U.S. jobless claims fall; hurricanes still impacting data

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, but the data continued to be influenced by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, muddying the labor market picture in the near term.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 259,000 for the week ended Sept. 16, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was revised to show 2,000 fewer applications than previously reported.

A Labor Department official said Harvey and Irma affected claims for Texas and Florida. Unadjusted claims for Texas decreased 23,549 last week, the second straight weekly drop.

Claims in Texas surged in the wake of Harvey, which disrupted oil, natural gas and petrochemical production, leaving some workers temporarily unemployed.

Unadjusted claims for Florida rose 5,133 last week. In addition, the Labor Department estimated claims for South Carolina and the Virgin Islands last week.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 300,000 in the latest week. It was the 133rd straight week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, which is associated with a robust labor market. That is the longest such stretch since 1970, when the labor market was smaller.

The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, rose 6,000 to 268,750 last week.

The claims data covered the survey period for the non-farm payrolls portion of September’s employment report. There are fears that the disruption caused by Harvey and Irma could restrain job growth in September. Texas and Florida account for about 14 percent of U.S. employment.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told reporters on Wednesday that “payroll employment may be substantially affected in September” by the storms, but she added that she expected labor market conditions would strengthen somewhat further out.

Yellen made the comments after the U.S. central bank left interest rates unchanged but signaled it still anticipated one more increase by the end of the year.

The four-week moving average of claims rose 28,250 between the August and September survey periods, suggesting a further slowdown in job growth. The economy added 156,000 jobs in August, with the private services sector hiring the smallest number of workers in five months.

Thursday’s claims report also showed the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid increased 44,000 to 1.98 million in the week ended Sept. 9. The so-called continuing claims have now been below the 2 million mark for 23 straight weeks, pointing to diminishing labor market slack.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims climbed 6,500 to 1.95 million, remaining below the 2 million mark for the 21st consecutive week.

Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao

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But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Autodesk Folds Startup’s Program Into BIM-CM Platform | 2017-09-20

Boston-area tech startup ManufactOn is partnering with Autodesk Inc. to integrate its prefabrication production, materials and supply-chain management software into Autodesk’s BIM 360 construction-management platform. The partnership was announced on Sept. 18, along with a Series A investment round in which ManufactOn raised $2.5 million from existing investor Brick & Mortar Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on technology for construction.

Autodesk and another venture capital firm focused on construction, WND Ventures, also contributed to the funding round. ManufactOn says its cloud and mobile software-as-a-service platform helps construction firms better plan, track and manage prefabrication and regular materials handling by making the supply chain more transparent to both general contractors and their specialty-trade partners.


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Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

Fluor Employee Rescues Hundreds Fleeing Hurricane Harvey Flooding :: Story ID: 36432 :: Construction Equipment Guide

📅   Tue September 19, 2017 – National Edition

After the storm hit the Texas Gulf Coast on Aug. 25, Sissa spent three days ferrying about 300 people who were fleeing floodwaters to safety. From behind the wheel of his truck, he organized rescue operations, transported paramedics to the people who needed them most, and even helped deliver a rescue boat.

After the storm hit the Texas Gulf Coast on Aug. 25, Sissa spent three days ferrying about 300 people who were fleeing floodwaters to safety. From behind the wheel of his truck, he organized rescue operations, transported paramedics to the people who needed them most, and even helped deliver a rescue boat.


With 10 years of experience in the construction industry, six years of living Fluor’s Core Values and a two-and-a-half ton military vehicle, Nick Sissa was well prepared for Hurricane Harvey.

The contract manager at the U.S. Gulf Coast Petrochemicals (CP Chem) project has served in many different disciplines, as a field engineer, a construction superintendent and other roles. After the storm hit the Texas Gulf Coast on Aug. 25, Sissa spent three days ferrying about 300 people who were fleeing floodwaters to safety. From behind the wheel of his truck, he organized rescue operations, transported paramedics to the people who needed them most, and even helped deliver a rescue boat. He placed one of his infant son’s baby bottles on the dash to remind him of Fluor’s first Core Value: Safety.

“That was the first thing that crossed my mind. I kept telling myself, I have a family that needs me, so I need to make sure that at the end of this, I can go back home to them,” Sissa said. “When you respond to something like that, obviously, you don’t want to make the situation worse, so we were trying to make sure that we didn’t put ourselves or any of the people we picked up in any worse danger. I didn’t know what the conditions were, so I just took it really slow at first.”

Along the way, he assembled a team of like-minded strangers, volunteers to ride with him, helping him navigate or wade out to those in need. As they drove from neighborhood to neighborhood, plucking people from the floodwaters and getting them to higher ground, they eventually encountered the commanding officer of a local fire department who asked Sissa and his team to assist.

