IRS Increases Mileage Rate for Remainder of 2022

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rate for the final 6 months of 2022. Taxpayers may use the optional standard mileage rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business and certain other purposes.

Why the Global Inflation Problem Is Bigger Than US Politics

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“Inflation may be the focus of a midterm cycle political blame game, but economists caution the problem — and the most effective solutions — are global. Rising prices were a focus of this week’s meeting of the Group of Seven (G-7) major economies.”

“Meet Ida”

Ida Ross Hicks

ABMA Legislative Committee Vice-Chair Ida Ross Hicks sits down with ABMA Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Coordinator Julianna Rauf in a “get to know you” session.

ABMA One of the First to Sign On to COTA

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On Thursday, Congressmen Glenn Thompson (PA-15) and Derek Kilmer (WA-6) introduced the Creating Opportunities to Thrive and Advance Act. The American Building Materials Alliance (ABMA) was one of the first to sign on as an endorsing organization.

Department of Labor Publishes Regulatory Agenda

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Required by Executive Order 12866, the semiannual regulatory agenda lists all regulations under active consideration in the one-year period ahead, as well as longer-term regulatory actions, and ensures public engagement in the process of establishing regulations.

Departments of Commerce and Labor Partner to Form Good Jobs Initiative

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The Departments of Commerce and Labor have partnered to identify what comprises a good job. These eight principles create a framework for workers, businesses, labor unions, advocates, researchers, state and local governments, and federal agencies for a shared vision of job quality.

Building Mental Health-Friendly Workplaces

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U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and other department officials host a virtual event highlighting strategies that foster equitable and inclusive mental health-friendly workplaces.

Raimondo Comments on BBB Regional Challenge

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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo gave her remarks at the Build Back Better Regional Challenge Conference (BBBRC). According to Raimondo, “BBBRC finalists have a workforce development component to support skill building and the placement of workers into quality jobs.”

2022 Trench Safety Stand Down

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As June 2022 is Trench Safety Month, the National Utility Contractors Association (NUCA) will be celebrating Trench Safety Stand Down Week from June 20-24. A Safety Stand Down presents the opportunity for employers to talk directly to employees and others about safety.

Let’s Talk About Heat Challenge

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and co-sponsors have launched the Let’s Talk About Heat Challenge, a national competition to identify innovative and effective communication strategies that inform people of the risks of extreme heat and offer ways to keep safe during the hottest days. Learn more here.

OSHA’s Free Workplace Poster

During the hottest months of the year, OSHA will be doing on-site inspections of workplaces for heat related hazards. This effort is to ensure the safety of workers in hot conditions.

The OSHA Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law poster, available for free from OSHA, informs workers of their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. All covered employers are required to display the poster in their workplace.

OSHA Summer Summit Offers Insight on LBM Industry Requirements

During the hottest months of the year, OSHA will be doing on-site inspections of workplaces for heat related hazards. This effort is to ensure the safety of workers in hot conditions.

OSHA welcomes you to its Summer Summit on June 22, an all-day safety conference with a broad variety of breakout sessions including but not limited to compliance with the General Duty Clause, effective approaches to workplace on suicide prevention, and powered industrial truck training and safety requirements.

DOL Awards Grants to Assist Veterans with Entering the Workforce

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The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the award of more than $57 million in grants to organizations that help veterans experiencing homelessness find meaningful employment and assist them in overcoming barriers to transition back successfully into the workforce.

Heat Hazards Approach with Onset of Summer

During the hottest months of the year, OSHA will be doing on-site inspections of workplaces for heat related hazards. This effort is to ensure the safety of workers in hot conditions.

OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention campaign, launched in 2011, educates employers and workers on the dangers of working in the heat. Through training sessions, outreach events, informational sessions, publications, social media messaging, and media appearances, millions of workers and employers have learned how to protect workers from heat. OSHA’s safety message comes down to three key words: Water. Rest. Shade.

2022 IRS Tax Scams

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) began its “Dirty Dozen” list for 2022, which includes potentially abusive arrangements that taxpayers should avoid.

Supply Chain Disruptions To Be Improved by New Port and Supply Chain Envoy

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The White House and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that Retired General Stephen R. Lyons, former Commander of the U.S. Transportation Command, will be the new Port and Supply Chain Envoy to the Biden-Harris Administration Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force. Retired General Lyons will take over the role from John D. Porcari.

