AGC of Minnesota Annual Report 2020

Page 1


AGC Safety Director Doug Swenson

CEO LETTER 2020 has been a year unlike any other experienced in our lifetimes. When we turned the calendar to January, a genuine spirit of optimism and anticipation of strong market demand for construction services prevailed. Soon thereafter, we became wellfamiliar with something called COVID-19 and how a world health pandemic can totally disrupt our lives, businesses, economy, and culture. A statewide lockdown and safe at home order were imposed, and the very real threat of a lost construction season and perhaps lost and shuttered construction businesses loomed. Throughout our 100-year history, AGC of Minnesota and our members have always stood tall and have rose to meet countless challenges head on. COVID-19 would be no different. At AGC, it was a chance to again prove our mettle and demonstrate the value of association. Being an AGC member brings the collective activism and leveraged power of the best construction firms to your door. This report clearly illustrates the many tasks and challenges COVID-19 presented to keeping your business open and how AGC of Minnesota kept you in an advantaged positioned during a time of crisis in our industry.

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As you page through our 2020 annual report, I challenge you to think about where your business or our industry would be without the force-multiplying leadership of AGC. Working with our long-established partners and leveraging our respected relationships with government agencies, we successfully kept construction open and safely functioning as an essential business through the height of the pandemic. Working with our elected representatives, our government affairs team helped deliver an historic $1.87 billion Capital Investment Bill that will help sustain members with market opportunities through the immediacy of the uncertain months that lie ahead. These are accomplishments that no individual construction firm can achieve on its own. They are truly illustrations of the value of AGC membership and stand as testimony to our motto – Your Trusted Resource. I am extremely proud of the team of dedicated professionals we have assembled as your AGC staff. Like you, we too have struggled through pandemic-induced challenges, but found unique and dedicated ways to continue serving members. I hope you take pride in the many ways that we tirelessly work to provide relevance and deliver value for your membership. I am thankful that you continue to support AGC as your construction association of choice. We stand committed to being your most reliable business partner and remain Your Trusted Resource. Respectfully,

Tim Worke, CEO

2020 Highlights Although our COVID-19 response took up a large share of energy and focus in 2020, it wasn’t the only thing happening at AGC of Minnesota! Here are a few of the high points of the year:





In February, AGC of Minnesota hosted an Economic Summit, giving members a unique opportunity to hear from Ken Simonson (AGC of America) and Jay Bowman (FMI) on economic matters of significance to the commercial construction industry.

The Construction Health and Safety Excellence Program reached its highest number both of participants (45) and Level 3 projects (30) involving 54 total contractors.

03 VIRTUAL COLLECTIVE BARGAINING Ten collective bargaining agreements were expiring. AGC’s Labor Negotiations Committees reviewed the challenges and uncertainties of COVID-19, met virtually with the unions, and reached new agreements ensuring a stable workforce, good relationships, rewarding wages, and safe workplace conditions.

04 DEI DIRECTOR HIRED Recognizing the need for the construction industry to become more intentional in providing opportunity for diverse employment, AGC hired Yolanda McIntosh as our Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

05 BONDING BILL PASSED AGC dedicated lobbying resources and collaborated with organizations across the state in new ways to emphasize the vital importance of a public construction package to legislators. The legislature passed the largest bonding bill in state history - $1.87 billion. Governor Tim Walz signed the bill into law on October 21, giving water, sewer, highway, bridge, asset preservation, and many more projects the green light.


A Timeline of AGC’s COVID-19 Advocacy in 2020 AGC Creates a COVID-19 Web Page to Consolidate Information for Members

AGC Connects with State Agencies on Concerns re: Industry Impact



AGC contacted leadership in state agencies with construction contracts regarding potential impacts of COVID-19, and urged collaboration and the opportunity to discuss solutions.

AGC Provides COVID-19 Recommended Jobsite Practices to Members

The world health community continues to monitor the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes. The virus, named “corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19)” has already had a tremendous impact on our daily lives, including the way AGC of Minnesota and its Contactors conduct business. The AGC Contractors are committed to the protection of all construction employees, trade partners and the communities in which we do business. All contractors should incorporate COVID-19 transmission and prevention into all job hazard analyses (JHAs) and pre-task safety planning for all aspects of the work. This tool is provided solely as a guideline for contractors and is not to be relied upon to prevent the spread or transmission of COVID-19, or prevent a safety violation from being issued by a jurisdictional authority. This is not legal advice. Contractors should continually evaluate the specific hazards at their job sites along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to determine the most appropriate job hazard analysis for the project/task as it relates to the spread and/or transmission of COVID-19.

