Explore This Year's Agenda

Tentative Agenda is in Eastern Standard Time (EST) | General Session | HR Track | Workforce Track

Attendees can earn up to 12.5 CE Hours at this year’s conference!

Monday, November 6, 2023

5:00 – 6:00 PM

Welcome Reception

Sponsored By:

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

7:00 – 8:00 AM


Sponsored By:

8:00 – 9:00 AM

Mentorship vs. Sponsorship

For years, construction companies have implemented mentorship programs to make the industry a more welcoming place for women and help them advance in their careers.

But women still aren’t advancing to leadership roles at the same rate as men.

In this presentation, we explore why.

Based on the findings from the Building Better: A Women In Construction Benchmark Study by Ambition Theory and NCCER, we will unpack the following:

  • Why mentorship alone does not work to advance women into leadership roles
  • Why sponsorship is a powerful alternative to mentorship
  • How individuals and organizations can take action today to start driving real change in the construction industry.

You will leave this interactive session with tangible solutions you can bring back to your company to implement immediately.

Presented by Andrea Janzen, Founder & CEO, Ambition Theory

9:00 – 9:15 AM

Refreshment & Networking Break

Sponsored By:

9:15 – 10:15 AM

Breakout Sessions

Participants will actively engage in 3 to 4 facilitation exercises that are specifically designed for construction employees, including those working out in the field. This session will provide participants with the ability to immediately bring these exercises back to their team, including the field operations teams, to help quickly get open dialogue and active engagement. Participants will receive facilitation guides for each of the exercises they participate in during the session. This session is based on the speaker’s experience presenting to and facilitating sessions for over 1,000 construction professionals over the last ten years, including executives, project managers, superintendents, tradespeople, and support staff. 

Presented by Steve Williams, President, EctoHR, Inc.; Colleen Burke, Director of Human Resources, Shareholder, EctoHR, Inc.

The increased use of social media coupled with a rise in employee activism is shifting the relationship between construction firms and their employees. To address this evolving social contract, human resource departments are beginning to look and sound more like marketing professionals. They understand that AEC employers cannot ignore the impact of news headlines impacting society-at-large because those issues (whether political, societal, or economic) eventually make their way into the workplace. They are also painfully aware that their organizational leaders are being held accountable externally for what they say or do or do not say or do internally. 

Presented by Tami Simon, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Consulting Business Leader, Segal Company

Hear from the Federal Highway Administration about their Strategic Workforce Development program with the goal to identify, train, place, and retain individuals into heavy highway construction careers. Over 43 states are participating in the initiative which focuses on partnerships between State departments of transportation, contractors, educational institutions, workforce development boards, and non-profits to provide training and supportive services to those interested in a highway construction career. The Arizona Chapter of the AGC will share about their successful workforce development program. Also, a contractor from the Dallas area will share about a justice involved youth job training program (ConnectU2Jobs) that began with a partnership between the Texas Department of Transportation, Associated General Contractors of Texas, Dallas College, Lone Star Justice Alliance, and Greater Workforce Solutions of Dallas.

Presented by Chrisy Currier, Strategic Workforce Development Program Manager, Federal Highway Administration; Corey Foster, Workforce Development Director, Arizona Chapter of the Associated General Contractors; Lawrence Texada, Human Resources Business Partner, Webber, LLC

School-to-work employment is a critical way to engage high school students in a industry so they can explore the many career options available, earn money, and potentially solve your long-term workforce needs. Pre-apprenticeship and youth apprenticeship is on the rise but many contractors question whether youth employment is a feasible solution for this industry.  This engaging facilitated panel will address the primary concerns that contractors face when considering youth employment:

  • Connecting with students interested in work experience
  • Working within the guidelines of the insurance industry
  • Adhering to child labor laws for hazardous occupations like construction
  • Ensuring it is a meaningful experience for the student

Moderated by Laura Cataldo, Director, Baker Tilly

Panelists include: 

  • Guidance counselor/educator
  • Insurance agent
  • Child Labor Law specialist
  • Contractor experienced with youth employment

10:15 – 10:30 AM

Break Between Sessions

10:30 – 11:30 AM

Breakout Sessions

In recent years the federal government has committed to spend $1 Trillion on construction projects and to contribute several hundred billion more in tax credits for clean energy projects. This historic investment in construction comes at the same time that the U.S. DOL is enacting the largest overhaul of the Davis Bacon rules in 40 years. In addition, the tax credits provided by the Inflation Reduction Act not only require the payment of Davis Bacon prevailing wages but also enact a new set of federal apprenticeship requirements.

