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Friday, December 17, 2021
Section: AGC/VT News

After going virtual last year and meeting on the AGC/VT “Island,” this year members got to see each other in-person and away from a screen—at least for part of the two-event.
Running from Tuesday, December 7 through Wednesday, December 8, AGC/VT members had a full slate of keynote addresses from top elected and state officials, award ceremonies, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities to choose from. Tuesday was all virtual, and it began with the opening ceremony and keynote remarks from Congressman Peter Welch, who recently announced he would be running for Senator Patrick Leahy’s seat in 2022.
Following Congressman Welch’s remarks, members were treated to a full day of breakout sessions on wide ranging topics impacting contractors and the industries. Breakout sessions were also held on Wednesday. Over the two days, sessions, presenters, and sponsors included:
  • Agency of Natural Resources, Secretary Julie Moore and Commissioner Peter Walke (Sponsored by: J.P. Sicard, Inc.)
  • VOSHA, Dan Whipple & Karl Hayden (Sponsor: Marshall Tire Group, Inc.)
  • Economic Outlook for Vermont 2022, Thomas E. Kavet of Kavet, Rockler & Associates (Sponsor: Kittel, Branagan & Sargent)
  • Agency of Transportation, Secretary Joe Flynn, Ann Gammell and Jeremy Reid (Sponsor: ADA Traffic Control LTD)
  • FMCA and Are You Up to Speed? Terry Reil, Tony Facos, Capt. Kevin Andrews (Sponsor: Project Roadsafe)
  • AGC/VT Workforce Development, Shawn Rouleau, Workforce Development Director (Sponsor: Kingsbury Companies)
  • 2022 Legislative Preview and Priorities, House Speaker Jill Krowinski and Senate Pro Tem, Becca Balint (Sponsor: Jet Service Envelope & Accura Printing)
  • Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Secretary Lindsay Kurrle and Jessica Vintinner (Sponsor: Casella Construction)
  • Succession Planning: Timing, Risks, and Increased Value, Tim Cope of NFP, Dave Grippin of Grippin Donlan Pinkham, and Dave Gurtman of Dinse (Sponsor: NFP Property and Casualty)
  • Federal Infrastructure Legislation—What We Need to Know, Jimmy Christianson of AGC of America (Sponsor: VHB)
  • Workforce Challenges, Heidi Williams, Scott McKenna, and Stacy Spector of Catamount Consulting, (Sponsor: Catamount Consulting)
  • Buildings and General Services, Commissioner Jennifer Fitch and Joe Aja (Sponsor: DEW Construction Corp.)
  • Drugs in the Workplace, Reid Wobby of Kingsbury Construction Co (Sponsor: VTHC Safety Consultants)
Favorites Return, as a New Tradition Begins 
This year, AGC/VT continued its tradition of recognizing “Rising Stars” in the construction industry. This year, AGC/VT featured “Young Women Craftspeople” and recognized Anne Minor- PC Construction, Nicole Webster- Casella Construction, Alex Sherman- ADA Traffic Control, Rachel Lombard- DEW Construction, Sara Wallen- Engineers Construction, Inc. and Chiaki “Chi” Ito- ARC Mechanical Contractors.
Members also heard from Steve Sandherr, CEO of AGC of America who updated people on the association’s priorities in 2021 including advocating for the $1.1 trillion dollar infrastructure deal, the association’s opposition to vaccine mandates (the organization is pro vaccine but anti-mandates), it’s lawsuit against OSHA for vaccine mandates on employers with 100 or more employees, and the association’s new climate change report approved by the Board of Directors.
New to the event lineup, and which turned out to be a huge hit was “The Hiring Pit.” Students at Vermont Technical College joined contractors for brownies, ice cream, and speed hiring. It was a chance for contractors to connect with the next generation in a relaxed setting, and for students to find internships and possibly jobs. This event also serves to kick off AGC/VT’s upcoming focus on workforce development in 2022.
Closing out this year’s event, was the ever-popular Best Builder Awards and Banquet. Before a crowd of over 225, Governor Phil Scott opened the evening with a few remarks and took the time to welcome our visitors from Vermont Technical College. It wasn’t long before contractors and their projects were honored in dozens of categories and another Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony was in the history books.