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  • Thu, July 01, 2021 1:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    With the passing of Donald Rumsfeld this week, Art Laffer (Laffer Associates) has shared a reunion of the 1974 dinner where he, Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney (former Vice President), first discussed the concepts and economic tax policy that was depicted on a napkin and called the “Laffer Curve.”

    Art Laffer has been a speaker at CIRT conferences on multiple occasions.  He has stayed true to the original precepts of the napkin curve, which perfectly captured the true nature of how taxing impacts the amount of something you tax. It is a special moment in time, that changed economic policy in the nation -- enjoy.

    Link: https://youtu.be/4yBgTN5JT-Y

    The clip depicts a reenactment of the now-famous 1974 dinner between Laffer, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Jude Wanniski in which Dr. Laffer scribbled his Laffer Curve on a napkin for then-Ford Administration officials Rumsfeld and Cheney and journalist Wanniski.  The original napkin from that dinner resides in the Smithsonian Institute. 

  • Wed, June 16, 2021 10:46 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Using a hybrid in-person and virtual format, three “Worthy Finalist” teams competed in the presentations round before a remote audience and five judges to vie for top honors in the 2021 CIRT National Design & Construction Competition. The competition was part of the Construction Industry Round Table’s (CIRT) spring conference held in downtown Washington, D.C. The three finalist teams had survived the unprecedented uncertainties and challenges of the pandemic and shutdowns, in addition to a grueling preliminary round that included 27 entries, from 18 ACE Mentor Program of America Affiliates. All the teams in the final round hailed from ACE Affiliates that had never before gotten to the presentation stage. In the end, ACE Mentor Program of Southern Nevada/Las Vegas, Maverick Design Team emerged to take home top honors as National Champions in the fifteenth annual CIRT competition. They did so, by winning favor with a distinguished panel of judges headed by Wassim A. Selman, CIRT Chairman (ARCADIS), that included: Greg Cosko (Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction); Dave Mahoney, (Dewberry); Michael Choutka (Hensel Phelps); and Jenni Mushynski (formerly with Chicago Architecture Center).

    The order of finish for the competition was:

    • First Place and a prize of $5,000 went to: ACE Mentor Program of Southern Nevada/Las Vegas, Maverick Design Team for their Manufacturing Center/Zone; 
    • Second Place and a prize of $3,000 went to: ACE Mentor Program of Western Michigan for their Homeless Shelter entry; and
    • Third Place and a prize of $2,000 went to: ACE Mentor Program of Greater Milwaukee for their Retrofit School entry.

    After carefully analyzing the presentations as well as the underlying entry’s design/construction approaches within the project’s objectives, the five judge panel balanced the outcome on the basis of the two major elements: quality of presentation and competence of the overall entry. The winning team’s solution exhibited a very strong responsiveness to the criteria of the manufacturing center challenge, by incorporating major elements in their proposal/response, such as: (i) advantageous site selection, (ii) use of intra-modal forms of transportation and networks, in addition to (iii) use of flexible storage and office space to meet various client needs and functionality. Realistic detailed cost estimates as well as construction work flow and calendars were also provided to complete the entry.  

    Seven other teams were also recognized in the 2021 competition as either First Runner-Up ($1,000 prize) or Second Runner-Up ($500 prize) in each of the three different design challenges or options. Among this elite group were:

    Manufacturing Center/Zone Challenge (out of 5 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Greater Washington Metro Area/McKinley Tech Team;  2nd Runner-Up: ACE of Northeast Florida/Creekside H.S. Team;
    Retrofit a School Challenge (out of 6 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Greater NY/Team 15;  2nd Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Greater Omaha;
    Homeless Shelter Challenge (out of 16 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Southern Nevada/Las Vegas, Desert Design Team; two teams tied for 2nd Runner-Up between: ACE Mentor Program of Greater NY/The Hive Team and ACE Mentor Program of Hawaii/Team Trace.