With the U.S. Government being the largest single spender on construction projects, these rules will extend to a large array of projects, impacting both general contractors and subcontractors. In this discussion we will cover the new revisions to the Davis Bacon rules and the developing rules and guidance for the Inflation Reduction Act apprenticeship requirements.

Presented by Patrick Dalin, Of Counsel (Philadelphia), Fisher Phillips

Join us for a panel discussion regarding how HR and Operations can successfully partner for the greater good of growing the business. The session will explore how successful companies have put aside the competing priorities between HR and operations to come together to co-create solutions that help build a strong organization while fighting the war on talent and a tumultuous and competitive economy.

Moderated by Christi Pilutik, President, ALTA Consulting

Panelists include: Matt Binsfeld, J.F. Brennan Company, Inc.; Janelle Pogodzinski, Chief Human Capital Officer, J.F. Brennan Company, Inc. Keyan Zandy, Chief Executive Officer, Skiles Group; Shelby McEntire, Director of Human Resources, Skiles Group

This presentation will focus on how Metropolitan Community College works with local industry to develop short-term job readiness programs.  These programs are designed to take individuals with no industry knowledge and places them in a skilled trade through immersive educational and OJT experience. Developed locally in Omaha, Nebraska the program details and launch specifics have been shared with GCs across the country.  The national rollout became a model for bringing new people quickly to the skilled trades, for both Union and Non-Union projects.

Presented by Nathan Barry, Dean of Career and Technical Education, Metropolitan Community Colleges; Sara Hansen,  Director of Business Development, AOI Corporation

This session will feature a moderated conversation with the founders of two successful local workforce development programs. Aaron Frumin will discuss how uncommon Construction is helping prepare a new generation of construction professionals in New Orleans and its plans to expand to other areas. Chad Sutton will outline how LBW College is building “vertical” partnerships with regional elementary, middle and high schools to expose more students to construction career opportunities and use construction to instruct key STEM skills.

Presented by Aaron Frumin, Founder, Executive Director, unCommon Construction; Chad Sutton, Director of Workforce Development, LBW Community College

11:30 – 11:45 AM

Break Between Sessions

11:45 AM – 12:45 PM

Networking Lunch

Sponsored By:

12:45 – 1:00 PM

Break Between Sessions

1:00 – 2:00 PM

Breakout Sessions

The competition for great employees continues to shape how construction attracts, retains, and engages its talent. Workforce shortages, stretched compensation budgets, and a perception of economic change is impacting pay practices for all contractors. Coupled with fast, evolving market conditions, the sense of being behind the eight-ball and always playing catch-up is very real. This session will explore contractor compensation practices (some successful and some fraught with consequences), proactive next steps, and trends that will have significant impact on 2024 pay activity.

Presented by Jeff Robinson, President, PAS, Inc.

An ongoing struggle for many in our profession is spending significant time preparing and delivering ‘training’ which results in very little noticeable improvement when the workers return to their daily job. But sometimes the issue is that we focused on ‘learning objectives’ rather than ‘business objectives’ and as a result we can show head counts of how many completed trainings but then struggle to demonstrate how the training efforts resulted in observable workplace improvements.

This session will examine the fundamental question of whether training is even the proper solution to an identified business need. Then how developing it needs to work in reverse: starting with answering the question of what the learner needs to be doing differently effort. Then what is the best method for taking learners down the path which ultimately leads them to the end result of demonstrable, tangible behavior change.

Presented by Paul Smith, Head of Coworker Development, Baker Construction Enterprises

It’s time to hit pause and come up with a new plan. We are marketing for new talent the same way we did 50 years ago. To reach the future workforce, we need to make monumental changes in our marketing plans and revolutionize our approach for attracting and retaining top talent. This presentation will not only inspire but equip attendees with innovative language and techniques to showcase careers in the trades, highlighting their indispensable contribution to our industry, and to society as a whole. We have the big, hairy, audacious goal of changing the perception of the ‘construction worker,’ and we believe that if we work together, our industry can make it happen. 

