Tag Archive for 'CONEXPO-CON-AGG 2020'

AEM Reports: WHAT LEADING CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES ARE DOING IN THE WAKE OF COVID-19

As COVID-19 (coronavirus) brings countless businesses to a grinding halt, the construction industry remains resilient — even in the face of tremendous challenge.

Unlike many industries where “working from home” and “drive-thru service” are feasible countermeasures, construction firms have jobsites to run. Chris Hopper, executive vice president and general manager of Skanska, told the Cincinnati Business Courier, “You can’t hang drywall from your house.”

Skanska is a New York-based construction and development firm with projects throughout the country. The company employs more than 10,000. Skanska has developed a multi-faceted COVID-19 response plan to help keep employees safe and jobsites operational.

We looked at what Skanska and other leading construction firms are doing in the wake of COVID-19.

14 ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF A COVID-19 RESPONSE PLAN FOR CONTRACTORS

  1. Understand and follow CDC guidelines
  2. Place restrictions on travel
  3. Develop screening measures for employees who have recently traveled
  4. Instruct employees to stay home if they are feeling sick
  5. Place restrictions on in-person meetings and other employee gatherings
  6. Encourage employees to work from home if feasible
  7. Train all employees on the 6-foot distancing rule, no handshakes, etc.
  8. Establish thorough cleaning protocols at offices and jobsites
  9. Increase availability of cleaning supplies and handwashing stations at offices and jobsites
  10. Donate N95 respirator masks to local hospitals
  11. Tell elected officials to put partisan bickering aside in this very critical moment of national crisis
  12. Establish dedicated and empowered COVID-19 response teams
  13. Stay up to date on both federal and local COVID-19 developments
  14. Maintain clear, honest and ongoing communication with employees and subcontractors, and perhaps clients and suppliers

BEST PRACTICES TO HELP MITIGATE EXPOSURE

Social distancing is a critical component of any COVID-19 response plan. Turner Construction Company, a New York-based firm that employs roughly 10,000, has begun limiting the size of employee gatherings and has already put a stop to large group meetings. Attending events such as conferences has also been suspended. Remote conferencing technology is now being utilized for meetings. On that note, Turner Construction has expanded its network capacity and training tools to accommodate this surge in online network activity.

Sometimes an essential meeting that requires in-person attendance must take place. Turner Construction mandates that these meetings occur in spaces allowing for adequate social distancing. The CDC recommends that people remain roughly 6 feet apart. Additionally, Turner Construction is adapting standard operating procedures to limit the number of employees in an elevator or hoist at a given time.

Harkins, an employee-owned construction company based in Maryland, constantly reminds employees about the 6-foot rule. Additionally, sick employees are sent home immediately. All gatherings such as lunches are forbidden, and all meetings are now conducted remotely via Microsoft Teams.

Monitoring employees who travel has been another point of focus for construction companies.

Skanska issued a ban on all international travel through at least April. Domestic travel has also been greatly limited.

Turner Construction has restricted all business travel to any CDC Level 3 country, which is a country deemed to have widespread transmission. Also, if any employee had traveled to or had close contact with anyone who traveled to one of these countries, that employee is not allowed onto a Turner jobsite or office for 14 days from the date of contact. Taking it a step further, any employee who exhibits any of the common COVID-19 symptoms is instructed to stay away from Turner jobsites and facilities. Symptoms include fever, cough and restricted breathing.

PROMOTE GOOD HYGIENE

Hygiene has also been at the top of the list for Turner Construction. All jobsites are required to provide access to handwashing stations. Additionally, staff has been trained to religiously clean and disinfect frequently touched objects such as lunch tables, coffee machines and door knobs.

Harkins has instituted a long list of jobsite protocols to help improve awareness. For example, CDC and OSHA guidelines are now posted in all conspicuous locations on jobsites. Furthermore, jobsite leaders are trained to closely monitor employee behavior to ensure that the guidelines are being followed.

Harkins has also taken steps to step up jobsite cleaning. Trailers are now cleaned daily. Furthermore, a commercial cleaning service is brought in to clean and disinfect certain areas of a jobsite if COVID-19 exposure is suspected to have taken place. Harkins has also increased the volume of hand sanitizing products deployed to jobsites.