    The CIRT National Design & Construction Competition is a collaborative effort with the ACE Mentor Program of America and the Chicago Architecture Center. [To watch the recorded copy of the Final Presentation round go to the following link and see JUNE 7, 2021 video]:  RECORDINGS | Cirt Spring (cirt2021spring.com)


  • Thu, June 10, 2021 1:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As part of the open conversations and discussions during breakout focus groups and program sessions, the danger of cyber-attacks including ransom-ware was revealed.  CIRT member firms are currently experiencing real time attacks that jeopardize their operations while seeking to financially blackmail their companies.  The frank exchanges among members alerted many of their CIRT colleagues and peers to the looming danger and the need to quickly address the matter while assessing their vulnerabilities and taking remedial steps. This ugly side of technology will be a topic of interest in coming meetings. 

    One CIRT member has shared the following FBI information regarding how construction companies and their clients are being scammed by hackers, etc.  (See details).


  • Mon, April 26, 2021 7:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Notwithstanding the extraordinary challenges, disruptions, school shutdowns and other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, CIRT was very pleased to see the number and quality of the entries submitted for the 2021 CIRT National Design & Construction Competition. In its fifteenth year as a collaborative program with ACE Mentor Program of America and the Chicago Architecture Center, the competition attracted 27 entries from 17 Affiliates/Chapters. The difficult process to narrow the submissions to just three, called upon the preliminary judges to both consider the entries on their own AND also in comparison to the other entries. After being compared side-by-side, only three garnered the coveted right to go onto the final presentation stage to vie for the top prize of $5,000. This year’s Worthy FINALISTS, none of which have EVER BEFORE been named to the presentation phase of the competition, are as follows:  

    • ACE Mentor Program of Southern Nevada/Las Vegas, Maverick Design Team for their Manufacturing Center/Zone entry;
    • ACE Mentor Program of Greater Milwaukee for their Retrofit a School entry; and
    • ACE Mentor Program of West Michigan for their Homeless Shelter entry.


    Seven other teams were recognized as either First Runner-Up ($1,000 prize) or Second Runner-Up ($500 prize) in each of the three different design challenges or options:

    Manufacturing Center/Zone Challenge (out of 5 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Greater Washington Metro Area/McKinley Tech Team;  2nd Runner-Up: ACE of Northeast Florida/Creekside H.S. Team;

    Retrofit a School Challenge (out of 6 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Greater NY/Team 15;  2nd Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Greater Omaha;

    Homeless Shelter Challenge (out of 16 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Southern Nevada/Las Vegas, Desert Design Team; with tie* for 2nd Runner-Up between: ACE Mentor Program of Greater NY/The Hive Team and ACE Mentor Program of Hawaii/Team Trace.

    [*NOTE: After receiving identical initial composite scores from the judges, the Hive Team and Team Trace were more intensely debated and compared to determine if only one should be selected for the 2nd Runner-Up spot. However, after careful consideration it was agreed that both were WORTHY of recognition, the only difference being – one entry had a stronger “How” (technical elements) and the other a stronger “Why” (responsive elements) to address the challenge].

    CIRT is looking forward to a spirited and exciting NATIONAL PRESENTATION ROUND (among the THREE Worthy Finalists teams) during the CIRT Spring Conference in DC, on June 7, 2021. [NOTE: The presentation round will be streamed LIVE for viewing by any interested parties at DESIGN COMPETITION | Cirt Spring (cirt2021spring.com)


  • Thu, April 22, 2021 7:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The new 2nd Quarter 2021 CIRT Sentiment Index Report released today shows a surge in optimism to an all time record after the Index had fallen into its deepest decline a year ago (at only a reading of 21.6) as the COVID pandemic hit the nation. The Index soared from 55.5 last quarter to 79.1 (plus +43%); with the subset Design Index also jumping from 64.8 to 83.9 (plus +29%).

