NYC Plans to Boost Construction Jobs – 8/20/20

Aug 20, 2020

NEW YORK—New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced via press release that the Community Hiring economic justice plan would aim to drive economic recovery in economically disadvantaged communities by using the city’s purchasing power to connect New Yorkers to good jobs. This plan would provide an estimated 1,300 construction jobs for every $1 billion in construction for low-income communities, leading to an estimated $1 billion in wages and benefits for target communities during the first full year of the program.

“During the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, we’re taking action to connect low-income New Yorkers to good jobs and even better futures,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We’ll use the City’s purchasing power to address hiring disparities, expand opportunities and invest in our communities of color. Working together, we can build a fair and equitable future for all New Yorkers.”

“As New York City recovers from the COVID-19 crisis, it is essential to address the inequities exposed by the pandemic, especially in communities deeply affected by structural racism.” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “Our administration’s Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity, which I co-chair, has taken actions that are already bringing tangible relief to these communities. We feel the urgency of this moment and praise this new collaboration. It is an important, necessary and significant step to creating more pathways to training, employment and economic opportunity.”

Lendlease Details Losses in Latest Financial Report
Australia-based contractor and developer Lendlease revealed its full-year 2020 financial results this week detailing how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected operations, leading to an overall after-tax loss of $310 million Australian dollars ($223 million).

Lendlease Group CEO and managing director Steve McCann said Lendlease experienced a disappointing financial result in FY20 as the Group brought to account costs for the exit of the Engineering business, while the Core business was impacted by COVID-19 in the second half.

“The Group responded swiftly to the onset of COVID-19 with the health and safety of our people and customers paramount, along with measures to strengthen our financial position,” said McCann. “A range of mitigating actions were implemented, including costreductions and a review of project expenditure. In addition, the balance sheet was strengthened significantly through issuing new equity and arranging additional debt facilities to enable the Group to manage through a potential sustained downturn and to take advantage of development and investment opportunities as they emerge.

“Notwithstanding the challenging environment, the Group advanced its strategic agenda in FY20,” McCann continued. “Significant progress was made on growing and converting the development pipeline, including securing additional major urbanisation projects, achieving important planning milestones and creating new investment partnerships to support projects moving into delivery. The Group has made good progress in finalizing the sale of the Engineering business.”

Court Rules On Builder’s Risk Policy
According to an article in Construction Dive, The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has “upheld a lower court’s ruling that the builders risk policy secured for a 19-story high-rise project in Houston, Texas, does not cover $686,976 worth of subcontractor damage to the structure’s windows.”

Reporter Kim Slowey writes: “Attorneys for general contractor Balfour Beatty Construction and subcontractor Milestone Metals told the court that, as part of its normal course of work, Milestone welded a stabilizing metal plate on the 18th floor of the Energy Center 5 building. Despite Milestone’s precautionary measures to protect the building, Milestone was informed months after completing the work that the slag from its operations had damaged the building’s windows and that they needed to be replaced.”

Developer Trammell Crow, Balfour and Milestone submitted a claim against the builders risk policy, which was held by Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., but Slowey writes that the company denied the claim citing an exclusion for “acts, defects, errors or omissions.”