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Make the Most of It

Leverage your membership benefits by tapping into AGC of America

By Brian Midyett

n reflecting back over twenty years of volunteering in both General Contractors Association, or GCA, of Hawaii and Associated General Contractors, or AGC, of Alaska chapters, my knowledge and understanding of what AGC of America does for our industry never became clear until the last five years when I started attending the national-level events.

Whether your company is large or small, and whether you participate in the industry as a union contractor or open shop, membership with AGC has benefits for your firm and our industry on all levels. AGC of America is our industry’s “first responder” to bad legislation, federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration rulings, and harmful mandates that can affect our work and our bottom lines. AGC of America also liaisons with key leaders in the US Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Highway Administration, and other federal agencies to support partnerships with contractors and the agencies we work with.

With more than 27,000 firms—including 6,500 of America’s leading general contractors, nearly 9,000 specialty contractors, and almost 12,000 service providers and suppliers—AGC is the leading association for the construction industry.

Regarded as the “voice and choice” of the construction industry, AGC is one of the most visible organizations in the industry. Everyone who is a member of AGC Alaska is also automatically included in AGC of America Membership. Just like your AGC of Alaska membership, every employee in your organization is privy to all the benefits that come with AGC of America membership, including discounts on a variety of key products and services, along with member pricing on continuing education and professional development opportunities.

Training Opportunities Abound
Are you aware of the training opportunities available through AGC of America? Below are highlights of some of the valuable offerings:

AGC EDGE Training: Current offerings include “Project Management Development Program,” a five-unit interactive web course meant to train and prepare construction industry professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to increase their ability to work successfully with others and ensure project success. Another EDGE offering, “Building Information Modeling, or BIM, Education Program,” is designed to educate construction professionals in BIM concepts and processes.

Construction Supervision Fundamentals, or CSF, and the Project Management Development Program, or PMDP: These are the two other course tracks that can be used for development of front-line leaders in the construction industry. The CSF is a twenty-five-hour course that presents basic information and skills needed for successful construction supervision. The PMDP program is a step beyond the EDGE PMDP training, geared toward early-career project managers or aspiring project managers. The program also includes a Construction Project Manager course aimed at helping seasoned project managers advance their leadership abilities, discover new strategies, learn tactics for handling short- and long-term job responsibilities, and network with industry peers and construction professionals.

These opportunities are just the tip of the iceberg for what is out there in the way of education opportunities. The “Emerging Contractors Education” video series is a twelve-module series geared toward helping new, smaller contractors grow and develop their business. There are also free webinars covering up-to-date topics such as artificial intelligence (AI), employment authorization and immigration work visas, Women in Construction Study findings, and more.

Continuing Education Credits
I’ve touched on what AGC of America is, a few things they do that you might not be aware of, and a small slice of its educational opportunities, but now I would like to talk about how you get involved. Do you have an engineering license, American Institute of Architects continuing education requirement, Project Management Professional certification, or any other requirement for continuing education credits? If so, attend the AGC National Conference and sign up for any of the education tracks; it’s easy to gather six to ten professional development units over the course of the conference and meet and make new business contacts, learn about the best technology that is trending in the industry, and learn firsthand what AGC of America is doing for you in Washington DC.

In addition to the national conference there are several niche conference opportunities like the AGC Federal Contractors Conference or the upcoming AGC Construction Safety, Health & Environmental Conference, which is the industry’s foremost annual conference to hone in on the most critical compliance and risk issues impacting construction business.

Don’t Miss Out on Entering National Award Competitions
I’m excited to be your AGC of Alaska President this year; one of my favorite aspects of our Annual Conference is the Excellence in Construction and Excellence in Safety Awards. Every year I’m amazed at the difficult work in remote, austere environments performed by our members, along with the technical, complex work we showcase that rivals anything I have seen at the national level.

Did you know the AGC of Alaska Excellence Awards criteria is structured around similar categories that happen at the national level for the Build America Awards? For my final challenge: Let’s get some of our projects entered! Let’s get one of our projects awarded at a national level! It is my pleasure to be involved in AGC, and no one builds a stronger Alaska than AGC of Alaska!