ESTABLISH DEDICATED TEAMS — AND EMPOWER THEM

Skanska has established a Coordination Response Team in each market it serves. Teams are tasked with monitoring COVID-19 developments, sharing information with employees and business partners, and implementing protocols.

Turner Construction has also established a dedicated COVID-19 Action Team. Efforts to support employees are an essential part of this team’s focus. Support is a key element that can get overshadowed in the midst of everything that is going on. This crisis has been taking a tremendous toll on many. Employers can play a constructive role in helping people cope.

On that note, Turner’s COVID-19 Action Team has gathered information to help employees guard against coronavirus-related scams, which are unfortunately emerging on a regular basis. The company has established a “fraud alert page” where employees can receive up-to-date information.

MAINTAIN OPEN, HONEST COMMUNICATION

Skanska is utilizing its internal company website (intranet) to provide general updates on COVID-19. The intranet is also being used to reinforce guidelines and standard operating procedures. This same information is also available through the company’s mobile app.

As reported by the Cincinnati Business Courier, telling employees to stay home when they are not feeling well is a critical piece to maintaining a safe, functioning jobsite. To reinforce the importance of this policy, HGC Groups, a large regional general contractor based in Cincinnati, has temporarily stopped recording unscheduled absences. In other words, an employee who thinks they may have COVID-19 symptoms will not be penalized for calling in sick to work.

LIFE HAS CHANGED, BUT STILL GOES ON

In Orlando, Fla., work on a $2.15 billion airport project continues amidst the COVID-19 crisis. As reported by the Orlando Business Journal, several guidelines have been put into place so work can continue:

  • Employees showing signs of illness are sent home
  • Additional handwashing stations have been made available
  • More frequent cleaning of high touch point areas like stairwells
  • Administrative staffs are evaluated for possible shift adjustments to limit personal interaction

The economic toll of COVID-19 has already set in. That said, some financial analysts expect that industries like manufacturing and construction will be among the last to begin issuing layoffs. That is due to the significant shortage of skilled workers these industries have been experiencing.

Rather, construction firms are expected to take proactive measures to help protect their workers and ongoing projects. The best practices outlined in this article showcase what leading construction firms are already doing in this regard.

LOBBY FOR RELIEF … AND LEAD BY EXAMPLE

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) says it has been lobbying for the construction industry to be deemed “essential” as government officials issue new mandates for certain business closures. AGC has also expressed support for a $2 trillion relief package that, as of March 23, the U.S. Senate had failed to pass on numerous occasions.

In addition, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), show owner and producer of CONEXPO-CON/AGG, says it is working closely with federal, state and local officials to make sure they take immediate steps to contain the spread of COVID-19, support equipment manufacturers and their employees, maintain vital supply chains and ensure the country’s economic resilience. AEM sent a letter to the President requesting that the federal government designate equipment manufacturers, suppliers, and dealers as “essential” and providing state and local jurisdictions with a clear and consistent federal directive moving forward.

AEM continues to urge Congress and the President to take action on the following policies that would support the construction industry:

It is important for construction companies to help bring this message to state and federal leaders. The sooner Congress comes together to pass relief, the sooner financial markets can be stabilized.

While businesses and citizens wait for our nation’s leaders to put their partisan bickering aside and come together in the face of this unprecedented national crisis, the construction industry is showing that it is possible to put the nation’s interests ahead your own.

The CEO of 3M recently told CNBC that he was disappointed that N95 respirator masks are still on store shelves while hospitals face a shortage. To be fair, that could simply be the result of inventory that already existed in the pipeline. Regardless, it is up to retailers to decide if it is in the nation’s best interest to redirect that inventory to local health care facilities.

Some construction companies have already determined that it is in the nation’s best interest.

An ABC television affiliate in Columbus, Ohio, recently reported that area construction companies have answered Vice President Mike Pence’s call to redirect respirator masks to hospitals. More construction companies around the country can follow suit by simply reaching out to their local hospitals and health care facilities.

That is leadership by example, and the construction industry does it as well as anybody.

By adopting the COVID-19 prevention protocols outlined in this article, construction companies can continue leading by example — all while helping to “flatten the curve” and help the nation emerge from this crisis.

