chapter members and college educators that help promote OCA, and this opportunity, to our future workforce. All scholarships were funded through member donations and awarded based on criteria including demonstrated interest in working for our local industry, and financial need.

For more information about OCA Chapter Scholarships, contact Director of Chapter Development Melanie Kitchen by emailing her at mkitchen@ohiocontractors.org.


New Health Care Benefit Program

In response to requests from members, OCA has endorsed an exciting new service to assist members with their health insurance needs. OCA staff participated in the program in 2020; after vetting it first-hand, we are ready to offer this program to OCA member firms.

We will be officially rolling out this program to members March 1, 2021. The link below shares basic details, and more information will be coming your way in the weeks to come.

Informational Flyer - Click here.

Can’t wait to get more information? Contact Lynda Pomeroy at 614-488-0724, or send an email to lpomeroy@ohiocontractors.org


The Road Ahead - Conaway Conference 2021 Registration - March 2 - 4, 2021

The Conaway Conference is going virtual and it is shaping up to be a great one. Three half days of great speakers, presentations, educational sessions and industry updates. Because we are going virtual in 2021 there are a number of new opportunities for you to share your message with an anticipated 400+ attendees to this new and engaging event. Logo banners in the virtual lobby and booth space in the live and interactive exhibit hall. Registration closes on February 26.

Conference Agenda  Registration

Hall of Fame Scholarship Program Applications being Accepted

Since 1996, OCA has awarded nearly $275,000 in scholarships to support promising future talent studying for careers in Civil Engineering, Construction Technology and Construction Management. Scholarships are available for students with graduating goals set at the associate and bachelor's degree levels. OCA recognizes the value that our Hall of Fame Scholarship recipients bring to our industry. These scholarships are for students enrolled in a degree program in Civil Engineering, Construction Technology, Construction Management, or related studies.

Endorsement from an OCA member, while not a requirement, gives an applicant extra consideration. Applicants will have the option to update member recommendations; you can also email them directly to: lpomeroy@ohiocontractors.org

Please share this link for registration information https://form.jotform.com/210343905215143 along with this link for required faculty recommendations https://form.jotform.com/90076910819158

For questions, contact Lynda Pomeroy at OCA: 614-488-0724, or send an email lpomeroy@ohiocontractors.org


OCA Chapter Work Forecast Programs

Upcoming Virtual OCA Chapter programs to feature industry outlook information from local and national presenters and all members are invited OCA Chapter Work Forecast Programs will be held virtually this year. This gives members the opportunity to attend chapter programs and access information from around the state without traveling. We are also excited to have some national presenters joining us as some of our featured speakers.

Members are always welcome to attend chapter events outside of their designated chapter, whether in-person or virtual, and we hope to have some new names joining us for our virtual programs! For more information about each chapter Work Forecast program that is currently open for registration, or to register, see below.

Current Chapter Work Forecast Programs open to all members for registration are:

2/16/21 - Cleveland Chapter – click here for the invitation
2/18/21 - Dayton Chapter – click here for the invitation
3/11/21 - Eastern Ohio Chapter - click here for the invitation

Additional chapter Work Forecast programs will be posted on the OCA website when registration opens. For more information about OCA Chapter events, contact Director of Chapter Development, Melanie Kitchen, by emailing her at mkitchen@ohiocontractors.org.


 
 The Ohio Contractors Association's Northwest Chapter and the Laborers' District Council of Ohio would like to invite Northwest Ohio Chapter Contractors to a unique webinar, scheduled for Tuesday, March 9th at 9:00 a.m.

During the webinar, contractors will receive vital information to enable your business to win more projects.

Here's what you can expect to learn from this session:

* Laborers' Health & Safety Fund
* Fair Contracting Staff
* Apprenticeship Standards and Recruitment
* Training and Upgrading Opportunities
* Health and Pension Benefits Available


Click here for a program flyer and registration link. Please contact Vince Irvin at 740-504-2707 with any questions about the virtual program.  

OCA Chapter Scholarship Currently Available

OCA’s nine Chapters award scholarships at various times of the year throughout the state, totaling nearly $30,000. Scholarships typically range from $1,000 to $2,500 per award. Currently, one OCA Chapter is accepting scholarship applications. Students pursuing construction-related careers in Ohio’s heavy highway industry are encouraged to apply.

The following current chapter scholarship application is available:
 
Dayton Chapter - click here for the application

Please help us get this information out to our future workforce! If you know of students working or going to school in any of the above chapter areas that would benefit, please pass this information along. For more information about OCA Chapter Scholarships, please contact Director of Chapter Development Melanie Kitchen at mkitchen@ohiocontractors.org.   

Quick Links to On-line OCA Resources

•   Current Ohio Contractor Magazine
•   Safety Resources
•   Labor & Employment Information
•   OCA President's Commentary
 



Upcoming Events
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