AGC of California held its first Division and State Board of Directors meetings of 2017, followed by its annual Installation of Officers banquet, at the Silverado Resort & Spa in Napa February 2-3, 2017.
The State Board tackled a variety of issues, ranging from AGC’s top legislative program priority – securing passage of a transportation funding measure this year – to increasing member engagement and delivering bottom line value through its services in labor relations, regulatory, legal, and more.
Transportation Funding Spotlight
California Assemblyman Jim Frazier (Chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee) delivered the keynote address to State Directors on February 3rd. He discussed the continuing quest to pass a new transportation funding package in California as well as efforts to streamline the regulatory process and to “fix CEQA” (the California Environmental Quality Act).
On the heels of a failed attempt to pass a new transportation funding package last year, Frazier has since introduced Assembly Bill 1, a $6 billion transportation funding plan that would bring in revenue from various sources. In the Senate, Senator Jim Beall (chair of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee) introduced a similar measure, SB 1. Senator Beall was also present at an AGC reception February 2nd held in conjunction with the board meetings in Napa.
Assemblyman Frazier said he and Senator Beall are committed to working cooperatively, alongside the Governor and top legislative leadership, to ultimately “bring one plan together.” He had met with Gov. Brown and California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) Secretary Brian Kelly to discuss transportation funding just a few days prior. “I’m heartened by their desire to get this thing done,” said Frazier. “This is the number one priority in California.”
He cautioned, however, that “securing transportation funding this year is not a slam dunk. There are many in the capitol that want to see us be successful, but there are as many that don’t.” He urged the AGC contractors to “let your local (legislators) know what the success of this plan means to you and that you’ll have their back.”
Regulatory Streamlining Efforts
Assemblyman Frazier also noted that he is working to improve and fix CEQA and to introduce some oversight into regulatory agencies such as the California Air Resource Board (CARB) in order to increase their transparency and their use of internal performance standards to measure progress.
“The whole point is making sure that we change the culture in the capitol to be more business friendly. We are trying to create an opportunity for business to thrive here,” he added.
Caltrans Director Dougherty at Jt. Engineering Division
Transportation funding also took center stage in the AGC Joint Engineering Division meeting the day prior, when AGC heavy construction contractors heard from Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. He discussed the growth in the number of the state’s Self-Help counties in the recent election; four new counties (Merced, Monterey, Stanislaus and Santa Cruz) joined the ranks that have passed local sales tax measures to fund local projects.
Dougherty outlined several improved business practices in the agency and mentioned the recent Partnering success on the Willits Bypass project and others.
Subcontractors Panel Addresses Builders
During the concurrent AGC Building Division meeting, Chair Dina Kimble (Royal Electric) moderated a panel that featured subcontractor members John Gutierrez with Marina Landscape and Don Hartman with Royal Electric Company. They provided insight on the biggest challenges subcontractors face in the current environment and what they look for in clients and in the GCs with whom they choose to work.
Eric Anderton, The Construction Profit Blueprint, offered a presentation about millennials in the workforce. He shared insight on how employers can create an environment that will reduce turnover and increase growth and retention of this vital workforce segment.
AGC Officers Installation Banquet
A sellout crowd of well over 200 people turned out to welcome AGC of California’s leadership for 2017 during the Installation of Officers banquet on the evening of February 3rd.
Officers installed include President Mike Mencarini, Unger Construction Company, Sacramento; Senior Vice President Walt Johnson, K.G. Walters Construction Co., Inc. Santa Rosa; Vice President Jerome Di Padova, Skanska USA Civil West, Riverside; Treasurer Mike Blach, Blach Construction Co., San Jose; and Immediate Past President Jaimie Angus, Griffith Company, Brea. Tom Holsman serves as CEO of AGC of California.
AGC of California and its districts plan a variety of meetings and events in the year ahead. They include: the Spring Legislative and State Board Meetings May 8-9 in Sacramento; the Annual Conference in Indian Wells October 11-14; and the AGC Awards Banquet in Indian Wells October 14.
Event Photo Galleries:
President's Welcome Reception