• •

Developed by Safety Director Doug Swenson, the “AGC of Minnesota COVID-19 Recommended Practices” document provided guidelines for firms to continue to operate safely and remain open.

Associated General Contractors of Minnesota (AGC) is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff and members. To ensure that, we have developed the following Preparedness Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. AGC staff at all levels are all responsible for implementing this plan. Our goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 in our workplace, and that requires full cooperation among workers and management. Only through this cooperative effort can we establish and maintain the safety and health of our workers and workplace.

Joint LaborManagement Industry Statement

• • •



AGC joined other agencies in issuing a joint statement of support for continued construction operations, citing the industry’s commitment to safety on jobsites and close cooperation with MNOSHA.

Recommended Jobsite Practices for Highway/Heavy Released

(Best Practice) Development of JHA’s related to each activity for each trade “when social distancing is not an option” because the task / activities requires two or more workers to perform the work.

Worker Personal Responsibilities


COVID-19 Preparedness Business Plan for Associated General Contractors of Minnesota

Governor Walz clarified that his order to close restaurants and bars would extend to other similar establishments. AGC sent letters to public-funded contracting authorities, requesting transparency and collaboration.

AGC of Minnesota COVID-19 Recommended Practices (including best practices) for Employers & Employees on Construction Jobsites

Special Notice: Associated General Contractors of Minnesota’s office is temporarily closed to outside guests & members / visitors. We welcome all phone calls and email/virtual meeting requests.


To give members one place to find all industryrelevant information on COVID-19, AGC created a website section specific to the pandemic, containing sections on job site practices, education opportunities, and more.

AGC Contacts Public Contracting Authorities

AGC Issues Joint Statement on Continued Construction Operations

Employees need to take steps to protect themselves. Refer to CDC guideline: How to Protect Yourself. It is critical that individuals NOT report to work or stay at work if they are experiencing symptoms of acute respiratory illness (i.e., fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny/stuffy nose, body aches, chills, or fatigue), Individuals should seek medical attention if they develop these symptoms. They must stay home and not come to work until free of symptoms for at least 72 hours, without the use of medicine, or as recommended by the CDC. Refer to CDC guideline: What To Do if You Are Sick. If someone in your house gets sick Employees must notify their supervisors and stay home if they are sick. They must consult medical attention if they develop symptoms of acute respiratory illness. Employees are discouraged from using other workers’ phones, I Pads, electronic devices, desks, workstations, offices, tools, and equipment including (PPE) personal protective equipment.

SM/© 2020 AGC of Minnesota. All rights reserved.


AGC co-drafted a Joint Labor-Management Industry Statement with other employer groups, covering construction health and safety best practices for the industry.

AGC Provides COVID-19 Preparedness Business Plan and Daily Employee Screening Form to Members


AGC published a second version of recommended jobsite practices, specific to the highway/heavy construction division.

AGC Issues Joint Statement Urging MN Legislature to Approve Substantial Bonding Bill

AGC staff is responsible for implementing and complying with all aspects of this Preparedness Plan. All AGC staff members have the full support of management and the AGC Board of Directors in enforcing the provisions of this policy. Our staff and members are our most important assets. We are serious about safety and health, and keeping our dedicated employees and association members safe at AGC. Employee involvement is essential in developing and implementing a successful COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. We have involved our employees at Associated General Contractors of Minnesota in this process by designating Doug Swenson (Director of Safety & Field Training, p: 651-796-2192, c: 612- 910-1737, as the person to address any and all concerns from staff or membership regarding the safe operation of the AGC office (525 Park Street, Suite 110, St. Paul, MN 55103). We also welcome any staff suggestions/comments regarding maintaining personal safety while at work or home. Our Preparedness Plan follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines and federal OSHA standards related to COVID-19 and addresses: • • • • • •


hygiene and respiratory etiquette; engineering and administrative controls for social distancing; housekeeping – cleaning, disinfecting and decontamination; prompt identification and isolation of sick persons; communications and training that will be provided to managers and workers; and management and supervision necessary to ensure effective implementation of the plan.

SM/© 2020 AGC of Minnesota. All rights reserved


To assist members in creating their required COVID-19 Preparedness Business Plan, AGC created and made available a model office plan. AGC also made available a daily screening form to track employee’s health and promote office safety. AGC of Minnesota was featured in a Compact Equipment article on COVID-19 preparedness plans.

MAY 14

In light of the impacts of COVID-19 on the industry, AGC joined together with a broad coalition of construction industry representatives in urging Governor Walz and the MN legislature to approve a strong bonding bill to stimulate economic recovery.

