Creating a Better Workplace

Thomas Brown
April 9, 2024|


One of the first obligations any AGC of America president has is to select his or her theme for the year. This theme is much more than a rhetorical flourish. It indicates each president’s top priorities and foreshadows how he or she will spend the time leading our national association. It also summarizes the main aspects of the association that the president will highlight during his or her many visits with AGC chapters, other associations and key stakeholders.

You end up spending more time than you expect crafting a theme.

How do you boil down your priorities? Or synthesize what you see as AGC’s most important objectives? Or even summarize what we do best in a single, short phrase? After reflecting on all the things that AGC is doing and where I want to focus our energies this year, the theme became clear. That theme is “AGC: Creating a Better Workplace.”

In forcing a bit of a double take, this theme clarifies all that we are doing as an association to help this industry. AGC is creating a better workplace for the industry of today and of the future – whether you are talking about our advocacy work, our workforce development efforts, our focus on physical and mental safety or our educational programs. The key to creating a better workplace is making sure firms can be successful.

AGC’s advocacy work does just that. We spend a lot of time making the case for new federal investments in infrastructure and construction. We also build strong working relationships with public and private sector construction owners. Sometimes we have to push back against needless and counterproductive regulations. At other times, we fight for the industry in the courts. These efforts are designed to make sure firms can succeed and offer a workplace that delivers the American dream for construction professionals at all levels.

Likewise, our workforce development efforts are designed to get more people to consider and stick with a career in construction. This includes helping modernize the way the industry recruits by harnessing the power of targeted digital advertising. It includes building on the amazing work our chapters are doing to recruit and train workers. It also includes the work we are doing via AGC’s Culture of CARE to help firms better retain workers by creating welcoming and inclusive workplaces. And we continue to share examples of how firms are tackling workforce shortages by offering their teams clear paths to advancement and success.

Our ongoing focus on the physical and mental health and safety of the workforce is all about making a better workplace. We offer a range of safety training programs. We serve as a signature supporter of Construction Safety Week. We continue to push for safer highway work zones. And we are working to improve trenching safety.

Our expanding focus on addressing the industry’s mental health crisis by providing new resources and education programs is designed to reduce construction’s all-too-high suicide rate. We will be releasing a new program this year for supervisors to help them identify and help workers struggling with mental health challenges. Our safety efforts aren’t just protecting workers, they are helping make our industry more attractive for future construction professionals.

Our broad range of educational programs are also creating a better workplace, not just today, but for the future. Our AGC Edge virtual and in-seat classes are helping upskill today’s industry even as we train and prepare the future leaders of our industry. And our many one-off educational programs are designed to make sure firms are aware of key issues like the latest technological opportunities, regulatory requirements and HR innovations.

You can make a similar analysis about the workplace benefits of the many other things AGC does on our behalf. And as your new president, I will make sure that AGC of America continues to deliver on the many things it is doing to create a better workplace for the industry. We have to do this – not only to help contractors meet the challenges of today, but also to ensure that our industry is thriving and successful for years to come.

Thank you for giving me the honor to serve as your newest AGC of America president. I look forward to working with all of you to continue creating a better workplace for our industry.

Thomas Brown is the new president of the Associated General Contractors of America.



About the Author: Thomas Brown

Thomas Brown

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