Joanna Masterson's Articles

Proposed Death Tax Increase Targets Family-Owned Businesses

The U.S. Department of the Treasury issued proposed regulations targeting the valuation practices of family-owned businesses that would lead to dramatically higher estate and gift taxes by eliminating the use of discounts currently permitted.

Medical and Benefits Costs Are Top Concerns

Fifty-six percent of construction businesses surveyed for the 2016 Travelers Risk Index report they worry most about medical cost inflation and legal liability, followed by rising employee benefits costs and broad economic uncertainty. Rounding out the top eight construction business concerns are attracting and retaining talent, employee safety and workplace violence, legal and regulatory compliance, and cyber risk and data breaches.

Moderate Gains in Construction Spending Expected Through 2017

As the industry enters a more mature phase of its expansion, the 2017 Dodge Construction Outlook forecasts total U.S. construction starts will advance 5 percent to $713 billion, following gains of 11 percent in 2015 and an estimated 1 percent in2016.

Pave It Forward

In September, The PHILLIPS School in Annandale, Va., debuted $150,000 worth of repairs to its entrance, bus lanes and sidewalks as a result of the Heavy Construction Contractors Association’s annual “Pave It Forward!” charitable giving program.

How Do the Employee Benefits You Offer Aid Retention and Curb Turnover?

We could have the best programs in place, but if our employees can’t navigate the plan, it hurts them and our bottom line. Our internal benefits team provides education, claim assistance and even billing negotiations. 

Fighting Hunger One Can at a Time

In the past five years, Dixon Hughes Goodman (DHG), a public accounting firm with more than 2,000 employees in 12 states, has donated nearly 3.8 million pounds of food to hunger relief organizations through its Count the Cans initiative. This year alone, the firm donated 593,464 pounds of food and 12,020 pounds of pet food. 

A Heavy Lift

Strategic planning is the name of the game for port authorities. Across the United States, long-range investments are earmarked for new or expanded terminals, berths, piers, storage buildings and cranes; plus dredging, facility rehabilitations, security upgrades, and related transit infrastructure and warehouses. 

Greater Michigan Construction Academy Expands Training as Nation’s First ACCET-Accredited Vocational Program

The ABC-affiliated Greater Michigan Construction Academy has been able to expand its reach since being accredited as an institution of higher education by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training in April 2015. GMCA is the first vocational school in the country to achieve this designation.

Career Pathways

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is working to address the industry’s worker shortage through more than 800 apprenticeship, craft training and safety training programs set up by its chapters around the country. Read on for examples of some recent initiatives supported by ABC chapters and member companies that are reaching out to students and adults from all walks of life. 

Where Do You Go to Find and Recruit the Next Generation of Skilled Craft Workers?

D.R.B. joined Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) in 1992 and hires the majority of employees through ABC’s electrical apprenticeship program. We feel the combination of education and on-the-job training is an excellent resource for the next generation of skilled craft workers.  

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