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CONEXPO CON/AGG and IFPE 2020 to Take Place in March

Registration is still open for the co-located CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2020 exhibitions, North America’s premiere events for the construction industries and the fluid power, power transmission and motion control industries. CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE 2020 will be held March 10-14 in Las Vegas.

Both CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE have already set exhibit space records and will feature industry-leading education programs. Several show ticket options are available, and all tickets include a monorail pass. New for 2020 is the opportunity to mix and match education sessions between CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE for one price.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE come around every three years for a can’t-miss event. No other shows bring together as many segments of the construction industries and of the fluid power, power transmission and motion control industries in one place.

Attendees will have up-close access to the leading manufacturers and suppliers, latest product innovations, and knowledge resources to help their businesses thrive. For 2020:

  • The Tech Experience returns with two locations.
  • The show campus has expanded with the new Festival Grounds for a total of 10 areas to explore.
  • Plenty of show shuttles and hotel shuttles will run during the event, plus information stands and staff will help attendees easily navigate the show campus.
  • CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE make it easy to prepare with an interactive online exhibitor directory and a show mobile app that will continuously synch to your online customizable show planner.

Education is always a vital component of both CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE to help attendees not only survive, but thrive in a changing and global industry.

Attendees at the 2020 shows can take advantage of more than 180 education sessions packed with timely and actionable information, developed with the guidance of leading industry groups, and delivered by industry experts. 

New for 2020 are mix-and-match sessions between CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE for company teams to cost-effectively obtain learning sessions targeted to their needs.

“The line-up of programming is not only larger than it has ever been but includes a fresh line-up of speakers stacked side-by-side with core programming that is always highly attended,” said Eileen Dickson, Vice President of Education, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association and CONEXPO-CON/AGG Education Committee chair.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 education features 10 tracks covering a variety of equipment applications, site development, fleet management, business best practices, technology, safety, and attracting and retaining talent.

IFPE education is grouped in two tracks: Hydraulics and Pneumatics at Work and The Business of Fluid Power. Its popular College Courses return, and new is an IFPE Research Symposium.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG Education – Targeting the Construction Industries

CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 education tracks will offer the latest trends and best practices focused on: aggregates; asphalt; concrete; cranes, rigging and aerial lifts; earthmoving and site development; equipment management and maintenance; business management; and safety, plus technology solutions and attracting, engaging and retaining talent.

“The education committee took great care in putting together a program that grows attendee knowledge on building their business on all fronts, whether the technical skills needed in the field or best practices to build their business,” said Graham Brent, CEO of the NCCCO Foundation and CONEXPO-CON/AGG Education Committee vice chair.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 education includes:

  • Driving New Innovation at Complacent Companies – James Benham, JB Knowledge
  • Drones on Construction Sites for All Contractors – Ryan Murguia/Zach Pieper, Quantum Land Design
  • Gain a Competitive Advantage Through Construction Technology – Tauhira Hoossainy, Milwaukee Tool
  • How to Win the War for Talent – Gregg Schoppman, FMI
  • Safety Training Ninja – Regina McMichael, The Learning Factory, Inc.
  • Technology Trends: Lessons Learned – Helga Jacobsen, United Rentals
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Construction Businesses Fail – Larry Kokklenberg, Center for Business Development

IFPE Education – Focused on Fluid Power

The IFPE College Courses emphasize hands-on technical knowledge on the effective use of hydraulics in mobile equipment. Content includes Fundamentals of Hydraulic Systems; Electro Hydrostatic Actuation; Safety Hydraulics, Best Practices for Modern Machinery; Hydraulics in the Digital Age: Hydraulic Fluid Properties, Efficiency and Contamination Control; and Digital Design.

The IFPE Research Symposium is hosted by IFPE co-owner National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) and runs during lunch (11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) March 11-13. Sessions will showcase the latest fluid power research at U.S. universities being funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to improve energy efficiency of off-road vehicle hydraulic systems.

“We focused on developing education programs that offer attendees the latest ideas and innovations in fluid power technology, applications and research. Our classes and sessions deliver critical information for engineers and others involved in the design and manufacturing process,” said Eric Lanke, President/CEO, NFPA. 