“From there, it was systematic decision-making of how we need to run operations,” he said. “In this situation, everyone was cut off. First responders couldn’t get in, people couldn’t get out. We kind of just had to grab resources, put together our own chain of command and get to work. I met with our team, we asked the commanding officer what we needed to do and told him our plan. Being able to assess the resources we had and making quick decisions, things I’ve learned during my time at Fluor and in the industry, really helped with that.”


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You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.

China will step up supervision of overseas investment risks – insurance regulator

BEIJING (Reuters) – China will strengthen its supervision of overseas investment risks and capital flows from insurance funds, the insurance regulator said on Monday, adding that it will urge companies to improve their risk monitoring systems.

China has cracked down this year on “irrational” overseas investment which it suspected was one way of disguising capital flight as the yuan currency weakened.

While the yuan has staged a sharp turnaround in recent months and outflows have dwindled, authorities have shown no signs of easing their campaign. The state council said in August that China will limit overseas investment in property, hotels, entertainment, sports clubs and film industries.

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) will step up supervision over the use of insurance funds, with focus on “chaos” such as irrational stock market fundraising and overseas acquisitions, said Guo Jing, vice head of the finance and accounting department of the CIRC.

“The regulator will prevent risks stemming from an excessively rapid growth in overseas investments, via window guidance from authorities and stepped-up information disclosure,” he said.

Some overseas investments have been derailed due to heightened official scrutiny. Dalian Wanda Group said last month that it had scrapped plans to buy Nine Elms Square in London, the latest setback for the Chinese conglomerate.

The insurance regulator will also urge insurance companies to conduct self-checks on their property investments, said Guo.

It will continue to strictly control insurance money from flowing into property markets and prohibit funds to directly or indirectly invest in commercial buildings, added Guo.

Guo also said CIRC will prevent risks stemming from peer-to-peer (P2P) lending and internet finance from spilling over onto the insurance industry.

Peer-to-peer platforms help link up individual or institutional investors looking to invest their cash with borrowers including small- and medium-enterprises, students and other individuals that need funding.

Reporting by Ma Rong and Beijing Monitoring Desk; Writing by Stella Qiu; Editing by Michael Perry and Kim Coghill

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He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.

Bacon fans take heart as wholesale pork belly prices plummet

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Fans of BLT sandwiches, take heart: U.S. retail prices of bacon, which soared to record highs this summer, should begin to ease soon, according to livestock analysts.

It could have been worse.

Wholesale prices of pork bellies surged to over $200 per hundredweight in July after starting the year at roughly $116, caused by stronger-than-expected consumer demand and tight supply, according to government data and industry watchers.

But consumers did not feel the pinch sooner because it usually takes about six weeks for changes in belly prices to be seen at the supermarket, industry experts said.

From December 2016 through most of 2017, storage of pork bellies in public, private and semi-private cold storage warehouses stayed at record lows, even as U.S. farmers took advantage of lower feed prices to build the domestic hog herd to record highs, according to industry and government data.

When U.S. consumer demand did not ease and retail prices remained steady, the industry found itself in a short-term supply quandary, said Doane Advisory Services economist Dan Vaught.

“I really would have thought the industry would have been more aggressive in storing bellies for use this summer, which obviously wasn’t the case because the amount in product in storage really lagged historical levels pretty badly all year,” Vaught said.

“When end-users needed those bellies they weren’t there, despite the record production overall for summer, so we ended up with a shortage.”

Wholesale U.S. pork belly prices hit their highest ever of $227.54 per cwt (or $2.28 per pound) on July 26, before sinking to the lowest for the year on Friday, to $101.63 per cwt, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.

As summer progressed, shoppers started to see the ripple effect. The average August retail bacon price reached an all-time peak of $6.24 per pound, up 7.3 percent from July and 14.5 percent higher than the year-ago period, according to USDA retail price data released this week.

What goes up must come down, said food and livestock analysts. The retail bacon price spike dampened consumer and food service sales. That, in turn, has sent wholesale pork belly prices falling about 50 percent in the past few weeks, said Steve Meyer, a pork analyst at Indiana-based EMI Analytics.

“That pushback is the primary reason that belly primal prices are now at $104 per cwt,” Meyer said. “These low wholesale values will encourage storage and attract end users back when the pricing is eventually passed along.”

Reporting By Theopolis Waters in Chicago; Additional reporting by Michael Hirtzer in Chicago; Writing by P.J. Huffstutter in Chicago; Editing by Richard Chang

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Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Scrap Metal Recycler Works Hard to Succeed in Current Down Market :: Story ID: 36347 :: Construction Equipment Guide

📅   Fri September 15, 2017 – Northeast Edition #19

The DX300LC-3 has the power to handle substantial loads of scrap metal.

The DX300LC-3 has the power to handle substantial loads of scrap metal.


