Ike's Newsletter October 2, 2020

Executive Director's Report

What Good are Laws, Meant to Protect You, if not Enforced? Two of your fellow members, Bryan Wright (Blackwood of DC) and Cindy Athey (Precision Wall Tech) put themselves at the forefront to explain the difficulties with working in the District of Columbia.  They were speaking on B23-0405, which would offer additional protections to subcontractors from a prime’s failure to pay.  They took the opportunity to explain how the District does not uphold the laws on wage theft, use of Certified Business Enterprises, subcontract language and more.  It appears from the dialogue with the DC Council Committee on Facilities and Procurement that laws on the books are not properly administered by the DC Agencies involved, such as DGS and DOES.  Now that we have the ear of the DC Council, we need more stories about how you have waited too long for payment, lost a bid to a non-CBE or any other instance in which the DC Agency has not followed the law. 

Why Construction Continues to be Strong -  This article indicates that lenders see construction as a good investment since delivery of the construction project will be two to three years down the road – hopefully post COVID-19. 

Another article indicates that backlog is very healthy in the construction industry and we are on the upward swing.  How is your backlog?

Finally, work in the DMV looks strong on the residential (including multi-family) side.  The August report shows residential up a whopping 39 percent while non-residential is down 15 percent.  Overall construction was up nine percent over August of last year, but is still down 26 percent over year-to-date.  Quite a turn-around from where we appeared to be heading a few months ago.  Dodge Data & Analytics provides this report. Please email me at [email protected] for access to it.

SIE – Word on the Street - Members continue to value the opportunity to share experiences with the GCs and Owners they are planning to bid.  These monthly Zoom meetings give everyone the opportunity to share positive and negative experiences on their current projects. Click here to register for this members’ only event.

Useful Letter for Payment – Thanks to our National Board representative, Patty Peterson (Tindall Corp.), we have received a sample payment letter to be sent to any prime contractor who is not abiding by local payment laws.  Patty says, “It was letters similar to this that I’ve used twice in the past, one to get 5% of the retainage on a public project that the out of state GC was holding 10% on; and the other was when the law in MD changed back in 2007 regarding the 3% GC’s held to ensure the taxes have been paid; equating to them holding 13%. In both cases we received checks instantly. It’s both of these experiences I continue to use as testimonies for being a member of ASA. I was surprised and empowered by the results.”

You may request a copy of the sample letter to [email protected].  We have adapted the letter for each jurisdiction. It can be found in the member resources section of our website. Email me with any questions.

Technology Survey Results:  We will include the technology our members prefer in our recommendations to ASAMW’s GC Partners. Here are the results of the survey.

  • Project Management Coordination – Procore is preferred (only one suggested Timberline).
  • Payment Applications – Textura (50%) beat out GC Pay (37.5%), so both will be recommended. 
  • Scheduling – It was a tie between Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project, so both will be recommended.
  • Document Management – Procure (62%) beat out Bluebeam (25%).
  • BIM/3D/Coordination drawings – Revit (73%) will be recommended.

If you have any suggestions or comments to add to these results send them to [email protected].

Project Managers’ Workshop will begin in January – Registration for our very popular Project Manager’s Workshop is now open. Click here to learn more.  If you have an assistant PM, someone coming out of the field into project management, or anyone interested in learning from our area’s experts on project management for subcontractors, then register them soon.  We have always had a waiting list for those interested in attending. 

Monday is Golf at Lansdowne – Golf is SOLD OUT and we are very grateful to those companies who sponsor this year’s Fall Golf Tournament.  Your support keeps your association strong.  Besides dues, our major fundraisers are Golf and Subbys.   Your support makes it possible to achieve our mission of Better Construction through Fair Construction. Many thanks to our generous sponsors.

Member Updates:

  • ASAMW member Mobile Video Guard recommends this article to your project managers responsible for job site theft. 
  • ASAMW member Aronson LLC was recognized by Construction Executive as one of the top 50 construction accounting firms. 

Advocacy Issues

Maryland:  No report.

DC: ASAMW members (see accompanying article) spoke on B23-0545, a bill that will strengthen the payment law in DC to make sure prime contractors pay subcontractors within seven days of receipt of payment from the District.  Mayor Muriel Bowser introduced another piece of legislation on Wednesday to address the problems with the CBE program.

The top challenges of working in DC, according to ASA Members, are competition with companies who do not pay wages legally and competition from local companies, followed closely by First Source requirements and slow payment from owners.

Virginia:  This article from a Richmond Public Radio station shows evidence of the widespread use of sub-subs who do not pay proper wages in the Commonwealth.  

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