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  • Thu, April 02, 2020 9:12 PM | Anonymous

    CIRT members were invited to join a webinar on Thursday, April 2 to discuss the global financial implications of the pandemic. The session, titled “Economic Endgame: Recession Resilience; Responding to Stimulus; Rebounding Stronger” featured an expert panel including:

    • Steve Bartlett, former president of the Financial Services Roundtable and former member of the U.S. Congress
    • Beth Brooke, former global vice-chair of public policy at EY and a member of the firm’s Global Executive Board
    • Terry Graunke, chairman and CEO of Erie Street, is an industry-leading business builder, operator and investor
    • Nick Redman, Oxford Analytica's Director of Analysis and the Editor in Chief of the Oxford Analytica Daily Brief
    • Georges Ugeux, former president of the European Investment Fund and former head of the international group of the New York Stock Exchange

    WATCH the webinar here:  https://apcoworldwide.com/coronavirus/

    Once you are on the website page above, scroll down the page until you see the Vimeo video for the webinar:  Economic Endgame with Oxford Analytica

    This virtual discussion addressed government stimulus packages in leading global economies, their economic effect, and how they are being administered; economic scenarios for business in 2020, focusing on the most impacted sectors and markets, and longer-term effects; insights from the frontlines of the corporate response across the EU, China, the Gulf and the United States; newly released APCO research into attitudes of the U.S. public towards COVID-19 and how business and government should respond, and; longer term considerations for corporate positioning in the wake of the pandemic.

  • Mon, March 30, 2020 2:55 PM | Anonymous

    Using wide-sweeping policing authority under the emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Governors in three states (New Jersey, Colorado, and Minnesota) have ordered private sector companies (including construction firms) to provide them with a complete list of all PPE items they have on-hand.  The orders come as concerns continue to persist (notwithstanding the herculean efforts by the Trump Administration to meet the demand) about the ability of medical personnel and facilities to have adequate PPE supplies available if peak conditions should overwhelm their capacity.  [NOTE: At this time, these orders are not “confiscations orders” but, such a listing of supplies can be used later to demand or take such materials if it should come to that].  Notwithstanding, some of the businesses have raised concerns regarding if it becomes necessary to surrender the PPE supplies to the state, how will that impact them when facing an OSHA penalty for workplace safety noncompliance? [No clarification has yet been issued by OSHA].

    The three states have expressed their orders in slightly different ways, but all amount to approximately the same thing – the state governments want to know what private sector firms have by way of PPE supplies.  See below for example, (it’s been reported):

    New Jersey (Gov. Murphy): Has ordered all businesses with personal protective equipment to submit an inventory:  “Any business or non-hospital health care facility, including but not limited to dental facilities, construction facilities, research facilities, office-based healthcare or veterinary practices, and institutions of higher learning, in possession of PPE, ventilators, respirators, or anesthesia machines that are not required for the provision of critical health care services should undertake an inventory of such supplies and send that information to the State by no later than 5:00 p.m. Friday, March 27, 2020.”  Murphy orders from last week also noted: “The Office of Emergency Management shall establish a process by which entities subject to this provision can submit this information.”

    Colorado (Gov. Polis): Has made a similar request ordering: “any Colorado business or non-hospital health care facility, whether veterinary, dental, construction, research, institution of higher learning, or other, in possession of PPE, ventilators, respirators and anesthesia machines that are not required for the provision of critical health care services undertake an inventory of such supplies by no later than March 26th, 2020 and prepare to send it to the State of Colorado.”

    Minnesota (Gov. Walz):  The
    inventory order requires: “Any Minnesota business, nonprofit, or non-hospital health care facility, whether veterinary, dental, construction, research, institution of higher learning, or other, in possession of PPE, ventilators, respirators, or anesthesia machines (including any consumable accessories to these devices) that are not required for the provision of critical health care services or essential services and were not produced by the organization for the purpose of sale, must undertake an inventory of such supplies no later than March 25, 2020,” (Emphasis added), with the inventory listing to be submitted at:
    https://mn.gov/ppe.  The precise definition of what is an “essential service” outside of medical health care, etc. has not been defined, but if it is mixed with non-essential then an inventory is still expected, along with STOPPING use of the PPE supplies for these non-essential activities.