Supply Chain Strengthened By Over $368 Million in Grants

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The Biden administration announced over $368 million in grants to improve rail infrastructure and enhance and strengthen supply chains. 46 projects in 32 states will modernize rail across rural and urban communities, enable economic growth.

Building a Better America: A Small Business Resource Community

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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and Public Private Strategies Institute (PPSI) will host a webinar as part of their Building a Better America: A Small Business Resource Community (BBA Resource Community) series. The goal of this webinar will be to connect small businesses with critical resources and information about the Biden-Harris Administration’s policy agenda, including how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and American Rescue Plan create opportunities for small businesses.

Grow a More Profitable, Efficient, and Competitive Business

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The U.S. Small Business Administration’s T.H.R.I.V.E. Emerging Leaders Reimagined is a 6-month intensive training program that helps CEOs and Executives get unstuck and take their business to the next level. Accelerate your leadership skills, learn an MBA-level curriculum, receive tailored business coaching, and build relationships with a community of business owners, advisors, and experts.

National Safety Month

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Join the National Safety Council in June for National Safety Month—the annual observance to help keep each other safe from the workplace to anyplace.

Secretary Walsh Discusses Strengthening Economy

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U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh joined business leaders for a panel discussion on how private-sector employers can recruit, retain, and strengthen their workforce through investments in job quality.

Workforce Development Resources

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ABMA members had a meeting with the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) on Monday, April 18. During that meeting, Manoach (Manny) Lamarre discussed a number of workforce development resources and opportunities, which can be found here.

Deputy Secretary Don Graves Hosts Supply Chain Summit in Detroit

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U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves, U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, U.S. Congresswomen Brenda Lawrence and Rashida Tlaib, Michigan Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II, and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, hosted a Supply Chain Summit, bringing innovation, resilience, and supplier diversity into focus.

Planning for Disasters

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Get “A Closer Look” at some simple disaster preparedness tips that everyone should follow to ensure they protect their critical tax and financial documents.

DOL on #MentalHealthAtWork

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Every year in America, 1 in 5 adults experiences some form of mental illness, 1 in 20 experiences a serious mental illness, and 17 million experience a substance use disorder and mental illness. Despite the prevalence of mental health conditions, there’s still a stigma around discussing mental health and its treatment, especially at work – but there shouldn’t be.

WANTO Grant Program

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The Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (WANTO) grant helps to expand pathways for women to enter and lead in all industries.

OSHA Safety Reminders

During the hottest months of the year, OSHA will be doing on-site inspections of workplaces for heat related hazards. This effort is to ensure the safety of workers in hot conditions.

Are you subscribed to OSHA’s Safety Reminders? Be sure to sign up to receive reminders regarding safety hazards, best workplace practices, and more.

Tax Benefits for 2022

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For National Small Business Week, plan now to take advantage of tax benefits for 2022; enhanced deduction for business meals, home office deduction, and more.

Building a Better America Through Entrepreneurship

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In celebration of National Small Business Week, May 1-7, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is featuring information and resources to help small business owners, employers, and self-employed individuals succeed.

ABMA Tackles Softwood Lumber Agreement Strategy

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On Thursday, April 28th, the ABMA Legislative Committee met virtually to receive a congressional briefing from our Government Affairs Associate Pat Rita, specifically detailing the revival of Build Back Better (BBB) and the Congressional Career and Technical Education (CTE) Taskforce. Afterwards, ABMA Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Coordinator Julianna Rauf updated the committee on ABMA Advocacy Week and upcoming events. Lastly, new business took place among ABMA Director of Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Kirk Ives and ABMA Legislative Committee Member Sara Belletete.

DOL Coronavirus Resources

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As we continue to move through the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is committed to ensuring equitable access to key resources affecting the health and safety of America’s workers and workplaces.

ABMA District Office Visits

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ABMA concluded its inaugural Advocacy Week on April 8th after five days of over 40 meetings with legislator offices and 100 ABMA member participants. One of ABMA’s goals is to carry its message beyond Advocacy Week by having its members emphasize the priority issues in-person at their District Offices. District Office visits will provide a new way of augmenting Advocacy Week follow up by bringing you face-to-face with your Congressional legislators.