    These greatly improved results likely reflect the aggressive U.S. vaccine distribution programs ongoing and possibly the new government stimulus packages, along with increased consumer spending – which have contributed to improved industry enthusiasm and confidence. 

    READ the 2nd Quarter 2021 CIRT Sentiment Index Report.


  • Tue, April 13, 2021 6:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A bipartisan Congressional caucus to improve the delivery of construction services is being proposed by Rep. Scott Peters (CA–52) and Rep. Pete Stauber (MN-8).  The formal launch date is Thursday, April 22nd for newly-formed, Construction Procurement Caucus (CPC).  The congressmen have stated that CPC will serve as a forum for members of Congress to “discuss ways to improve efficiency in the federal government procurement process with the goal of promoting commonsense design and construction services and procurement reforms to benefit the government, taxpayers, and businesses of all sizes.” 

    The CPC announcement comes at a time when the President and Congress are in the beginning stages of negotiating an infrastructure bill that may be as large as $2.25-2.6 trillion dollars.  The CPC lists the goals of the new caucus to: 1) simplify the federal construction services procurement process; 2) promote a competitive marketplace for federal construction services contract awards for all size businesses; 3) support greater opportunities for all size businesses in the federal marketplace; and 4) elevate procurement-related legislative opportunities.

    The virtual kickoff event is open to the public and will take place on April 22 at 12:00 PM, Eastern. RSVP here to attend.  


  • Tue, December 15, 2020 1:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CIRT announced that due to the ongoing pandemic concerns it has moved its planned Spring Conference dates back six weeks to June 7 – 9, 2021.  The change will include moving the CIRT - ACE National Design & Construction Competition to Monday, June 7th.

    During CIRT’s Fall Conference last month in Arizona, the ExCom and Board discussed the possibility of moving the dates back to allow more time for the pandemic to be nearly over especially with advent of vaccinations coming online and people hopefully feeling more confident about traveling.  Fortunately, The Willard Intercontinental is able to accommodate these later dates without any changes to CIRT’s program pattern and meeting space.

    With respect to the CIRT National Design & Construction Competition, this change will allow more time for the ACE Affiliate student teams to work on their projects with a REVISED proposed schedule of:

    • April 16, 2021 (DEADLINE) – All entries/registration must be OFFICIALLY submitted as required by the CAC online platform process [DEADLINE: is (11:59pm) in your time zone on the 16th of April].
    • April 29, 2021 – Preliminary results will be announced, with Finalists being notified and plans made to bring a representative(s) from each team to Washington, DC.
    • May 17, 2021 – Finalist teams will need to have made their hotel reservations in DC. [The finalists will be provided precise hotel/logistical information upon being selected. A stipend will be available for each team to be used to help cover cost to attend the final round based on need, etc. from the requests of the teams].
    • June 7, 2021 – Finalists present to the CIRT Panel of Judges. [Exact information on date, time, and place will be provided finalist].

    If you have any questions, please let us know.

  • Thu, October 01, 2020 6:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    When something is important enough,
    you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”

    Elon Musk’s inspirational quote sets the tone for the upcoming 2021 CIRT National Design & Construction Competition held in cooperation with ACE Mentor of America and the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC).  Again this year, ACE Mentor teams from across the country are invited to submit entries before or no later than March 17, 2021 to be considered for the prestigious national title and a prize of $5,000.  The students will be able to select from one of three challenge options that include the following:

    CIRT is looking forward to continuing our joint efforts among CIRT, ACE Mentor, and CAC for a successful 2021 National Competition.

    Download the 2021 Competition Package HERE.


  • Tue, July 21, 2020 1:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    A Note from Scott Cassels, Safety Week 2020 Executive Committee Chair & Executive Vice President, Kiewit Corporation

    Safety Week Sponsors:

    We’re looking forward to our rescheduled Construction Safety Week, Sept. 14-18, 2020.

    We want to provide companies with guidance and resources to help them easily plan a safe and effective Construction Safety Week. Please see below for additional information.  READ MORE HERE


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