  • Fri, March 20, 2020 2:47 PM | Anonymous

    Today during the daily Pandemic Response news briefing, Vice President Mike Pence signaled out the construction industry for stepping up to donate, share, provide vitally important personal protective equipment/gear (PPE), such as N-95 face masks, gloves, etc. that they could spare from their firms.  

    Please take the survey re: "emergency supplies" by following this link.  If you have any questions, please contact Mark Casso.

  • Mon, March 16, 2020 5:00 PM | Anonymous

    Using as inspiration a quote from Winston Churchill, ““Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm,” CIRT announced today this year’s CIRT National Design & Construction Competition’s three national finalists.

    This year, 52 entries were submitted from 24 Affiliates/Chapters across the country with only three garnering the coveted right to go onto the final presentation round. The three finalist teams will have that opportunity to present remotely/virtually to a panel of judges. The three finalists for 2020 are:

    • ACE Mentor Program of Greater Washington Metro Area, Washington Liberty Team for your National Pavilion entry;
    • ACE Mentor Program of Greater NY/Team 30 for your Water Resource Management entry; and
    • ACE Mentor Program of Illinois/Chicago Team 5 for your Gastronomic Center entry.

    Read more here.

  • Mon, March 16, 2020 4:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As concerns around managing the exposure to and treatment of Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) continue to escalate and with the President declaring a National Emergency on March 13th, as well as the CDC’s Interim Guidance announced yesterday, March 15th,  CIRT will be canceling the CIRT Spring Conference (April 27–29, 2020).

    Unfortunately, this will also mean canceling the final presentation round of the CIRT National Design & Construction Competition.  However, we are happy to report that 52 entries have been evaluated and three national finalists identified hailing from: Greater Washington DC Metro Area; Greater New York City, and Illinois/Chicago. These teams will have a chance to square-off in a remote or virtual presentation round to determine the National Champion ACE Team!

    CIRT believes the health, safety and well-being of our members and your employees, our partners, and the communities in which you live and serve are our foremost concern as we continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 outbreak.

    If you had registered for the Spring Conference, please be sure to cancel your hotel reservations directly with The Willard hotel (or other venue) as well as cancelling your travel plans.

    We hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy, and we wish everyone well as we collectively navigate this global health challenge.

    Please let me or Jane (jane@cirt.org) know if you have any questions about future CIRT events. 
  • Fri, March 13, 2020 2:22 PM | Anonymous

    CIRT members were invited to participate in a webinar hosted by APCO Worldwide on Wed., 3/11 re: the COVID19 situation and we are pleased to make the recording of this webinar available for those that could not participate when it was live.   You can find a recording of the session here: https://apcoworldwide.com/coronavirus/
    Additional resources include: 

    If you have any questions, please contact Mark Casso or Jane Bonvillain.

  • Thu, October 03, 2019 4:03 PM | Anonymous

    Today, the online portal containing the basic information, deadlines, and project challenges/options for the 2020 CIRT National Design & Construction Competition was officially opened at: http://cirtcompetition.org  
    [Also, all the teams must be responsive to the “full package” attached and referenced on the CAC portal page].

    CIRT has collaborated with the Chicago Architecture Center (CAC) over the past few years to run the competition through their online platform as a means to scale the program and make it available on in a more flexible format to a greater number of ACE Mentor of America Affiliate/Chapter teams.  The final deadline for entries is: March 3rd (at 11:50pm).  Those interested in submitting will have three project challenges or options to select from: (1) Water Resource Management & Preservation, (2) National (USA) Pavilion, and (3) Gastronomic Center. 

    Teams are also welcome to use, on a voluntary basis, the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s online learning platform: DiscoverDesign.org  This is a collaborative tool, whereby students can upload their work, give feedback to each other and share photos, links and other resources as they work through the design process.

    The annual competition is announced in the early fall to the ACE Mentor of America Affiliates/Chapters and officially begins in January concluding with a presentation round, which will be held in late April as part of CIRT’s Spring Conference. Three finalist will face-off to determine which team will be selected and announced as the winner.  CIRT presents prizes for the top three national finalists, as well as for the runner ups in each of the three project challenges/or categories.       