When David Feinberg, a veteran in the scrap metal industry, formed a partnership in 2011 with Eric Bell, an industry newcomer, the outlook for their new venture looked solid.

The young company — Philadelphia Metal and Resource Recovery — had an excellent location near Interstate 95, in an industrial section of Philadelphia. Feinberg previously operated a similar business at the same 4-acre site and was well known among a large group of buyers and sellers. The market for ferrous and non-ferrous metals was strong. To get the enterprise off to a good start, the owners purchased a new Doosan crawler excavator that proved to be a hard-working, durable machine.

Everything pointed to the company becoming a serious player in the scrap metal and recycling business in southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware. That is exactly what happened. Five years later, Philadelphia Metal is one of the area’s premier metal-broker processing firms — in spite of how the market has evolved and how metal prices tumbled.

During the time the company has been in business, prices for all commodities have dropped, some as much as 75 percent, according to Feinberg. Philadelphia Metal, like other firms in the industry, has reduced operating hours and staff.

“So far, that is all we have been forced to do,” Feinberg said. “Hopefully, better times are ahead.”

Philadelphia Metal is a full-service enterprise that purchases, processes, packages, brokers and sells all grades of metal. Some ferrous materials are sold to steel mills, others to exporters. Non-ferrous materials are sold to either larger brokers or directly to consumers.

The company is a big believer in intelligent resource management and reusing metals, as a way to protect the planet’s natural resources, divert metals from sanitary landfills and help customers’ recycling efforts.

“Our industrial clients like the fact that we aid in managing their scrap in a way that they can realize some profit,” Feinberg said. “We are always looking for any reusable materials that can be sold.”

Excavator Choices

Several months before starting the new company, the partners decided a new crawler excavator was necessary to execute their strategic plan that focused on service. They wanted to get customers in and out efficiently; sort and process materials fast and move them out quickly.

“While evaluating several different machines, I learned that some others in our business had good success with the Doosan brand,” Feinberg said. “I knew from previous experience that the local dealer had a good reputation. Eventually we focused our research on Doosan crawler excavators, specifically the DX300LC-3. It was very price-competitive and, from everything we could tell, it was comparable in quality to other leading similar-size products.”

For Feinberg and Bell, the excavator had to excel in durability and cost of operation. The DX300LC-3 was the perfect fit, and so was the second DX300LC-3 they purchased a year later. The company also owns a Doosan DX210W wheel excavator that is located at a satellite operation.

“We need machines that can survive — and thrive — in a dirty, rugged environment,” Feinberg said. “Those two DX300LC-3s have been dependable workhorses. They load trailers, process and separate scrap throughout the day. That’s all they do and they do it well.”

Cost-of-operation items — such as fuel efficiency, maintenance and parts expenses, and downtime — are critical factors that help the owners of Philadelphia Metal evaluate the value of their equipment.

“The Doosan excavators have lived up to our expectations,” Feinberg said. The DX300LC-3 has easy access to key checkpoints, cooling system and other critical components, which according to Feinberg, makes daily preventive maintenance easy. Both are paired with a grapple attachment to lift and sort material delivered to the facility, and they are outfitted with special guarding on the front and top of the cab for additional protection.

All of the equipment was purchased through Doosan financing programs, a process Feinberg said was “very easy to work with.”

The DX300LC-3 crawler excavator stands out in a lineup of 25 to 30 ton (28 to 33 t) machines. The unit has the power to handle substantial loads of scrap metal, an important factor at the Philadelphia Metal facility.

“We try to focus our efforts on providing a good customer experience,” Feinberg said. “That means competitive pricing, easy access to our yard and no waiting for traffic or equipment. Our two Doosan excavators keep moving materials around our location so space is always available for the next load coming through the gate.”

ISRI: Organization “Helpful” to Scrap Metal Recycling Members

Even though David Feinberg has been involved in the scrap metal and recycling business for more than two decades, he is always eager to keep up-to-date about the industry. One of the best sources of information, he says, is the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), a Washington D.C.-based trade association.

“It is a great organization,” said the co-owner of Philadelphia Metal and Resource Recovery. “Over the years, they have been helpful and, as a member, I have benefited from their good educational programs and publications. They provide top-notch representation in Washington and their trade shows are outstanding. Overall, it is very worthwhile to be a member.”

The ISRI membership consists of manufacturers and processors, brokers and industrial consumers of scrap commodities, including ferrous and non-ferrous metals, paper, electronics, rubber, plastics, glass and textiles. Associate members include equipment and service providers to the scrap recycling industry.

The association represents more than 1,600 for-profit firms — ranging from small, family-owned businesses to large, multi-national corporations — operating at more than 1,500 facilities in the United States and 34 countries worldwide.

For more information about ISRI, visit the organization’s website: www.isri.org.

