Alabama Construction News

JUL-SEP 2017

Alabama Construction News is the states only bimonthly magazine dedicated to the commercial construction industry.

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61 JUL-SEP 2017 AL CONSTRUCTION NEWS JOURNAL THE ANTICIPATED 2017 ALABAMA Facilities Directors & Constructors Conference is coming up in October. To be held once again at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa, the fourth annual event is expected to draw well over 100 attendees for a jam-packed agenda. Thus far, numerous speakers and panelists have been confirmed to share their thoughts and best practices on a variety of critical topics, from workforce development and craft training to retail property management and the historic tax credit. "This conference is an educational opportunity," said Frank Barnes, director of the Division of Construction Management for the Department of Finance for the state of Alabama. "The topics discussed here are invaluable as they give me information to help me do my job better. Everybody here is in the same business and faces the same Facilities Directors & Constructors Conference 2017 Tom Love of the University of Alabama (UA) Facilities and Construction Department also spoke to members, and the overwhelming message of his presentation is the magnitude of expansions the campus is not only undergoing, but forecasting. "It's important for the university to engage our construction industry partners to make all this work happen," said Love. "We want to be sure everyone is aware of the future projects and able to help support and participate in making UA a great place and a wonderful environment." Roger Tutterow, Ph.D., professor of economics and director of Econometric Center at the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University also provided the membership with an in-depth look at market trends impacting Alabama and the entire southeast in areas such as retail, manufacturing, health care, education, multi-family and public sector work. He also talked about workforce shortages. "One thing that is common to both residential and nonresidential contractors is the challenge of attracting and retaining skilled labor," he said. "There is a concern that we are not replacing skilled workers in the specialty trades as quickly as they are exiting." Also during the Convention, attendees were provided with a strategic plan update, which outlined the association's plans for workforce development, membership growth, governmental affairs and craft training. This information was presented by Chairman of the Board David Pugh, and attendees were allowed an opportunity to make suggestions for ABC of Alabama's Executive Committee to review during its fall strategic planning revision. Members in attendance walked away from this year's Convention with great insight and stronger relationships with others in the set of problems, which means we have the opportunity to discuss and learn about many different approaches of solving problems. Another positive reason for attending is the networking opportunities. You can create relationships with others in the business, so you can help them, and they can help you." Adds Deepa Bhate, CEO of Building & Earth, "What I like about this conference is that we have so many decision makers in attendance. All facets of the industry— everyone involved with a project—come together to sit down, discuss the challenges and come up with the solutions that work for everybody." The conference—which is a one-day event this year to be held on October 3—includes a number of notable speakers, including Barnes; Tom Love, assistant vice president of the Construction Administration for the University of Alabama; Katherine Lynn, assistant finance director for the state of Alabama; and Roger Tutterow, Ph.D., professor of economics and director of Econometric Center at the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University. "This conference provides a collaborative forum for facility managers, contractors, vendors and design professionals to discuss a variety of topics critical to our industry," said Stephen Franklin, senior project manager for Brasfield & Gorrie. "This format affects positive change not only in the construction process, but also in the long- term maintenance and operation of facilities across the state." Adds Phil Yance, vice president at Robins & Morton, "We look forward to being a part of this event again this year, and we're excited to come to Montgomery for the annual conference. It's a chance for architects, engineers, construction managers and other industry experts from across the state to come together and share new ideas and trends with facilities directors. Each facilities director has similar responsibilities, and this conference helps to provide them with information to make their jobs easier. If they are planning, or are in the middle of, a capital program or building program, it's a great opportunity to share ideas on processes and best practices." industry. "There is so much value in attending the Convention," said Joe Meads, principal/ owner of Sain Engineering. "Attending afforded me the opportunity to get to know some of the general contractors better. We do a lot of design-build business, so the networking opportunities Convention provided gave us an opportunity to get to better develop many relationships." A T H A N K Y O U T O O U R 2 0 1 7 C O N V E N T I O N S P O N S O R S B&G Equipment and Supply Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, LLP Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC Dunn Construction Company Eldeco, Inc. HRA Risk Services, LLC Ivey Mechanical Company, LLC Marathon Electrical Contractors, Inc. Trinity Contractors, Inc. Vulcan Materials Company

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