Presented by Anne Brown, Director of Workforce Development, AGC of Michigan; Brian Town, CEO, Michigan Creative

A facilitated conversation to share tips and strategies for creating effective relationships with local school districts to expose more future workers to construction career opportunities. All participants should come prepared to engage in this conversation and share examples of how they are building successful relationships or challenges they are having making those connections.

Presented by Nathan Barry, Dean of Career and Technical Education, Metropolitan Community Colleges

2:00 – 2:15 PM

Break Between Sessions

2:15 – 3:15 PM

Breakout Sessions

It has been a busy year for construction industry employers having to navigate the many labor and employment law changes coming down from federal and state agencies and the courts. This session will provide participants with an up-to-day summary of recent labor and employment law developments and offer practical tips on how to remain in compliance. 

Presented by Stuart R. Buttrick, Partner, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

According to the Human Capital Institute, organizations with strong coaching cultures are more than twice as likely to be a high-performing organization, than other organizations that don’t. Research also shows that great leaders can get 110% effort or more from their motivated employees! Coaching is a business requirement, not optional. It’s crucial that leaders create a culture of coaching that will help your entire organization reach its potential, by coaching your teams to peak performance.

Presented by Lyn Hewitt, Vice President, Human Resources, Clark Construction Company

AGC of Kansas’ “Build Up Kansas” – www.buildupks.com – started five years ago and now is charged by the Kansas Legislature to ramp up CTE/Vocational Trade Programs in 298 Kansas high school. These CTE/Vocational programs will attract and energize the pipeline of young women/men into the construction trades to meet market demand, a projected demand of over 58,000 new workers in the next five years. In addition, Build Up Kansas hosts a HR Platform (powered by Arcoro) to allow for AGC members to post their job openings (by craft & city) and also provide high schools students the ability to post their resumes/credentials for employment opportunities into the construction industry.

Presented by Mike Gibson, Executive Vice President, AGC of Kansas; Carrie Gardenhire, Director of Association Partnerships, Arcoro; James Busch, Senior Manager of Workforce Development, NCCER

This session will explore how Hoover City schools worked with the Alabama AGC and the local construction industry to establish and successful run a skills trade academy as part of the new Riverchase Career Connection Center. The academy now serves over 100 students annually, thanks in large part to the ongoing support and leadership provided through the chapter by the industry. The speakers will share their story and offer tips on how to create similar successful partnerships in other communities.

Presented by Debra Smith, Director, Hoover, AL City Schools; Jeff Rodgers, President of Services, Alabama AGC; Rachel Harvey, Chief Preconstruction Manager, Brasfield & Gorrie, LLC

3:15 – 3:30 PM

Break Between Sessions

3:30 – 4:30 PM

Connect, Create, Celebrate: The Cheat Code to Unleashing Team Member Potential

Acquiring and retaining talent continues to be a monumental challenge for construction companies, but what if there was another source for the next generation of your companies’ leaders? Better yet, what if they already worked on your jobsites?

Join Robins & Morton Lean Practice Leader Jennifer Lacy for an interactive session that identifies tangible ways to engage your workforce, reducing team member attrition and underutilized talent. Through meaningful connection, authentic communication, and genuine celebration, you can nurture a culture that will shape the future of your workforce and drive critical business outcomes.

Presented by Jennifer Lacy, Lean Practice Leader, Robins & Morton

4:30 – 5:30 PM

Networking Happy Hour

Sponsored By:

6:00 – 8:00 PM

Networking Dinner – Cuts Steakhouse

Join your peers for a fun night of networking at Cuts Steakhouse, 60 Andrew Young International Blvd NE, Atlanta, GA 30303. There will be a limited menu & wine with dinner. This is a ticketed event, so you must have registered in advance to attend. Cuts Steakhouse is approximately 2 blocks southeast — a 6-minute walk — from conference headquarters.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

7:00 – 8:00 AM


8:00 – 8:45 AM

Labor Shortage or Culture Deficit – Addressing the Real Issue in the Construction Industry

Headlines scream “labor shortage” and ”nobody wants to work in construction” but is that really true? It all depends on your workplace culture. There are fundamental issues that need to be addressed but all is not lost. Interviews with nearly 100 best workplace contractors, findings from the People in Construction research over the past six years and experience in the field confirms there is much good in construction. Learn what the best contractors are doing to attract and retain people. Discover critical gaps that must be addressed if you are to overcome your labor challenges. Rather than telling you there is a labor shortage, this fast-moving session will tell you what you need to do to create a motivated work force that wants to stay and wants to produce. This will validate your path or put you on a new one. Either way, you confidently depart with clear direction. 