This story was reprinted with permission from Doosan’s DoMORE Magazine, Winter 2017 edition.


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Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

AEM’s Megan Tanel Earns Exhibitions Industry ‘Distinguished Service’ Award :: Story ID: 36363 :: Construction Equipment Guide

📅   Thu September 14, 2017 – National Edition

>The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) has announced that Megan Tanel, senior vice president exhibitions and events of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), is the 2017 recipient of the IAEE Distinguished Service Award.

>The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) has announced that Megan Tanel, senior vice president exhibitions and events of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), is the 2017 recipient of the IAEE Distinguished Service Award.


The International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE) has announced that Megan Tanel, senior vice president exhibitions and events of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), is the 2017 recipient of the IAEE Distinguished Service Award.

This award recognizes IAEE members’ extraordinary service and contributions that have furthered the growth and development of IAEE and the exhibitions industry. The winners serve as industry role models, notes IAEE.

IAEE will officially honor all 2017 IAEE awards program winners during a special luncheon at its Expo! Expo! event in November.

“I was completely surprised by this honor and truly appreciative of the recognition,” said Tanel. “I continue to work to balance the needs of AEM members with the value they can gain through an innovative and progressive exhibitions industry. I thank IAEE; it is a privilege to serve and support those who work to make face-to-face events successful.”

“On behalf of AEM, we congratulate Megan on receiving this well-deserved award,” said AEM President Dennis Slater. “Her leadership, hard work and dedication have been instrumental in AEM’s continued success to deliver world-class exhibitions that provide real value to our members, exhibitors and attendees.”

Tanel’s 20-plus-year career with AEM includes show director of the Association’s CONEXPO-CON/AGG, ICUEE-The Demo Expo and World of Asphalt exhibitions. She is also a member of AEM’s senior leadership team.

Tanel is a past IAEE chair and has served on its Board of Directors since 2010. She received the IAEE Woman of Achievement Award in 2017.


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What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

UH researchers discover new form of stretchable electronics, sensors and skins — ScienceDaily

Heavy Construction Photos

A team of researchers from the University of Houston has reported a breakthrough in stretchable electronics that can serve as an artificial skin, allowing a robotic hand to sense the difference between hot and cold, while also offering advantages for a wide range of biomedical devices.

The work, reported in the journal Science Advances, describes a new mechanism for producing stretchable electronics, a process that relies upon readily available materials and could be scaled up for commercial production.

Cunjiang Yu, Bill D. Cook Assistant Professor of mechanical engineering and lead author for the paper, said the work is the first to create a semiconductor in a rubber composite format, designed to allow the electronic components to retain functionality even after the material is stretched by 50 percent.

The work is the first semiconductor in rubber composite format that enables stretchability without any special mechanical structure, Yu said.

He noted that traditional semiconductors are brittle and using them in otherwise stretchable materials has required a complicated system of mechanical accommodations. That’s both more complex and less stable than the new discovery, as well as more expensive, he said.

“Our strategy has advantages for simple fabrication, scalable manufacturing, high-density integration, large strain tolerance and low cost,” he said.

Yu and the rest of the team – co-authors include first author Hae-Jin Kim, Kyoseung Sim and Anish Thukral, all with the UH Cullen College of Engineering – created the electronic skin and used it to demonstrate that a robotic hand could sense the temperature of hot and iced water in a cup. The skin also was able to interpret computer signals sent to the hand and reproduce the signals as American Sign Language.

“The robotic skin can translate the gesture to readable letters that a person like me can understand and read,” Yu said.

The artificial skin is just one application. Researchers said the discovery of a material that is soft, bendable, stretchable and twistable will impact future development in soft wearable electronics, including health monitors, medical implants and human-machine interfaces.

The stretchable composite semiconductor was prepared by using a silicon-based polymer known as polydimethylsiloxane, or PDMS, and tiny nanowires to create a solution that hardened into a material which used the nanowires to transport electric current.

“We foresee that this strategy of enabling elastomeric semiconductors by percolating semiconductor nanofibrils into a rubber will advance the development of stretchable semiconductors, and … will move forward the advancement of stretchable electronics for a wide range of applications, such as artificial skins, biomedical implants and surgical gloves,” they wrote.

 

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The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?

Researcher assesses the environmental footprint of Canadian egg products — ScienceDaily

The whole food movement may be right; consumption of vegan and organic food can be the best choice for reducing environmental impacts, at least if you’re a chicken.

New research findings from UBC’s Okanagan campus show that poultry given vegan organic chicken feed can help to produce eggs with a smaller environmental footprint than those fed non-organic feeds that contain animal by-products.

Ecological economist Nathan Pelletier applied a cradle-to-customer environmental life cycle assessment of Canadian egg and egg product supply chains, with the aim to identify opportunities for system efficiency and environmental improvements. His study showed that relatively few variables–most notably, feed composition–contributed to differences in carbon emission production and resource demand.

