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Weekly Briefing: Feb. 26-Mar. 1, 2024

Week of February 26, 2024

NLRB Rule Delayed: Impact on AEC Industry’s Contract Workers

  • A new rule from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which would classify many companies as employers of contract and franchise workers, has had its implementation postponed by a federal judge in Texas. The rule was originally set to take effect on February 26, but has been delayed until March 11.

  • A group of business organizations, including the Associated Builders and Contractors and the Associated General Contractors of America, have legally challenged the standard. They argue that it oversteps the boundaries of the National Labor Relations Act.

  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other industry groups have requested that the court rule in their favor. They argue that the rule contravenes federal labor law and could cause disruptions in various industries that depend on temporary and contract labor.


Commerce Department Prioritizes Operational Projects by 2030 in Chip Manufacturing

  • U.S. Commerce Secretary, Gina Raimondo, announced that chip companies seeking government subsidies will receive significantly less than they have requested, as the government received requests for more than double the $28 billion it plans to award.

  • The department is prioritizing projects that will be operational by 2030 and estimates that the funding will ensure the U.S. produces 20% of the world’s leading-edge logic chips by 2030, up from zero today.

  • More than 600 companies submitted statements of interest for funding, but a “significant majority” will not receive funding, including many worthy projects.

  • The $52.7 billion Chips and Science program approved by Congress in August 2022 includes a $39 billion program to subsidize chip production and related supply chain investments. The awards will help build factories and increase production.

February 26, 2024

Traffic & Mobility Consultants (TMC), a Florida-based engineering firm specializing in transportation planning and traffic engineering, backed by Grovecourt Capital Partners, has acquired O'Rourke Engineering & Planning, a Florida-based traffic and transportation engineering firm. The acquisition expands TMC's reach and breadth of services throughout Florida. Mohammed Abdallah, CEO of TMC, said of the acquisition, "We are thrilled to welcome O'Rourke Engineering & Planning into the TMC team. This strategic move aligns perfectly with our commitment to providing the highest quality transportation planning and engineering services throughout the state. Together, we look forward to tackling the challenges of today's dynamic transportation landscape and delivering innovative solutions to our clients."


February 28, 2024

Shive-Hattery, an Iowa-based building design and engineering firm, backed by GHK Capital Partners, has acquired Helix Design Group, a 24-person architecture, interior design, and graphic design firm based in Washington. The acquisition establishes Shive-Hattery's Pacific Northwest presence and diversifies their service capabilities and portfolio. Helix will operate as Helix Design Group, a Division of Shive-Hattery and current Managing Principal Bruce McKean will continue to lead the Tacoma office. Jennifer Bennett, President at Shive-Hattery, said of the acquisition, "The cultural harmony shared between Shive-Hattery and Helix Design Group is a direct result of the value we place on our long-term client relationships. We invest in our employees knowing they'll take great care of our clients."


February 28, 2024

ITG Communications (ITG), a Tennessee-based provider of outsourced fulfillment, construction, and project management services for the telecommunication sector, and backed by Oaktree Capital Management, has acquired Specialized Engineering Services (SES). SES is a Nebraska-based multi-disciplined building systems engineering and commissioning firm. The acquisition integrates SES's expertise in design engineering with ITG's comprehensive suite of telecommunication services and strengthens SES's market position.


February 29, 2024

IMEG, an Illinois-based provider of engineering and construction services, has acquired Pathfinder Engineers (Pathfinder), a New York-based mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering, energy services, and commissioning firm. The merger helps position both firms for continued growth in the New York market and expands IMEG's New York-based staff to more than 250 employees. Pathfinder will continue to operate from their existing locations in Rochester and Buffalo, doing business as Pathfinder now IMEG. IMEG President and CEO Paul VanDuyne commented, "We are extremely pleased to welcome Pathfinder into our company. By blending Pathfinder's MEP, fire protection, energy, and commissioning expertise with IMEG's full service engineering portfolio and existing commissioning and MEP teams in New York, we create a strong synergy for future growth."


March 1, 2024

Norda Stelo, a Canada-based engineering consulting firm, backed by by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), has acquired InnovExplo, a Quebec-based engineering consulting firm specializing in geology and mining. The acquisition marks a significant step in Norda Stelo's efforts to expand their presence in the mining industry and deliver an integrated suite of services across the value chain of critical, strategic, and precious metals, as well as industrial metals. Alex Brisson, CEO of Norda Stelo, commented on the acquisition, "By integrating InnovExplo's specialized geological and mining engineering knowledge with our robust impact engineering model, we significantly enhance our capacity to navigate the complex ESG landscape our clients face."

APTIM has announced a partnership with three youth organizations focused on education. The collaboration aims to empower young minds in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and encourage the next generation of scientists. The organizations involved include Florida A&M University's School of the Environment’s Sustainability Institute, Girlstart, and the APTIM Environmental & Sustainability Fund at the LSU College of Coast & Environment. APTIM seeks to support these organizations' efforts in improving classroom learning and allowing students the opportunity to work on global issues including food security and sustainability. This partnership underscores APTIM's commitment to investing in the next generation of innovators and promoting diversity and inclusion in STEM disciplines.


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