“We greatly appreciate AGC’s efforts in getting construction listed as essential when COVID-19 broke out. Being on the list of essential services allowed us to participate in the construction of life-saving facilities, as well as critical infrastructure.” - Pete Moeller, Atlas Foundation Co.

AGC Holds Member-Wide Informational Call

Webinar on “COVID-19 Industry Developments”


AGC attorney members Kurt Erickson and Mark Becker, along with Jay Bowman (FMI), presented to members on ever-changing COVID-19 guidance affecting the industry.



AGC held a members-only webinar. Commissioner Margaret Anderson Kelliher, member attorney Kristin Berger Parker, and Safety Director Doug Swenson briefed members on construction-related pandemic updates.

AGC of Minnesota Members Participate in Nationwide COVID-19 Safety Stand Down


Dedicated to keeping construction working, AGC of Minnesota promoted the AGC of America COVID-19 Safety Stand Down. Many members participated in this national training of employees on the latest safety measures and recommended jobsite practices related to the pandemic.

Minnesota DLI Releases New Requirements; AGC Advocates for Practicality

AGC Co-Signs Letter with Industry Organizations Pressing for Bonding Bill Passage



The MN Department of Labor & Industry unexpectedly delivered new and restrictive requirements to the construction industry. AGC worked diligently to press for ammendments to and practical application of the requirements.

Executive Order 20-20 Lists Construction as Essential, Not Subject to Restrictions of Non-Essential Businesses

Expressing frustration and disappointment with the stalemate among legislators, AGC and 64 other organizations across the state called upon legislators to do their jobs and pass a strong public construction package.

On March 25, Governor Tim Walz issued Executive Order 20-20, which delineated which businesses could continue to operate under Minnesota “Stay-at-Home” restrictions effective March 27. After much advocacy work by AGC and other industry representatives, construction was declared “essential” in Minnesota, and as such, construction employees were unrestricted in their travel and work. AGC turned its focus to keeping construction jobsites safe so that the industry’s enviable unfettered status would remain.



Join AGC and your fellow construction contractors across the country on April 9, 2020 for a national safety stand-down dedicated to educating employees on preventing the spread of COVID-19.



The COVID-19 National Safety Stand-Down is an opportunity for employers to discuss COVID-19 with employees, particularly the importance of understanding and following all applicable public safety and health guidelines.

Any workplace can hold a stand-down by gathering their workforce for 10-15 minutes, or more, reviewing the toolbox talk(s) prepared by AGC*, or their own, and allowing time for discussion and questions.

Executive Order Returns Some Employees to Work; Requires Preparedness Plan


We encourage you to share your safety stand-down! Please click here to share details of your stand-down with AGC. In addition, share your stories and photos on social media with the hashtag #COVID19SafetyStandDown

NOTE: During the stand-down, employers should continue to observe the current recommendations for social distancing by separating their workforce into groups of ten (10) or less people and maintaining a minimum of 6 feet between persons.

Stop the Spread – Protect Yourself & Others

*AGC has developed a series of toolbox talks to assist with your stand-down event. Please visit to download the toolbox talks as well as other resources to prepare for a successful stand-down. Contact Nazia Shah ( or Kevin Cannon ( with any questions.


$1.87B Bonding Bill Signed by Governor Walz


In legislators’ fifth special session, and after dedicated lobbying by AGC and other industry representatives, the Minnesota House and Senate passed an historic $1.87 billion public construction bill, guaranteeing the funding of construction work for the next several years.


Governor Walz issued Executive Order 20-40, allowing roughly 80,000 employees in non-customer facing industries to return to work. All businesses were required to establish and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in order to proceed.

AGC Worked to Keep Our Members Working and Funded Throughout 2020 and Into the Future!


AGC fostered cohesive communication with industry representatives to the Governor’s Office, state agencies, and all public owners to declare construction “essential” and keep the industry safely working throughout Stay-at-Home orders.

With over 80 years of combined legislative experience, AGC legislative team members quickly pivoted to working with state officials in a virtual setting on behalf of the construction industry.

AGC’s legislative team worked tirelessly throughout the year for passage of a robust bonding bill. In the legislature’s fifth special session, they passed an historic $1.87 billion public construction bill, which will provide a much needed economic stimulus for the state.

Join AGC’s Legislative Committee to shape our policies for the 2021 session on issues like transportation funding, public contracting laws, and utility infrastructure safety.