“With over 1, 000 registered farms, producing more than 70 million tonnes of eggs annually, Canada’s egg industry is an excellent example of the opportunities and challenges in managing food production systems for sustainability objectives,” says Pelletier who holds both an Endowed Chair in Bio-economy Sustainability Management and the NSERC/Egg Farmers of Canada Industrial Research Chair in Sustainability at UBC Okanagan.

Pelletier’s life cycle assessment of Canadian egg farms considered all of the supply chain activities–from type of feed and housing, to manure management–associated with egg production. His is a very systematic approach, which quantifies the flows of materials, energy, and emissions associated with activities all along the supply chain.

Pelletier’s findings showed that the type of feed and manure management system had the greatest influence on environmental impacts of all the variables examined. Organic feed derived from non-livestock sources, required fewer resources and had lower emissions than conventional feed.

“Canadian egg farming is highly diverse. Farms range in size from several hundred hens to more than 400,000, and farm-level efficiencies vary,” says Pelletier. “There is a large gap between the laggers and leaders in terms of environmental performance. This is where the opportunity to improve lies.”

This is the first national benchmark study of Canadian egg supply chains and Pelletier believes that it offers important insights for improving the sustainability profile of the industry. “This data will allow supply chain participants to gauge their individual performance relative to national and housing system-specific benchmarks, and to understand how and to what extent they can improve their performance.”

“Our next step is to build a web-based tool that will enable farmers to measure their farm-specific impacts, set goals, and to report and communicate their sustainability performance,” he says. “Ultimately, a reduction in resource use and emissions intensity by over 50 percent nation-wide may be possible.”

Consumption of eggs and egg products in Canada has consistently increased every year since 2010, and poultry and egg products produced here generate more than $1 billion in industry profit.

The study, published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, was supported by funds from the Egg Farmers of Canada.

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Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.

Lawsuits against Equifax pile up

(Reuters) – More than two dozen lawsuits have been filed in the United States against Equifax Inc (EFX.N) after the credit reporting company said thieves may have stolen personal information for 143 million Americans in one of the largest hackings ever.

At least 24 federal lawsuits had been filed by Sunday in connection with the breach, which Equifax had publicly revealed three days earlier, and more were filed on Monday, court records show. Most will likely be combined into a single piece of nationwide litigation.

Equifax said it learned of the hacking on July 29, and has set up procedures it said are intended to help people protect their Social Security numbers and other identifying information. (www.equifaxsecurity2017.com/)

Some lawsuits criticized Equifax’s offer of a year of free credit monitoring with its TrustedID product, with one complaint filed in San Jose, California, suggesting Equifax might do this to lay a “foundation” to pitch costlier services.

It cited a Feb. 22 regulatory filing in which Atlanta-based Equifax said more companies are offering free or low-cost services such as credit scores, reports and monitoring “as a means to introduce consumers to premium products and services.”

In afternoon trading, Equifax shares were down $10.03, or 8.1 percent, at $113.20. They closed at $142.72 on Sept. 7, before the breach was disclosed. Some lawyers have said they may file securities fraud lawsuits over the share price decline.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bill Trott

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For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Young Tennesseans Benefit From New Paths to Industry :: Story ID: 36247 :: Construction Equipment Guide

📅   Fri September 08, 2017 – Southeast Edition #19
Kathy Carlson, THE NASHVILLE LEDGER

From learning on the job to earning degrees in civil engineering, there are many roads into the construction industry and its array of specialties.

From learning on the job to earning degrees in civil engineering, there are many roads into the construction industry and its array of specialties.


From learning on the job to earning degrees in civil engineering, there are many roads into the construction industry and its array of specialties.

Students don’t have to go straight from high school into construction work and many new educational opportunities are being developed.

Middle Tennessee State University senior Cody Pratt will graduate in December with a major in commercial construction management. He grew up in Murfreesboro and in the industry, the son of a field superintendent with a construction company.

Pratt initially majored in accounting, but he was always interested in construction. A job in construction labor one previous summer led him to focus on construction, and for the past year he has been a project management field intern with Bell & Associates Construction, working on a bridge being built at one of the state’s busiest intersections — Memorial Boulevard and Broadway in Murfreesboro.

His goal is to be a project manager in transportation construction, roads and bridges.

“Out here I do daily job reports, I log and file deliveries, make orders for supplies and material, monitor job site safety,’ said Pratt on a site where perhaps 25 to 30 people are working on an average day.

“It’s nice being able to participate in this project and have it 10 minutes or less from where I am in Murfreesboro.’

He said he’s seeing more young people going straight from high school into construction labor for reasons including the cost of going to college, lack of interest in college and questioning whether it’s worth the expense of going to college even if there’s enough money to do so.