IFPE 2020 education includes:

  • Additive Manufacturing – Vince Anewenter, Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • Industry of the Future – Prasad Ganorkar, McKinsey & Company
  • IoT – Sharing Data Across Customer Boundaries – Adam Livesay, Elevat
  • Mobile Hydraulic Robotics – Autonomous Machines – Chris Woodard and John O’Neill, Danfoss
  • Workforce Development – Lynn Beyer, NFPA

Learn more and register online at conexpoconagg.com and ifpe.com.

6 Evolving Technologies in the Construction Industry

Attend the education session “A Construction Tech Odyssey – From Today to 2025” on Thursday, March 12, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. at CONEXPO-CON/AGG. 

REGISTER NOW

The construction industry – a very information intensive industry – has been slow to adopt technology. Until about six or seven years ago, technology was reserved for the back office and typically used for HR, accounting, contract writing, tracking change orders, with nothing to drive the information to the people actually doing the work in the field.

That changed because of several key reasons, explains Kris Lengieza, senior director, business development, at Procore, a leading provider of construction management software. These include:

  • The prevalence of mobile devices and new technologies in our personal lives and the realization that these could be used out in the field.
  • The growing labor shortage.
  • The need for the industry to be more productive.
  • Younger people coming into the industry with new ideas on how to do things.
  • The growth of technology and innovation companies.

Nowadays, construction companies are welcoming and embracing innovation. As old methodologies and science converge, new technologies improve efficiency, productivity and profits, he says.

By way of example, Lengieza cites the use of 360-degree cameras – also referred to as photospheres – to capture and document construction progress and check for safety issues, among other uses.

Webcams are being leveraged for enhanced visibility into a job site, adds the 15-year veteran of construction industry. Webcams can do a time lapse of a project, track weather data, detect schedule deviations of where a project should be and where it is and more.

Lengieza says drones are being used to survey construction sites and do progress tracking. Drone technology has capability to capture better, real-time necessary data in much less time than traditional methods take.

A big challenge in construction is collecting structured data to be able to do analytics, he notes. Nowadays, big data, cloud computing, labor tracking, project management software, cloud computing, etc., can be used to help understand how projects are progressing, see what projects require immediate attention, identify more efficient ways of doing things and enable faster, better decision making.

KEY TECHNOLOGIES FOR THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

According to Lengieza, the following are some of the new technologies evolving for use in the construction industry.

1. Virtual reality (VR) for training: VR training simulations replica situational experiences that can be difficult, expensive or dangerous to do deliver in real life, he points out. For example, training an apprentice iron worker how to weld is typically done with him standing on the ground.

In real life, that apprentice might have to go up 30 stories, walk out on a beam, receive a piece of steel and weld it, and that is very a different situation, says Lengieza. You don’t want to expose an apprentice to that risk and danger without proper training.

VR is also being used for construction machine operating training, he adds. This eliminates the need to transport students to locations and equipment and reduces the chances of damaging very expensive machines.

2. Augmented Reality (AR): This is taking data and information out into the field. It involves using a spatial/virtual reality headset that lets the wearer see and interact with digital content at a jobsite by overlaying holograms or 3D models over the real world.

For example, says Lengieza, a person can visualize what the design of the building is supposed to be, right alongside the current progress of the building to detect any problems or issues.

3. Robotic technology: This is currently being used to automate processes and increase productivity for such jobs as welding, demolition, drywall hanging, brick laying and masonry assistance (lifting concrete blocks) but it is not commonplace, he says. He envisions robotic technology in rover and data collection applications evolving more rapidly in the construction industry.

4. Automation technology: The mining industry is using this technology to have haul trucks respond to calls to the shovel, move into position and haul to dump points, observes Lengieza. Development is happening with backhoes, bulldozers, excavators and other construction vehicles so that they can operate themselves and make construction safer and faster.

5. Machine learning: This is being used to more efficiently – and with greater accuracy – analyze and categorize data project data, which in turn helps boost productivity, increase safety and reduce costs, says Lengieza.

A method of data analysis, machine learning is a process wherein computers, by creating algorithms, learn from previous data without being explicitly programmed.