Presented by Wally Adamchik, President, FireStarter Speaking and Consulting

8:45 – 9:00 AM

Break Between Sessions

9:00 – 9:45 AM

Breakout Sessions

Executing at a high level often attracts more responsibility and workload. Not recognizing this pattern in the workplace can be dangerous. In this session, we will learn about the overutilized strategy of giving more work to our high performers while struggling to grow our underperformers. When we allow some employees to “skate” by, we can breed resentment and a struggling organizational culture. By ensuring we lead with retention best practices, understand our employees’ recognition preferences, and managing burnout, we will better equip ourselves to lead with integrity and tackle the tough conversations.

Presented by Courtney Brockman, Zelle Consultant, Training and Development Manager; Zelle HR Solutions

Learn about upcoming benefits trends, what is driving them, and what other employer groups in the market are doing to protect and enhance their plans.

Presented by Julie Taffera, First Vice President, Employee Benefits, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.

The modern workforce brings a host of new perceptions and experiences that can help them and their employers. But they also come with challenges and outside factors that can sometimes undermine their professional success. This facilitated conversation will focus on steps firms are taking to help workers cope with challenges – like transportation and childcare – that can keep them from being successful.

Presented by Sara Hansen, Director of Business Development, AOI Corporation

The construction industry faces a chronic need for skilled workers, especially in 2023. Organizations that prioritize people’s employee benefits and their experiences with employee benefits will have a distinct advantage in attracting today’s diverse and evolving workforce.

This presentation will serve as an overview of people-centric considerations in health, welfare, wellbeing, and retirement benefits. We’ll discuss how the construction industry can improve outcomes for increasingly diverse workforces through changes in benefit program design, communication, and delivery. We’ll also explore how benefit program management is evolving to increase employee involvement.

Presented by Tami Simon, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Consulting Business Leader, Segal Company & Gage Stille, Senior Vice President, National Corporate Solutions Leader, Segal Company

9:45 – 10:00 AM

Break Between Sessions

10:00 – 10:45 AM

Breakout Sessions

The missing piece of your key worker’s compensation package – the topic is important to companies and key workers because it effectively provides both financial stability to the contracting company and financial security to the targeted key workers. Any industry experiencing a strong demand combined with an exceeding small supply of talented employees creates a perfect storm of opportunity for job seekers. Unfortunately, this makes key workers of contracting companies a target for competing companies who can pay more for the key workers. This trend can take on a domino effect causing havoc in the industry. Key workers have leverage in this environment and history shows they are wielding it to a significant effect. This is a significant problem contracting companies are looking for ideas to solve.

Presented by James Percy, Vice President, Willard Financial Group, LLC; David Ferreira, Financial Professional, Willard Financial Group, LLC

When you think about jobsite hazards, physical risks are probably at the top of the list — an unprotected fall, an unmarked restricted zone, etc. But what about the dangers you can’t see?

Construction workers are statistically at a higher risk for mental health issues than virtually every other profession and have the highest suicide rates of all industries according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In fact, construction workers are more likely to die by suicide or overdose than every other workplace related fatality combined.

This session will provide solid solutions and resources on the value of mental health awareness initiatives to provide safer job sites, a more profitable business, and combating the labor shortage by helping to attract, engage and retain your workforce.

Presented by Mandy McIntyre, Owner, Level Up Consultants

ERISA fiduciary responsibilities are not new, but recent transparency and disclosure requirements open the door to plan participant class action lawsuits and government-related audits and penalties. Learn how to protect your plan.

Presented by Julie Taffera, First Vice President, Employee Benefits, Alliant Insurance Services, Inc.