He would encourage high school students thinking of going into construction work to go for it.

“If they want to do that [work outdoors on the site in construction], they should start as soon as they get out of school. If you’re young and smart you don’t have to go to college. You can work your way up.

“By the time you’re 30, you can become a job site foreman or an assistant superintendent.’

Kent Starwalt, Tennessee Road Builders Association , said wages in the construction industry are increasing. “You can make a very, very good living in the construction industry without a four-year degree.

“You can work from general labor to become an equipment operator,’ he said. “If you have good people skills you can become a foreman or superintendent. You can make close to six figures’ after working your way up in the industry.

“Does everyone make that? No, but you can make a very good living and support a family.’

The highway construction industry competes with building construction industry for workers, and also competes with other non-construction employers seeking unskilled labor and skilled equipment operators, such as the warehouse and fulfillment industry, Starwalt said.

Outdoor construction companies such as highway construction firms have to pay a premium to get workers willing to work outside in the elements, rather than indoors in a climate-controlled warehouse.

Ryan Dwyer, director of operations of Go Build Tennessee, which aims to build awareness of career possibilities in construction, said the average wage of a skilled tradesman is $40,000 a year. That can reach six figures in some special construction occupations, he said.

“An important message we communicate at Go Build is that there are honorable, viable, sustainable career paths in the skilled trades, and it’s not just the common misperception of being a fallback career choice or just seasonal work. With the proper training, there is an endless supply of career opportunities throughout the state and country.’

The state of Tennessee’s 2017 highway prevailing wage rates, issued in January, lists 25 different labor categories for road work, from unskilled laborers earning $13.64 an hour to the highest-paying job, painter/sandblaster, with a prevailing hourly wage of $27.43. The prevailing wage for skilled laborers is $15.89 an hour; it’s $21.27 for a crane operator and $18.23 for a carpenter/leadsperson, for example.

Tennessee’s colleges of applied technology currently offer certificate programs in welding and other skilled construction trades. Its community colleges offer associate’s degree programs in construction- and engineering-related fields along with the potential to transfer credits to a four-year college.

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Tennessee Technological University, Tennessee State University and University of Memphis, for example, offer civil engineering programs. Middle Tennessee State University offers degrees in construction management, including concrete management.

“Road building and heavy civil structures is an important part of the curriculum within both construction and concrete management,’ said Heather Brown, professor and director of MTSU’s School of Concrete and Construction Management. “We’ve even been approached by road paving equipment and supplier companies to offer additional coursework for their technicians to boost their road paving materials knowledge.’

MTSU has been developing a one-year certification in road construction that both its students and industry can take for college credit, she said.

Plans are to roll out the classes in 2018, and the program would have both asphalt and concrete components along with road repair options.

The program currently under consideration would include an internship and represent 15 hours of undergraduate credit.

The purpose of the program is to develop the next generation of technical leaders and specialists to support customers in the road construction and minerals technology businesses, a draft description states.

Amelie Sharp is a student in Nashville State Community College’s civil/construction engineering technology program.

“I actually have always enjoyed looking at how things are made. I was always interested in construction,’ she said. “I started with a CAD [computer-assisted design] class one summer, then just decided to keep doing it.’

Another selling point for construction was financial. Sharp’s daughter graduated from college five years ago and is an estimator for a large interstate construction company.

Her daughter’s success and earnings potential prompted Sharp to study construction technology.

“I want to see what opportunities come up,’ including in transportation construction, when she completes her associate’s degree.

Nashville State is “providing me with all the basic background I need to go into the field. Construction is not by any imagination a 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday [field]. You need to be detail-oriented, able to multitask. It interests me.’


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For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.

FBI says witnesses in U.S. probe into Malaysia’s 1MDB fear for safety

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Potential witnesses to the multi-billion dollar scandal at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) are afraid to speak with U.S. investigators as they fear for their safety, the Federal Bureau of Investigation says.

A total of $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB by high-level officials of the fund and their associates, according to dozens of civil lawsuits filed by the U.S Justice Department in the past two years.

1MDB is at the center of money-laundering probes in at least six countries, including the United States, Switzerland and Singapore. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak set up 1MDB in 2009 and served as chairman of its advisory board until last year. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The Prime Minister’s office and 1MDB did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the FBI claims.

In a federal court filing in Los Angeles, the FBI requested that the names of its informants in the case be kept secret, after many expressed concerns of retaliation if they were found to have been in contact with the U.S. government.

Individuals otherwise willing to provide information on the case have also told investigators that they were afraid that they would “place the safety and security of both themselves and their families at serious risk”, according to a declaration in the filing by FBI agent special agent Robert Heuchling.

The agent said identifying witnesses could result in intimidation or threaten their safety, citing Malaysian news reports of local officials and politicians who have been arrested for purportedly disclosing information linked to 1MDB.

