Everything everywhere was quickly grinding to a halt in February of 2020 as the world started to realize that COVID-19 would end up being a massive disruptor globally. For Nunn Construction, our team was about a month into construction at the Ed Robson Arena project with its potential to keep hundreds of people busy working that was now up in the air. As one of the City for Champions projects, funded in-part through State tax credits, maintaining its schedule was a critical component to actualizing these projects.
Facing much uncertainty, workers and companies were left wondering what was next and would they even have a job in the coming days. Professional organizations, including Associated General Contractors (AGC), got to work figuring out how to advocate best for the people they served. AGC’s Colorado Chapter worked tirelessly with the State to define the building industry as an essential business, keeping more folks working and moving important building projects towards completion. In June of 2021, over a year after the rest of the world and many states saw projects still halted, construction was booming throughout Colorado. This meant that the Construction Industry positively impacted the economy with millions in tax revenues paid to local governments through from equipment and building materials which helped fund police and fire protection, road upgrades, park maintenance and other services.
Importance of Advocacy
Having an advocate in your corner both professionally and personally is a proven key to career growth and forward momentum and we’re grateful to AGC who over the years have supported our industry through leadership, legislative advocacy, educational and networking opportunities. AGC of Colorado supports over 600 firms of general and specialty contractors of all sizes, both union and non-union shops, publicly or privately owned. AGC has been in existence for over 100 years and Nunn’s leadership and employees have been involved for decades. Ray Nunn was involved on the Colorado Board of Directors for over seven years serving as Chairman, Vice Chairman, and on numerous committees over the years. Ray reflected, “working with AGC Colorado has been such a rewarding part of my career and has helped keep me focused on the big picture and long-term goals we have as an industry, so we continue to grow.”
Sean Leggett, Nunn’s Chief Financial Officer, has also been involved in AGC Colorado’s Legislative Committee for over 15 years and currently serves on the Board of Directors, recently re-elected to a second two-year term. The legislative committee has helped provide information to members on proposed agency rules and regulations and how to implement new legislation, coordinate industry responses and feedback on proposed legislation, and work proactively on positive changes in safety and environmental regulations, contract terms and other issues.
Sean believes “The impact AGC has had on helping shape legislation and advocating for policies that help our industry and businesses to thrive in a tough economic market has been critical especially considering the challenges we’ve all faced over the last few years from the Great Recession in 2008 and the recent pandemic, without AGC’s efforts to help us all keep going, I don’t know if our state and region would be in the healthy economic condition it is today.”
A Partner in Educating the Next Generation
AGC also focuses on education opportunities and training, and they created the CEF (Construction Education Foundation) here in Colorado which supports various apprenticeship opportunities here and in other states. They have been instrumental in helping recruit, develop and serve students of the construction industry through education about career pathways in the construction workforce. AGC support also helps Careers in Construction and it’s Colorado chapter which is in 62 Colorado high schools with 10,726 students enrolled in CTE programs and has helped over 1,105 local students become employed in the construction industry.
Phil LaSarre, Vice President of Operations for Nunn Construction has been volunteering with CICC (Careers in Construction Colorado) for over 10 years and has seen first-hand the impact it has made on hiring and preparing the next generation of skilled tradespeople. “Students are seeing that this is a legitimate career path,” LaSarre commented, “and one that doesn’t saddle them with college debt but prepares them to quickly enter a living-wage career that is extremely rewarding.”
AGC has proved an invaluable partner in making our industry better; from keeping folks employed and informed in times of great uncertainty to ensuring our people are safe and preparing the next generation of our workforce. At Nunn, we’re excited about what the future will bring to construction and building trades, helping shape our communities and their buildings with skilled and passionate professionals.