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Construction Employment Improves in Majority of States in March

Construction employment increased in 30 states in March as the industry expanded but at a slower pace than in February, according to an analysis released on April 19 by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) of Labor Department data.  

Wind Energy Plans Move forward Worldwide

Each issue of Wind Energy SmartBriefs includes news of projects throughout the United States. However, there also are plenty of items about developments elsewhere. Recent issues included the following items of interest to SC&RA members throughout the world:

Canadian Magazine Posts Details about U.S. Canadian HOS Differences

Today’s Trucking, a Canadian magazine, is alerting its readers about details they need to know concerning the new Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations set to go into effect in the United States on July 1. “If you’re a veteran who’s been operating in the United States for some time now, you’re likely accustomed to tailoring your hours to meet U.S. regulations on a regular basis. Now’s the time to learn about the two big changes coming in July: the mandatory break requirement and the 34-hour restart changes,” noted the magazine in an article posted online on April 19.

Port of Houston Works to Reduce Delays Created by New Software Glitches

The Texas Motor Transport Association (TMTA) issued an alert on April 23 concerning significant delays experienced by the Port of Houston Authority (POHA) during the past week after it replaced 22-year-old software. Although POHA tested the software, delay-causing anomalies that could not have been fully anticipated suddenly appeared. In response, many carriers had begun sending their trucks to the port earlier, prior to the port opening, to begin the wait in anticipation of the delays.

FMCSA Advisory Group Recommends Keeping Some Safety Scores Private

A 19-member advisory subcommittee of the  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recommended withholding from public view at least three safety score categories that are part of its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program until underlying data problems are corrected. According to an article in the April 22 issue of Transport Topics, the subcommittee recommended that:

New Research Assesses Navigation System Use in Trucking

On April 17, the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released findings from the first phase of a two-part research initiative aimed at assessing the use of navigation systems in large trucks. This first phase of the research, which analyzed survey data from over 800 drivers and carriers, identifies different systems and how they are used, as well as industry perceptions of navigation system effectiveness.

MAASTO Conference Rescheduled for October 7-9

Dates for the fall meeting of Mid America Association of Transportation Officials (MAASTO) Subcommittee on Highway Transport in Louisville, Ky. have been changed to October 7-9. Previously, MAASTO had scheduled the meeting for October 28-30 This is an excellent opportunity for SC&RA members to meet and interact with state permit officials from Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota and Kansas. Click here for more information.

Learn Secrets of Hiring, Retaining Skilled Personnel at Webinar on April 24

SC&RA continues to accept registrations for a webinar on “Creative and Effective Ways to Hire and Retain Skilled Personnel” at noon Eastern on April 24. The presentation by Duff Swain, President of Trincon Group LLC, Columbus, Ohio, will focus on development and retention of skilled trades personnel, including truck drivers, equipment operators, maintenance personnel, and others where turnover is not only a productivity issue, but represents significant costs to businesses across the nation.

SC&RA Maintains Opposition to OSHA Position on Operator Certification Rules

During a series of three meetings on April 2 and 3 at the U.S. Labor Department in Washington, D.C., representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the crane industry discussed the possibility of changing crane operator testing and certification requirements set to take effect in November 2014. Since last August, SC&RA has been working with other organizations to convince OSHA to reconsider the notions that operators need to be tested by type and capacity in order to be certified and that certification equals qualification. 

Nine Scholarships and Two Grants Awarded by SC&R Foundation

The SC&R Foundation recently awarded $3,000 scholarships for 2013-2014 to nine students preparing for careers related to transportation or construction management. Additionally, the Foundation awarded two $1,500 grants. The scholarships and grants were announced during the Closing Night Awards & Recognition Dinner at the SC&RA Annual Conference, April 2-6, at the Westin Kierland, Scottsdale, Ariz. Since 1986, the SC&R Foundation has awarded over $350,000 in scholarships and grants.

In alphabetical order, this year’s $3,000 scholarship recipients are: