With 210 AGC chapter representatives from across the nation present in Washington, D.C., Carolinas AGC Board of Directors Chair Edison Cassels last week discussed association excellence in the Carolinas concerning CAGC government relations, meetings, education and training, Young Leaders, communications and other services.

Cassels’ presentation was made on Sept. 26 during a panel discussion that also included two other AGC Chapters, AGC of Alabama and TEXO. The three chapters were chosen among AGC’s 92 chapters to discuss “Examples in Organizational Innovation.” His remarks were made during a three-day annual AGC meeting, the National and Chapter Leadership Conference 2016, that included CAGC visits on Capitol Hill with Congressional leaders from the Carolinas.

Cassels told attendees at the meeting, held at the Willard Hotel in Washington, that CAGC in February 2015 held a Town Hall meeting to listen to what our members wanted. “It was a big success that worked fantastically,” said Cassels, President & CEO of Edison Foard general contractors in Charlotte. Organizational changes that CAGC is implementing from that meeting, he said, include:

Excellent government relations programs in the Carolinas that, with leadership from CAGC’s five lobbyists in both states, resulted in overwhelming passage in March 2016 of a $2 billion statewide bond referendum for public building and utility projects that included CAGC raising over $250,000 from our construction industry to help with a $2 million-plus voter education effort; $400 million more beginning this year for new transportation funding in S.C.; and a total of $1.2 billion in additional funding in N.C. in 2016 and last year.

Sold-out meetings for our 2017 Winter Convention in St. Thomas as well as our 2016 Summer Summit in Hilton Head and Winter Convention in Charleston, S.C. “We had 610 attendees in Hilton Head and over 400 in Charleston and we could have had many more but we literally ran out of hotel and banquet space,” Cassels said, adding that many of CAGC’s more than 60 meetings a year throughout the Carolinas are selling out fast.

Increasing CAGC’s Board of Directors, effective in January 2016 following a unanimous vote at our Convention, from nine to 15 members to include wide-ranging representation from the Building, Highway-Heavy, Utility, Specialty Contractor, Supplier-Service Divisions as well as Young Leaders.

Heavy emphasis on education, including Safety and Project Supervision Training, more than 100 members now in our Young Leaders Program, new hardcopies and digital membership rosters as well as publication of a regular CAGC Magazine, weekly NewsBreak services to plug members in to the construction industry info and a new website that is second to none.

New Labor Shortage Initiative: Cassels said CAGC is working with other industry groups on a program to showcase the construction industry as a smart move for a well-paying career.

Cassels also commended CAGC’s staff, led by CAGC President & CEO Dave Simpson, as well as past leaders of CAGC.