Each month, Arkansas Money & Politics profiles three professional associations to explore the business, industry, governmental and not-for-profit agencies impacting law, commerce and goodwill across the state. The magazine tells their stories to give readers a better understanding of who they are, where they stand and the positions they are backing.
Associated General Contractors of Arkansas
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the leading association for the construction industry. AGC represents more than 26,000 firms, including over 6,500 of America’s leading general contractors, and over 9,000 specialty-contracting firms. More than 10,500 service providers and suppliers are also associated with AGC, all through a nationwide network of chapters.
For the past 80 years, AGC Arkansas has worked tto promote the construction industry with its governmental relations efforts.
“We are an organization that looks after the interests of general contractors in Arkansas,” says Joey Dean, executive vice president of AGC Arkansas.
AGC Arkansas heavily advocates for an environment in which contractors of all kinds can thrive, according to Dean. In order to do so, the AGC Legislative Committee meets once a week during regular legislative sessions to discuss the association’s position on construction-related bills and determine the proper strategy to advocate that position.
Among the organization’s top priorities is highway funding. The AGC Highway Division works directly with the Arkansas State Highway & Transportation Department through a signed agreement. Dean states that AGC wants to “make roads better and safer for everyone.”
The organization works closely with the Arkansas General Assembly. Because of AGC’s efforts, a proposed constitutional amendment to make the existing half cent highway sales tax a permanent fixture will appear on the 2020 ballot.
“This is not a new tax,” Dean says; the amendment will just ensure that the tax will not go away.
When a company joins AGC Arkansas, it also gains membership to AGC of America. It is through these organizations that companies have the opportunity to experience a network of contractors throughout the nation. Dean sees this as a great marketing tool for members.
A large part of what AGC Arkansas does for its community of contractors is safety training and educational seminars. It offers numerous safety training sessions related to all areas of the construction industry taught by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as well as other safety experts. To keep members updated on construction business issues, AGC Arkansas sponsors educational seminars conducted by industry experts.
The association and the Arkansas Construction Education Foundation have partnered to provide apprenticeship programs all around the state. From a carpentry program in North Little Rock and a glazier program in Little Rock and Springdale to electrical programs offered in every corner of the state, AGC Arkansas is always working to build a better tomorrow for the construction industry for our state.