2019 National and Chapter Leadership Conference

The AGC National & Chapter Leadership Conference took place in Washington, DC in the final week of September. AGC/VT Treasurer Chris Magnan of Nicom Coatings and chapter Government Affairs Director Matt Musgrave were in attendance. The conference schedule included leadership and political training for visiting attendees. The crowd was large with close to 400 representatives from across the country including Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Alaska.
   The opening keynote speaker was Ryan Hawk, a former college and semi pro quarterback known for competing with current NFL star Ben Roethlisberger for starting quarterback at Miami University. His presentation “Becoming a Learning Leader” followed a track of a 9-step process of leadership focusing on inflection, planning, practice and action. The presentation was a great kickoff to the conference. You can find more information about Ryan and access to his motivational podcasts at www.learningleader.com.
   Following the keynote was a town hall discussion with AGC of America’s officers. The discussion focused on the importance of our association, showing that members who get the most out of it are engaged and present at meetings. The officers also discussed the culture of volunteerism with several of the officers being third generation members. The first day concluded with a walk to the Rooftop at the Hay Adams which is 10 floors up directly in front of the White House with great views of DC.
   The second day began with a workforce development panel who discussed different programs developed by members with community and technical colleges. They focused on the great successes and taught the audience how to deal with roadblocks by staying diligently focused on building our pipeline of recruits. You should expect to see AGC/VT roll out new programs in 2020 using some of the great ideas from the presentation.
   After the panel there were three breakout sessions. The sessions were focused on building non dues revenue, engaging utility contractors, using podcasts, how chapters partner to create a better member experience and manage cultural changes. Two special breakouts included highway trends and building trends. The highway breakout focused on the need for creating a dedicated source of revenue for the Highway Trust Fund, working within state policies and workforce issues. The building breakout had a presentation by the VP of Operations Bevan Mace for Balfour Beatty a mega builder with many projects (some in the billions) across the world. Mace discussed how members should become motivated to adopt change using the LEAN system of building. He described how his business began using modular construction to allow for earlier collaboration and scheduling leading to quicker project completion.
   The conference closed with the Chapter Awards dinner held at Union Station. The dinner opened with a great reception and included an amazing served dinner. The awards ceremony had a huge audience that included spouses and families. The award ceremony recognized some impressive achievements and success by national AGC Chapters.
   Tuesday the 24th, Matt Musgrave visited the DC offices of Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders and Representative Welch to discuss three major issues important to AGC. The first issue was to expand the Pell Grant Program which VSAC uses to provide grants to young people and people considering a career change to attend certifications or technical programs. The second initiative also addresses workforce by asking for a dedicated visa program for people to enter the US to work in the construction industry. The third request was that our leaders create a long-term dedicated source of revenue for the Federal Highway Trust fund ratherthan using cobbled together budgeting. The reception from the offices were overall positive and you can find a video report by Matt by visiting AGC/VTs Facebook page.
   The final day was the Government Relations Summit for staff which Matt Musgrave attended. There were approximately 40 other state government affairs directors or chapter executives in attendance. Topics included chapter government relations structures, workforce development, building and highway breakouts. National policy trends discussed included the “Wage Theft” phenomenon, project labor agreements (PLA’s), and negotiating within chapters between union and open shops. Musgraves reaction to the meeting, “We got some great information at the GR Summit. It was interesting to hear how and where some of the national trends begin. It was alarming to see the impact that some of these policies in other states have on general contractors of all size. AGC/VT will continue to monitor these issues and challenge them if presented but overall we have it very good in Vermont comparably to other states.”
 If there is anything you would like to obtain more information about please contact Matt Musgrave, Matt@agcvt.org or (802) 223-2374.