AGC of Minnesota Government Affairs dedicates an in-house government affairs professional and two contract lobbyists to: continue to be a unified and respected voice of the construction industry, monitor hundreds of legislative proposals and regulations up for consideration, routinely communicate with key personnel, including commissioners, legislators, legislative leadership, and

agency and the Governor’s staff, on issues of importance to AGC membership, and;

influence legislation and executive action affecting the industry through education and advocacy.

As a vital compontent of our legislative program, AGC raises funds to support pro-construction political candidates in state elections. Contributions are used to support candidates, regardless of party affiliation, who understand the construction industry and our specific needs, interests, and concerns.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION SERVICES This year, AGC of Minnesota announced a new addition to our staff - Yolanda McIntosh. Yolanda joins your AGC team filling a newly-created position, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). In her role at AGC, Yolanda will be filling the voids in critical spaces where inclusion and broader multi-cultural participation and opportunity has lagged in our industry. She will quickly become an asset to members, working with you to help navigate and onboard DEI practices that will become meaningful, purposeful, and more commonplace. A staff level DEI resource is a purposeful response to address the under-recognized reality that the construction sector must become more intentional in providing opportunity for diverse employment and minority and women-owned business engagement, if we are to continue to thrive into the future.


45 participants in the Construction Health And Safety Excellence (CHASE) program

30 CHASE Level 3 projects in 2020, involving 54 contractors

127 jobsite safety audits jointly completed by AGC/MNOSHA staff

With an average incident/injury rate of 2.4 over 23,746,734 work hours, CHASE contractors are 51% safer than the Minnesota industry average of 4.9 (2018).

AGC of Minnesota provides safety and health services to members through training on mobile crane management, rigging inspections, qualified rigger, forklift, aerial lift, drug and alcohol/reasonable suspicion, and many other topics. In addition, we develop customized training to meet the specific needs of member companies. Now in its 17th year, the Construction Health And Safety Excellence (CHASE) program began in 2003 as a partnership between MNOSHA and AGC of Minnesota, and is designed to recognize member contractors for their safety programs and performance, while providing incentives for partnership.

AGC negotiated ten collective bargaining agreements in 2020. The process began with AGC’s Labor Cabinet reviewing issues and needs, inviting all known signatories to the negotiations committees, hosting the kickoff event among all committees, and then facilitating the conversations between the negotiations committees and unions. COVID added a new wrinkle this year. With uncertain economic outlooks and new stay-at-home orders, AGC coordinated with the unions to use FMCS’s video conferencing technologies and reach new agreements. AGC continues to work with the trades on creating industry silaca testing options, improving the pension funds, addressing new technologies, redressing diversity needs, refining the agreements, clarifying prevailing wage reporting, and resolving conflicts.

AGC also monitors legal developments and weighs in when significant issues arise, working with partners like the Minnesota State Bar Association and other associations. AGC also continues to revise and make available form construction contracts that were developed by a team of in-house and outside lawyers, general and sub contractors, large and small members. The contracts are electronic and versatile, with drop down options adjusting the contracts for a number of scenarios and an addendum to change terms. The contracts are written to provide assurance against a party making hidden changes.






The AGC of Minnesota Foundation awarded scholarships to the following individuals in 2020:

to the

2020 scholarship recipients!

Brandi Rutten* (U of M Minneapolis) | Civil Engineering Olivia Januszewski (Minnesota State Moorhead) | Construction Management Matthew Henderson (Stanford University) | Civil Engineering Karli Schmitt (U of M Minneapolis) | Construction Management Adam Wardak (U of M Minneapolis) | Construction Management Gunnar Cowing (North Dakota State University) | Civil Engineering Brandon Sloniker (U of M Minneapolis) | Construction Management *Ms. Rutten was awarded the C.S. McCrossan Scholarship, given in honor of industry icon Charles McCrossan (1926-2017) and funded by a preferred memorial designation and matching funds from the McCrossan family.

Sporting Clays Fundraiser Despite COVID-19, AGC of Minnesota held a record-setting fundrasier! Due to safety concerns, many AGC events went to virtual platforms in 2020. But we were able to hold our annual Sporting Clays Fundraiser in person as scheduled, and what a great day it was! With over 200 shooters, it was the Foundation’s best-attended event to date, and also exceeded previous records for scholarship funds raised, with a total of $25,000 going to the Foundation from this event. Congratulations to Top Team Grazzni 1 (Greg Grazzini, Earl Anderson, Jake Boerboon, Dan Meyer, and Rick Scott), Top Gun Female Larissa Indrebo (RMS Rentals), and Top Gun Kim Lundin (American Engineering Testing, Inc.).


525 Park Street, Suite #110 | St. Paul, MN 55103 651-632-8929 |

Thank You to our 2020 Annual Partners!