The agent cited Malaysian press reports from Aug 30 that said the driver of former Malaysian Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail was shot in public as a possible warning against assisting the U.S government in the case.

Abdul Gani had led investigations on 1MDB until he was replaced in 2015.

Last month, the U.S. Justice Department asked for a stay on its civil lawsuits seeking to seize more than $1 billion in assets allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB funds because it was conducting a related criminal probe.

The lawsuits filed by the department allege that the funds were stolen in four phases.

The lawsuits say those involved included Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, Najib’s stepson Riza Aziz, and Khadem al Qubaisi, the former managing director of Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co.

The trusts holding the assets on behalf of Low, Aziz, al Qubaisi and their families have opposed the request to put the civil proceedings on hold.

The Low trusts have asked the United States to provide the identities of witnesses, sources of evidence, and thousands of documents that are relevant to the criminal investigation, the FBI said.

The Justice Department has sought to seize a total of about $1.7 billion in assets that it said were bought with misappropriated 1MDB funds.

The lawsuits also claim that $681 million in 1MDB funds found its way into the personal accounts of so-called Malaysian Official 1, who Malaysian and U.S. officials have identified as Najib. He was cleared of any wrongdoing in a Malaysian investigation.

Low did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the FBI filing and he has previously denied any wrongdoing in the 1MDB case, saying that the Justice Department’s actions were “a further example of global overreach in pursuit of a deeply flawed case.”

Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by Praveen Menon and Neil Fullick

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Under pressure, Hyundai clashes with China partner over suppliers: sources

BEIJING/SEOUL (Reuters) – Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) is at loggerheads with its Chinese partner over efforts to cut supplier costs, as they grapple with cut-throat competition and the impact of a stand-off between Beijing and Seoul, four people familiar with the dispute said.

Hyundai, along with affiliate Kia Motors (000270.KS), has been caught up this year in a political row over a missile defense system deployed in South Korea but opposed by China. That came against the backdrop of increased competition from local automakers, already making life tough in the world’s biggest market.

Until last year, Hyundai and Kia ranked third in China by sales. But sales for Hyundai alone have slumped 41 percent from January to July, making this the biggest crisis since Hyundai entered the Chinese market in 2002.

Hyundai and its local partner BAIC Motor Corp Ltd (1958.HK) are divided over how to solve the issue. Hyundai wants to protect its South Korean supply chain, while BAIC favors shifting to cheaper Chinese suppliers, the people said.

“BAIC wants to solve this aggressively and is aggressively pursuing it by asking Hyundai to change its sourcing strategy significantly and immediately,” said the head of a Hyundai supplier based in Seoul familiar with the matter. He added the idea was to source more locally from cheaper suppliers.

Hyundai wants to solve this more gradually “over perhaps 5-10 years and do so in phases,” the person added.

BAIC declined to comment.

A Hyundai Motor spokesperson told Reuters: “Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors have been continuously trying to source competitive parts in China.”

The stand-off underscores the depth of a crisis facing Hyundai and its suppliers in China, heavily reliant on sales to Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors.

South Korea approved the full deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system on Monday – a day after North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test – and says it is needed to counter growing threats from North Korea.

China has strongly opposed the system and says its powerful radar poses a threat to its national security.

“China has started to become a grave for South Korean automakers and suppliers,” said Lee Hang-koo, a senior research fellow at Korea Institute for Industrial Economics & Trade, adding suppliers were being hit the hardest.

South Korean firms are squeezed between cheaper Chinese suppliers and European rivals which are technologically more advanced, making it challenging for them to diversify their customers beyond Hyundai Motor, he said.

Parts from South Korean suppliers are around 30-40 percent more expensive than those from local Chinese suppliers, industry sources say.

Hyundai last week replaced the head of its China operations, following months of tumbling sales. It was forced to suspend production temporarily at its four China plants last month over issues of non-payment to a supplier.

Reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu in BEIJING and Hyunjoo Jin in SEOUL; Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Ian Geoghegan

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.

Harvey Relief Efforts Continue :: Story ID: 36200 :: Construction Equipment Guide

📅   Tue September 05, 2017 – Midwest Edition #18

Harvey, which made landfall late Aug. 25 as a Category 4 hurricane lingered, dropping heavy rain as a tropical storm, and has sent devastating floods pouring into Houston.

Harvey, which made landfall late Aug. 25 as a Category 4 hurricane lingered, dropping heavy rain as a tropical storm, and has sent devastating floods pouring into Houston.


Harvey, which made landfall late Friday, Aug. 25 as a Category 4 hurricane has lingered, dropping heavy rain as a tropical storm, and has sent devastating floods pouring into Houston. The rising water chased thousands of people to rooftops or higher ground and overwhelmed rescuers who could not keep up with the constant calls for help.