75 years of growth in the Atlanta market meant two things to owner Jonathan Strack. Risk and opportunity. Growth was inevitable, successful growth wasn’t. New challenges require new solutions and Strack went all in to address the labor issues facing construction. A recommit to the historical foundation through a rigorous values exercise and an investment in training and culture to become a destination for constructors in the market. From getting active in high schools to find new employees to keeping current employees through innovative training and enhanced culture, it is a full court press to simply be better in all facets of the game.

This information loaded presentation will give you proven ideas to put to use in your company. Any one of them will make an impact; Strack will show you how they employed six unique and complementary strategies.

Presented by Eric Cooley, Executive VP & Chief Financial Officer, Strack, Inc.; Jonathan Strack, President, Strack, Inc.; Marc Smith, Director of Organizational Development & Chaplain, Strack, Inc.

10:45 – 11:00 AM

Break Between Sessions

11:00 – 11:45 AM

Unveil the Magic of AI in Construction with Expert Trainer, Wendy Sellers!

Join us for an illuminating session designed exclusively for the construction industry. In this captivating session, industry expert Wendy Sellers, equipped with the prowess of ChatGPT, will unravel the mysteries of generative artificial intelligence.

Embrace the future by harnessing the potential of AI to not only elevate your productivity but also propel the industry to new heights. Bid farewell to apprehensions about AI taking over, and instead, discover how it can become your ultimate ally. Check your to-do list, get creative, get factual: get things done!

What Awaits You in This Session:

  • Demystifying ChatGPT: Understanding its Essence and Mechanism
  • Navigating ChatGPT: Your Pathway to Seamless Access
  • Crafting the Perfect Prompts: Unleashing Text Generation and Summarization
  • Mastering the Art of Inquiry: Posing the Right Questions to ChatGPT
  • Precision in Results: Strategies for Attaining Utmost Accuracy

Step into a realm where AI seamlessly integrates with construction, amplifying your skills and expertise and above all: help maintain your sanity! Let Wendy Sellers, The HR Lady®, guide you through an enchanting journey of learning and empowerment. Don’t miss this opportunity to shape your future in construction with the magic of AI!

Presented by: Wendy Sellers, Speaker and Trainer, The HR Lady®

12:00 – 4:00 PM

Mental Health HR Workshop: How to Create Organization Wellness: Recovery First Aid and Stress Management – Ticketed Event

73% of today’s workforce experiences stress that affects their mental health. If left untreated, stress can lead to mental health and substance use issues as employees struggle to cope. In the first part of this workshop, understand the impact mental health and substance use have on not just employees but their family members. Learn to identify signs that someone is struggling and have a productive conversation to provide support and resources.

In the second half of this workshop, zero in specifically on the issues that lead HR professionals to feel burnout. Step through the stages of burnout and get practical tips to manage stress and improve resilience.

Pre-registration & an additional fee are required to attend this event. Lunch will be provided to registered attendees. $269

Presented by Rich Jones, Chief Clinical Officer, Youturn Health

12:00 – 4:00 PM

Workforce Field Trip: See Construction Education Programs in Action – Ticketed Event

Join us for an optional excursion to visit local elementary, middle and high schools that have put in place successful construction-focused programs. These programs are exposing students to construction skills in a way that reinforces core curriculum content areas like math and science.

Attendees will have an opportunity to learn about the programs and see them in active during live student instruction. The programs were established and are supported by AGC members with the Georgia AGC Chapter and the Construction Ready group. (Note – final plans for the visits are being finalized.)

Pre-registration & an additional fee are required to attend this event. Lunch will be provided to registered attendees. $50

Sponsored By:

If you plan to attend either of this year’s post-conference events, your flight home should be scheduled to depart after 6:00 PM EST. If you DO NOT plan to attend either of this year’s post-conference events, your flight home should be scheduled to depart after 2:00 PM EST.

About the Conference

AGC’s Construction HR & Workforce Conference is the premier education and networking destination for HR, training and workforce development professionals in the construction industry.

For Workforce Professionals: Explore the latest workforce development efforts underway across the country and share your own success stories.

For Training Professionals: Stay up-to-date with the cutting-edge techniques being used in the world of training and development.

For HR Professionals: Find out whether you’re maintaining compliance with current employment laws and best practices.

All individuals who register for or attend this event, by virtue of their registration or attendance, agree to the Code of Conduct, Image Release, and Event Cancellation policies posted here. If you have questions, please contact meetings[@]agc.org.