ABMA Yard Tours

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Yard tours provide ABMA members an excellent opportunity to build and grow existing relationships with policymakers. They are a critical tool that take on added importance to augment our virtual meetings that were held across the NRLA and CSA regions during the legislative session.

ABMA Meeting on Softwood Lumber

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On Thursday, April 21, ABMA met with Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy & Negotiations of the International Trade Administration (ITA) Ryan Majerus and his team to discuss the status of a new Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA). After a brief round of introductions, the meeting took off via a Q&A format. As a new SLA has been a priority for the lumber and building materials (LBM) industry since its expiration in 2015, ABMA members were eager to express its importance and ask questions regarding next steps.

ABMA Meeting with the ETA

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ABMA members had the opportunity to speak with Manoach (Manny) Lamarre and Dr. Stephanie Rodriguez of the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) sector of the Department of Labor (DOL) regarding workforce development (WFD) on Monday, April 18. During the meeting, Lamarre gave a brief overview of the programs the ETA oversees and explained the distribution of funds.

HIRE Vets Medallion Program

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The HIRE Vets Medallion Award, a Department of Labor (DOL) initiative, is the only federal-level veterans’ employment award that recognizes a company or organization’s commitment to veteran hiring, retention, and professional development.

Fact Sheet for Rural Communities

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The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) is an effort to bring economic opportunity to rural communities across the U.S. According to the Department of Commerce (DOC), BIL will “provide high-speed internet, safe roads and bridges, modern wastewater systems, clean drinking water, reliable and affordable electricity, climate data and information, and good-paying jobs in every small town and rural community.” This fact sheet provides information for rural communities to know all the available resources under the infrastructure law, where to apply, or how find more information.

Common Myths About Tax Refunds

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With the April 18 tax-filing deadline closing in for most taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) wants to dispel some new and common myths about getting refund details or speeding up tax refunds. A number of these myths circulate on social media every tax season.

SBA’s Equity Action Plan

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On April 14th, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Isabella Casillas Guzman issued a statement regarding the SBA’s Equity Action Plan. Key elements of this plan include, but are not limited to: access to capital, improve government contracting opportunities, improve access to disaster assistance, and improve access to business counseling, training, and services. […]

National Emphasis Program

During the hottest months of the year, OSHA will be doing on-site inspections of workplaces for heat related hazards. This effort is to ensure the safety of workers in hot conditions.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced on Tuesday the launch of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) new National Emphasis Program in an effort to protect workers from heat-related illness and injury.

ABMA Celebrates Successful Advocacy Week

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RENSSELAER, N.Y. – The American Building Materials Alliance (ABMA) concluded its inaugural Advocacy Week on April 8th. Over the course of the week-long event, over 100 ABMA members met virtually with over 40 legislators and their offices to highlight our three 2022 priority issues of workforce development, supply chain delays, and inflation.

What Can You Do?

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According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), “one in five working age Americans has a mental health condition.” After the COVID-19 pandemic plagued the workforce, employers are realizing now more than ever how critical mental health-friendly workplaces are. To help bring awareness to this issue, the ODEP-funded Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) has launched a new public education campaign called “Mental Health at Work: What Can I Do?”

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Implementation

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The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, popularly known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (“BIL”), was signed into law on November 15, 2021, providing a nearly $1.2 trillion dollar investment in our Nation’s infrastructure and future.

Women of Trucking Advisory Board

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The Secretary of Transportation chartered the Women of Trucking Advisory Board (WOTAB) of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on February 11, 2022.

“Meet Joe”

Joe Cecarelli

ABMA Legislative Committee President Joe Cecarelli sits down with ABMA Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Coordinator Julianna Rauf in a “get to know you” session.

“What They Are Saying” About the U.K. Tariff Agreement

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On Tuesday, March 22 United States Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai announced a new agreement with the United Kingdom (U.K.) to allow historically-based sustainable volumes of U.K. steel and aluminum products to enter the U.S. market without the application of Section 232 tariffs.

Tax Information for Businesses

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Tax season is upon us! Be sure to check in with IRS.gov for the latest tax information, tools, and resources for businesses and the self-employed.

National Safety Stand-Down

During the hottest months of the year, OSHA will be doing on-site inspections of workplaces for heat related hazards. This effort is to ensure the safety of workers in hot conditions.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 351 of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded in 2020 were due to falls from elevation. The National Safety Stand-Down is an effort to prevent fall fatalities and injuries by raising fall hazard awareness across the country.

Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program

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The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), or Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), Section 23022, requires the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to establish an apprenticeship pilot program that would allow drivers 18-20 years old with an intrastate commercial driver’s license to operate interstate commerce.

SBA 2022 Women’s Business Summit

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The Small Business Administration (SBA) is holding its 2022 Women’s Business Summit on March 28-30, 2022. The summit will consist of virtual panels, “Ask an Expert” workshops, and fireside chats to help women-owned small businesses build, scale, and grow.

“Meet Rod”

Rod Wiles

ABMA Legislative Committee Member Rod Wiles sits down with ABMA Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Coordinator Julianna Rauf in a “get to know you” session.

“A Closer Look” at the EITC

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The IRS recently published the latest executive column, “A Closer Look,” featuring Director of Refundable Credits Program Management Gwen Garren. The column provides an overview of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and its recent changes.

DOL Powered Industrial Trucks Design Standard Update

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The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” via the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The move includes standards for fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks.

New CDL Training Standards

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According to the  Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), starting on Monday, February 7th, any driver that must undergo Entry-Level Driver Training (EDTL) must complete required training from a registered provider.

IRS Warns Against Scammers

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As the new year begins, the Internal Revenue Service reminds taxpayers to protect their personal and financial information throughout the year and watch out for IRS impersonation scams, along with other schemes, that try to trick people out of their hard-earned money.

Commerce Reduces Canadian Lumber Tariffs

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In an email on Tuesday, February 1st, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced a review of reducing countervailing and antidumping duties on Canadian softwood lumber to 11.64%. This news follows after the U.S. raised rates on Canadian softwood lumber imports to 17.9% in November 2021, nearly double what it was previously.

DOL Penalties Increase for 2022

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The Department of Labor published the annual adjustments for 2022 that increase certain penalties applicable to employee benefit plans.

ABMA Virtual Advocacy Week

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ABMA will be hosting its first official ABMA Virtual Advocacy Week the week of April 4-8, 2022. The event is free for the entire ABMA, CSA, and NRLA membership.

“Meet Andrew”

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Committee member Andrew Brown sits down with ABMA Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Director Kirk Ives in a “get to know you” session.

2022 OSHA Penalties

During the hottest months of the year, OSHA will be doing on-site inspections of workplaces for heat related hazards. This effort is to ensure the safety of workers in hot conditions.

OSHA has published the maximum penalty amounts, with the annual adjustment for inflation, that may be assessed after Jan. 15, 2022.

Submit 2021 Injury and Illness Data

During the hottest months of the year, OSHA will be doing on-site inspections of workplaces for heat related hazards. This effort is to ensure the safety of workers in hot conditions.

March 2, 2022 is the deadline for electronically reporting your OSHA Form 300A data for calendar year 2021. Only a small fraction of establishments are required to electronically submit their Form 300A data to OSHA.

“Meet Sara”

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ABMA Legislative Committee Member Sara Belletete sits down with ABMA Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Coordinator Julianna Rauf in a “get to know you” session.

ABMA OSHA ETS Comment Letter

During the hottest months of the year, OSHA will be doing on-site inspections of workplaces for heat related hazards. This effort is to ensure the safety of workers in hot conditions.

On December 21, ABMA sent a comment letter to U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Assistant Secretary Douglas L. Parker regarding the interim final rule on the COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing: Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS).

Curtis Lumber Hosts Rep. Stefanik

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On Tuesday, December 14, Curtis Lumber of Ballston Spa, NY hosted Representative Elise Stefanik (NY District 21) in its corporate office for a private legislative event. At the event, Rep. Stefanik introduced the proposed Employer Directed Skills Act which will “empower job creators to determine the skills their workforce needs, streamline the process for workers to access skills development, and leverage private sector investments to make employers a stakeholder in the reskilling process.”

“Meet Phil”

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ABMA Legislative Committee Member Phil Kennedy sits down with ABMA Legislative & Regulatory Affairs Coordinator Julianna Rauf in a “get to know you” session.

ABMA Vaccine Mandate Survey Results

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Last week, President Biden announced that the Department of Labor is preparing to mandate that all businesses with 100 or more workers require their employees to either get vaccinated or face mandatory weekly testing. We wanted to know where you stand. The results are in.