Officials released more water from Houston-area reservoirs overwhelmed by Harvey early Aug. 28, in a move aimed at protecting the city’s downtown from devastating floods, but that could still endanger thousands of homes, even as the nation’s fourth-largest city anticipated more rain.

According to a USDOT release, Secretary Chao directed the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to make $25 million in emergency funds available, upon the request of Gov. Greg Abbott on Aug. 29. The money will be used to make emergency repairs to roads and bridges. The Maritime Administration also activated two National Defense Reserve Fleet vessels for a FEMA mission to support relief efforts in Texas. Thus far, the rain and floods have been blamed in at least 60 deaths as of press time.

Look in upcoming issues of Construction Equipment Guide for continuing coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, particularly as the flooding recedes and the long road to cleanup and infrastructure reconstruction becomes clearer.


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For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

United Tech to buy Rockwell Collins for $30 billion, combine aerospace operations

(Reuters) – Aerospace supplier United Technologies Corp (UTX.N) has struck a $30 billion agreement to buy avionics and interiors maker Rockwell Collins Inc (COL.N), the companies said on Monday, in a deal that bulks up UTC’s power with plane makers by creating one of the world’s largest makers of civilian and defense aircraft components.

Farmington, Connecticut-based United Technologies will pay $140 per share for Rockwell Collins, split between $93.33 per in cash and $46.67 in stock, according to the companies. The price represents a 17.6 percent premium to Rockwell’s $119 share price before news of the talks emerged on Aug. 4.

Shares of Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Rockwell Collins closed at $130.61 on Friday. U.S. markets were closed on Monday for the Labor Day holiday.

The acquisition price implies a total transaction value of $30 billion, including Rockwell Collins’ debt, and a total equity value of $23 billion. United Tech said it plans to fund the cash portion through debt issuances and cash on hand.

Under the deal, the companies said that Rockwell Collins and UTC’s aerospace systems segment will be combined to create a new business unit named Collins Aerospace Systems.

“This acquisition adds tremendous capabilities to our aerospace businesses and strengthens our complementary offerings of technologically advanced aerospace systems,” UTC’s chairman and chief executive officer, Greg Hayes, said in the statement.

“Together, Rockwell Collins and UTC Aerospace Systems will enhance customer value in a rapidly evolving aerospace industry by making aircraft more intelligent and more connected,” he said.

SUPPLIERS VS PLANEMAKERS

The creation of a new giant in the top echelon of aircraft parts makers comes as planemakers Boeing Co (BA.N) and Airbus SE (AIR.PA) are trying to capture more of the profits earned by their suppliers. Both are pushing suppliers to lower prices and are moving into the high-margin aftermarket arena for parts and services that suppliers now enjoy.

In a move seen as a threat to Rockwell, Boeing said in July that it would build up its own avionics business.

Last week, Airbus urged supplier UTC to stay focused on fixing industrial problems that have delayed new aircraft deliveries.

If plane makers “are going to take more of the aftermarket or demand more of the aftermarket, we’re going to have to think about how we price our products,” Hayes told analysts in July.

By making more of the components needed on each aircraft, analysts say, United Technologies likely will gain some leverage to resist such pressures.

The deal also follows a wave of consolidation among smaller aerospace manufacturers in recent years that was caused in part by the need to invest in new technologies such as metal 3-D printing and connected factories to stay competitive. A combined United Technologies and Rockwell Collins could similarly invest, and their broad portfolios have little overlap.

United Technologies makes Pratt & Whitney jet engines used by Airbus, Bombardier Inc (BBDb.TO), Embraer SA (EMBR3.SA) and other plane makers. It supplies engines for Lockheed Martin Corp’s (LMT.N) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. It also supplies such key components as landing gear, air conditioning systems and engine covers to a wide range of jetliners.

Rockwell Collins is a major avionics supplier to Boeing and Airbus and other plane makers. In April it added passenger seating, cabin interiors, lavatories and galleys through its $6.4 billion acquisition of B/E Aerospace.

The two companies have spent a month trying to reach an agreement, and their combined sales would be more than $62 billion, compared with about $95 billion for Boeing.

United Technologies expects to close the purchase in the third quarter of 2018. The company, with a $94.2 billion market value, also owns Otis Elevator and air conditioner maker Carrier.

Rockwell Collins has a market value of $21.2 billion.

The deal, which includes $7 billion in Rockwell’s debt, is expected to save more than $500 million by the fourth year after its completion, the companies said.

Morgan Stanley & Co LLC was the financial adviser to United Tech, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz was its legal adviser.

J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Citigroup Global Markets Inc were Rockwell’s financial advisers, while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom was its legal adviser.

Reporting by Alwyn Scott and Mike Stone; Additional reporting by Michael Flaherty and Chuck Mikolajczak in New York and Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.