6. Artificial intelligence (AI): This involves layering industry knowledge into machine learning so AI can think like a construction superintendent and, by way of example, make suggestions, he says. However, that is a ways off because there must be enough aggregated data to train AI models and then time has to be invested to evolve those models.

Attend the education session “A Construction Tech Odyssey – From Today to 2025” on Thursday, March 12, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. at CONEXPO-CON/AGG. 

https://www.conexpoconagg.com/visit/registration-and-pricing/

3 Secrets to Hiring Top Construction Talent

Attend the education session “Top 10 Secrets to Successful Hiring” on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at CONEXPO-CON/AGG.

REGISTER NOW

Top talent looks for career opportunities differently than they did a few years ago. This is largely attributable to technology. People have more access to information about job openings. There is also an increased level of employer transparency.

Websites like Indeed and Glassdoor have become quite influential. If you have a company with more than 100 employees, you’ll have an online presence whether you want one or not. Regardless of the size of your company, your online reputation has to be positive, which requires ongoing management. Some construction firms still don’t recognize this fact.

It’s also important to recognize the fact that traditional job postings aren’t as effective as they used to be. Studies have shown that job candidates often abandon the application process if it takes more than a few minutes. Part of that is because most postings are written from the employer’s point of view as opposed to the candidate’s, and we’re all moving at lightning speed today. The other part is that many employers fail to respond to job applicants in a timely fashion. As a result, people have been conditioned to distrust the traditional job posting and application process. Also, top performers no longer need to search job postings because industry connections contact them on a regular basis about solid career opportunities.

Construction firms can still attract top talent to their companies. They just need the right mindset and hiring process that accommodates today’s changes in candidate behavior.

We have assembled a list of top secrets to hiring top talent in the construction industry. Here’s a look at a few of them.

SECRET #1 – TREAT RECRUITING LIKE MARKETING AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Think about all of the planning and effort you put into client acquisition and retention. The same should be done for your employees. This takes commitment and consistency in doing the right things, such as proper outreach and follow-up, maintaining a strong brand and company culture, and creating career paths your employees and candidates can see. Finally, treat candidates exactly like prospective clients during your interview process.

SECRET #2 – BUILD A TALENT PIPELINE

It’s not enough to just put up a job posting or help wanted sign when you have a position to fill. Construction companies should be constantly building their talent pipeline.

To build a pipeline of future candidates for general labor or trades positions, it’s important to establish relationships with local high schools, technical schools and colleges. It’s also helpful to participate in workforce development programs in your area. In non-union areas, it is wise to consider an apprenticeship program.

With respect to office and management positions, there is competition for top talent. The first thing companies should do is “mine” the contacts of their employees. For example, ask your estimators to identify who they know to be good estimators. Collect their information and enter it into an applicant tracking system, or something simpler such as a Microsoft Outlook database or Excel spreadsheet.

After the list is developed, create some sort of communication mechanism, such as a quarterly company newsletter you can email to prospective employees. Let these people know what is going on with your company and the great projects you are working on. The goal is to keep it newsworthy while also creating some excitement around your company and culture.

Another good tactic is to connect with people on social media. For construction companies, Instagram and LinkedIn seem to be the most effective. A company Facebook page is also worth considering. Establish company pages that are regularly updated with newsworthy, engaging posts. Again, this takes commitment. But once you build up a community, you can start to post job openings that generate interest from top talent.

One other good tactic is to connect with your vendors, suppliers and consultants. They likely know people with the expertise you seek and can help you spread the word when you are looking for top talent.

SECRET #3 – CREATE BETTER JOB DESCRIPTIONS

When I speak to construction company leaders, I usually tell them to ditch the traditional job description. Most are fraught with “hiring bias” and prevent companies from attracting the best candidates for a given job.

For example, we had a client who was looking for a staff accountant to handle accounts payable, as well as prepare union payroll and reporting. The person writing the job description wanted to ask for at least three years of accounting experience, as well as an accounting degree from a top university. I immediately saw a disconnect.

I talked with the client about the most important performance outcomes of this position. The client cited the ability to meet deadlines, accurately enter information into the system, create accurate reports, and obtain the necessary approvals in a timely fashion. None of those essential performance outcomes really required three years of accounting experience, much less an accounting degree. So why did we want to limit our candidate pool to that? We could be missing out on some very detail-oriented people with great clerical and time-management skills.

