Diane Hendricks named to Forbes' list of richest self-made women
Diane Hendricks, co-founder of NRCA One Voice member ABC Supply Co. Inc., Beloit, Wis., has been named to Forbes' 2018 list of "America's Richest Self-Made Women."
Forbes ranked the most successful self-made women entrepreneurs and executives in the U.S. as measured by their net worths. The combined net worth of the top 60 self-made women is $71 billion, 15 percent higher than in 2017.
Hendricks clinched this year's top spot with a net worth of $4.9 billion. She grew up as one of nine sisters on a Wisconsin dairy farm before meeting her husband, Ken, a roofing contractor, while selling custom homes for a builder. Together, the couple founded ABC Supply, one of the largest wholesale distributors of roofing, siding and windows in the U.S., 36 years ago. Hendricks has run ABC Supply since her husband's passing in 2007. She led ABC Supply during the two biggest acquisitions in its history, buying Bradco Supply, Avenel, N.J., in 2010 and L&W Supply Corp., Chicago, in 2016. ABC Supply now has more than 700 locations and more than $9 billion in sales.
Other notable self-made women who appear on Forbes' list include makeup mogul Kylie Jenner, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift and talk show host Oprah Winfrey.
Industry leaders rethinking employee recruitment efforts
Construction industry executives are rethinking their employee recruitment and retention programs to meet the demand for construction management and trade employees, according to www.constructiondive.com.
A labor shortage continues to plague the industry, and recent reports indicate employers expect the problem to continue during 2018. The second quarter USG + U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index reported 90 percent of contractors are concerned about the shortage of skilled laborers and 47 percent expect their limited ability to staff projects will continue to worsen.
In June, construction industry executives attending the PlanGrid Construction Summit in San Francisco shared ideas for drawing workers to the industry. For example, McCarthy Building Cos., San Francisco, showcases its high-tech tools to job candidates and offers internships and leadership programs to young people to highlight how a career in the industry may unfold. And TDIndustries, Dallas, actively recruits women and advocates for additional career choices to be presented at the high school level to make young people aware of the strong career paths and benefits the industry offers.
Construction companies also are starting to offer more financial rewards to recruit new talent and retain existing workers. The average construction hourly wage has been increasing, which is beginning to attract the attention of potential workers, and some contractors reportedly are offering bonuses up to $3,000.
Solar investment tax credit rules released
In June, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released establishing rules for the federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The solar ITC currently is 30 percent.
The rule says if a solar project meets one of two thresholds by an end-of-year deadline, it still can qualify for the solar ITC in that year. The two thresholds are starting physical work of a significant nature or meeting the 5 percent safe harbor test, which involves paying 5 percent or more of the total cost of the facility in the year construction begins.
At the beginning of 2020, the solar ITC decreases to 26 percent; in 2021, it will decrease to 22 percent and drop to 10 percent for commercial projects in 2022 and beyond.
The long-term extension provides market certainty for companies to develop long-term investments that drive competition and technological innovation.
Missouri voters reject law banning mandatory union fees
Missouri voters have voted against a law banning mandatory union fees in workplace contracts, according to www.pbs.org. The Aug. 7 vote was a victory for unions, which allocated millions of dollars into a campaign to defeat Proposition A.
The law originally was enacted in 2017 by Missouri's Republican-led legislature and governor. However, it never took effect because unions gathered enough petition signatures to force a public referendum on it, arguing the measure would have led to lower wages. Business groups supporting the law said it could have led to more jobs. Results from economic studies exploring the issue were inconclusive.
Twenty-seven other states have similar laws against compulsory union fees, including five Republican-led states that have acted since 2012—Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
SOPREMA® acquires DERBIGUM® Americas
SOPREMA Inc., Wadsworth, Ohio, has acquired DERBIGUM Americas Inc., Kansas City, Mo., the U.S. division of DERBIGUM, a Belgian roofing solutions provider.
SOPREMA plans to maximize DERBIGUM's history of manufacturing APP polymer-modified bitumen and a full line of roofing adhesives, mastics and primers as DERBIGUM Americas joins the RESISTO and Chem Link brands as part of the SOPREMA family of companies in the U.S. DERBIGUM Americas will operate as a subsidiary of SOPREMA, becoming a SOPREMA Group Company.
"We are pleased to welcome DERBIGUM Americas into our company, furthering our dedication to being an industry leader in engineered roofing solutions and strengthening our product offering by having local APP [polymer]-modified bitumen production in the U.S.," says Tim Kersey, SOPREMA's vice president and general manager. "DERBIGUM is a well-recognized and long-respected name brand, and we see immediate synergies between the two companies' people and portfolios."
Pension plan insurance program to run dry by 2026
The federal program that insures pension plans for union workers is predicted to run out of money by 2026.
The multiemployer program of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) has a more than 90 percent chance of becoming insolvent by the end of 2025, according to PBGC's most recent fiscal year 2017 projections report. PBGC's fiscal year 2016 report predicted a less than 60 percent likelihood of bankruptcy by 2025.
The program covers 10 million union workers and retirees who receive pensions as part of collective bargaining agreements between unions and employers in the same industry. The program provides financial assistance when pension plans can't afford to pay basic PBGC-guaranteed benefits.
The new projection comes after the largest troubled pension plan switched to a 100 percent fixed-income portfolio, making it easier to predict when the plan would require PBGC financial assistance.
IRS developing new Form 1040
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is developing a new Form 1040 for the 2019 tax season.
The new Form 1040 will be half the previous size and replace the current Form 1040, Form 1040A and Form 1040EZ. This will allow all 150 million taxpayers to use the same form, which uses a "building block" approach and can be supplemented with additional schedules if needed.
More than nine out of 10 taxpayers use software or a tax preparer to complete tax forms. The IRS has begun working with the tax community to ensure a smooth transition.