  • Fri, September 27, 2019 9:47 AM | Anonymous

    On September 27th, the first consensus standard contracts written by and for the construction industry reached a 12-year milestone. This first-of-its kind coalition has grown from 20 organizations (including CIRT) in 2007 to 40 leading organizations today, while being at the forefront of breaking down contractual obstacles. The catalog of contracts has grown from 70 to over 100 standard contracts, and in this period the Coalition has established a track record of success with billions of dollars of construction put-in-place using ConsensusDocs contracts.

  • Wed, June 19, 2019 1:07 PM | Anonymous

    Dr. Arthur Laffer, keynote speaker at CIRT’s 2019 spring conference along with Stephen Moore, received the highest civilian honor granted in the United States; at a presentation ceremony in the White House with President Trump.

    With the now-famous “Laffer Curve,” the Father of Supply-Side Economics illustrated how when tax rates creep too high, people stop spending and investing—leading to less growth andparadoxically, lower tax revenues. On the other hand, at a certain point on the curve, lower tax rates help spur investment, economic growth, and even government tax receipts. In 1980, Dr. Laffer’s ideas would take center stage as he helped shape President Ronald Reagan’s low-tax, pro-growth working-class agenda. Since then, more than 30 countries have adopted similar tax cuts and reforms. As a result, Dr. Laffer’s policies have helped lift nearly a billion people out of poverty.

    Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

  • Fri, May 17, 2019 12:59 PM | Anonymous

    In an unprecedented history-making performance, the ACE Mentor team from Central Iowa again took home top honors for the second year in a row, being crowned National Champions in the thirteenth annual CIRT Design & Construction Competition. The three finalist had survived a grueling preliminary round that saw a record-setting 64 entries to vie against each other in the final presentation round during the ACE Mentor of America’s 25th Anniversary Celebration and All-Affiliates Conference, at the National Harbor, MD Gaylord Resort Hotel, on May 14, 2019.  A distinguished panel of judges was headed by Thomas Gilbane, Jr. (Gilbane Building Company), included: Denise Ramsey (Haskell Company), Tim Faerber (HNTB Corporation), Tom Donnelly (BrightView Landscaping Development), and Scott Seltz (ENR).  At the gala dinner, before some 400 guests, CIRT President, Mark A. Casso announced the order of finish as follows:

    • First Place and a prize of $5,000 went to: ACE Mentor Program of Central Iowa: for their Play Ground/Scape entry: “Unboxed;”
    • Second Place and a prize of $3,000 went to: ACE Mentor Program of Greater New York (Team 30) for their Alleviate Urban Transportation Congestion entry: “Crosstown;” and
    • Third Place and a prize of $2,000 went to: ACE Mentor Program of Hawaii for their Community Health Clinic entry: “War Natatorium Health Clinic.”
    It took the judges two ballots to ultimately determine a winner after carefully analyzing the quality of the presentations as well as the underlying entry’s design/construction approaches within the project’s objectives while being fully responsive to the competition package elements in the challenge/option. In the end, the judges balanced the outcome on the basis of the two major elements: quality of presentation and competence of the overall entry. The winning entry exhibited an extraordinary versatility and responsiveness to the criteria of the challenge, while remaining within the limits of constructability and budget.

    Six other teams were also 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. Among this elite group were:

    Play Ground/Scape Challenge (which had 22 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Chicago/Team 5 for “Tamin’ the Damen/Kara Park;”  2nd Runner-Up: ACE Mentor Program of Central Florida for “Park n’ Rec Innovative Playscape;
    Alleviate Urban Transportation Congestion Challenge (which had 14 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Greater Philadelphia/Team 10-WRT for “Artery Relief;”  2nd Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Greater NYC/Team 8 for “L.I. City Auto-no-mous Rapid Transit;”
    Community Health Clinic Challenge (which had 28 entries): 1st Runner-Up: ACE Mentor of Chicago/Team 4 for “El Centro; 2nd Runner-Up: ACE Mentor Program of San Diego, CA for “South Bay Community Health Clinic at SWHS

    The CIRT National Design & Construction Competition is a collaborative effort with the ACE Mentor Program of America and the Chicago Architecture Council. This year experienced not only a record number of entries but also equaled the highest number of ACE Affiliates/Chapters represented with a total of 607 students (from 200 schools) and 385 mentors and professionals (from 149 firms) participating. To watch the competition VIEW HERE.     

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