Concrete Products

NOV 2017

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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8 • November 2017 www.concreteproducts.com Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has appointed Asso- ciated Builders & Contractors President Mike Bellaman to the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion, stemming from an executive order President Donald Trump issued earlier this year with an eye to strengthening the U.S. labor force. "This an opportune moment for the next generation of Ameri- can workers and a valuable step for the economy," says Bellaman. "Regardless of their access to higher education, all Americans deserve the chance to acquire a variety of skills that can lead to high-paying and fulfilling careers. As the president promised in his election night acceptance speech, every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential under his administration. That sentiment will drive this task force as we work to promote affordable education and rewarding jobs." Joining him on the 23-member task force are counterparts with business and organized-labor groups, chiefly U.S. Chamber of Com- merce's Thomas Donohue and National Association of Manufacturers' Jay Timmons, along with North America's Building Trades Unions' Sean McGarvey and United Brotherhood of Carpenters' Douglas McCa- rron. According to Executive Order 13801, they and fellow task force members will submit to the White House proposals focused on: federal initiatives to promote apprenticeships; administrative and legislative reforms facilitating apprenticeship program formation and success; effective strategies for creating industry-recognized apprenticeships; and, effective strategies for amplifying and encouraging private-sec- tor initiatives to promote apprenticeships. The task force comes at a critical time for industries like construction, which employs about 7.5 million people. By ABC estimates, the industry needs to hire 500,000 skilled workers to fill a backlog of existing jobs. Vacancies could balloon to more than one million if Congress and President Trump approve a major infrastructure bill. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS AGENCIES Labor Department organizes Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion EPA PUSHES BACK ON LITIGIOUS GROUPS A new directive stands to alter the approach of Environmental Pro- tection Agency headquarters and region office staff to suits and legal maneuvers surrounding enforcement of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and other federal laws. "The days of regulation through litigation are over," says EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who issued the directive as the first step in ending 'sue and settle' practices. "We will no longer go behind closed doors and use consent decrees and settlement agreements to resolve lawsuits filed against the Agency by special interest groups where doing so would circumvent the regulatory process set forth by Congress. Additionally, gone are the days of routinely paying tens of thousands of dollars in attorney's fees to these groups." An EPA announcement on the directive noted how special inter- est groups have customarily used lawsuits, outside the regulatory process, that seek to force federal agencies to issue regulations that advance their interests and priorities. "We save thousands with Solimar aerators." – Jerry Hayes, Ingram Ready-Mix Save on material costs and load faster with Solimar aerators. Cement flows freely when fluidized with our system that is easy to retrofit to existing silos, bins or hoppers. Weigh-ups go faster when constituent materials are fluidized with Solimar aerators. Material Aeration Wall Vibration Compressed Air DISTRIBUTORS WANTED Bring the Solimar cost-savings to your customers.

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