I always advise clients to make a list of the top five or six performance outcomes a new hire must deliver in order to be successful. This is a road map to not only making a good hire, but attracting top performers to your company in the first place.

WANT TO LEARN MORE SECRETS TO SUCCESSFUL HIRING?

Be sure to attend my session at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020, North America’s largest construction trade show. It’s being held March 10-14 in Las Vegas. Visit CONEXPO/CON-AGG for more information.

Forecast For 2020 Is Definitely Not 20/20

By Greg Sitek

Forecasting usually uses a crystal ball for an all-inclusive overview, or a telescope for a long-range view, or a microscope for a finite, specific pinpoint view.

For 2020 a kaleidoscope is probably the correct instrument to use since forecasting anything with respect to the coming year is a virtual impossibility. Typically, there is the “what if” factor that points predictions in one direction or another. For 2020 there are more “what if” factors that stable ones.

Making predictions for the coming year are like shooting the ball in a pinball machine – you just don’t know where it’s going to go, what obstacles it’s going to hit, which direction it’s going to be forced into traveling. 

However, for the construction industries, there are a couple of certainties that will remain constant. For Example, March 10 through 14 ConExpo will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada and will be the biggest construction show ever with 2,800 exhibitors, 2,500,000 square feet and 150 education sessions.  

For our industries this is where I stop with the predictions. There are numerous bills, proposals, agreements, treaties, etc. waiting to be reviewed, revised, rewritten in and before congress waiting for congressional action all of which will have an impact not only on construction but our entire economy. 

According to Dodge Outlook Report we can expect an economic slowdown that will affect total construction growth.

Dodge Data & Analytics released its 2020 Dodge Construction Outlook, a mainstay in construction industry forecasting and business planning. The report predicts that total U.S. construction starts will slip to $776 billion in 2020, a decline of 4% from the 2019 estimated level of activity.

“The recovery in construction starts that began during 2010 in the aftermath of the Great Recession is coming to an end,” stated Richard Branch, Chief Economist for Dodge Data & Analytics. “Easing economic growth driven by mounting trade tensions and lack of skilled labor will lead to a broad based, but orderly pullback in construction starts in 2020. After increasing 3% in 2018 construction starts dipped an estimated 1% in 2019 and will fall 4% in 2020.”

“Next year, however, will not be a repeat of what the construction industry endured during the Great Recession. Economic growth is slowing but is not anticipated to contract next year. Construction starts, therefore, will decline but the level of activity will remain close to recent highs. By major construction sector, the dollar value of starts for residential buildings will be down 6%, while starts for both nonresidential buildings and non-building construction will drop 3%.”

In Contrast, AEM’s 2020 Outlook for Construction predicts “Steady and solid growth is likely to continue for the construction sector. As the second-largest in the world (behind China), the U.S. construction market is poised for 3.3 percent growth this year, 1.7 percent growth in 2020, and somewhere between 1.5 and 2 percent growth for the next five years. Residential construction remains a strong driver – it represents about 40 percent of the total market and, in the last four years, it’s seen double-digit growth. However, as of late, growth has slowed considerably.

“A lot of the optimism we saw in 2017 and 2018 seems to have evaporated,” said AEM Director of Market Intelligence Benjamin Duyck. “There really is no consensus to what the future truly holds.”

Tariffs are playing a role in the uncertainty, as is the need for a new comprehensive infrastructure package.

“Both political parties discuss this quite a bit, but nothing has materialized so far,” said Duyck. “It’s now expected for 2021 – and hopefully it comes soon, as most of the infrastructure spending, we see today occurs at the state and local level.”

“While the outlook for construction remains positive, enough factors are having a negative impact that uncertainty is still pervasive for the time being.”

AEM’s bottom line – “2019 has been a solid year for the economy overall, as well as the ag and construction sectors. A number of factors – global trade wars and protectionism being chief among them – are leading to increased concern that a recession is right around the corner. And while that likely isn’t the case, it’s not unreasonable to suggest one may arrive by 2021.”

Another certainty, there is an election scheduled for November 3, 2020 and there is more on what to expect in the January issues of the ACP magazines. We do have some excellent forecasts for you.