Tennessee Department of Transportation Will Pause Construction for July 4th Weekend

Tennessee motorists will not have to worry about construction delaying their Independence Day plans, according to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). 

“With so many people hitting the road we want to do all we can to ensure they reach their destinations safely and without necessary delays,” said TDOT Commissioner Butch Eley in a Monday press release. “We are doing so by suspending lane closures during this busy holiday travel time.”

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Businesses Fail to Find Workers, and Experts Say Federal Policies Have Made It Worse

A new labor market survey found that a majority of employers, particularly restaurants, still cannot find enough workers.

The new report from Alignable said that 83% of restaurants can’t find enough workers. Overall, the report found that “63% of all small business employers can’t find the help they need, after a year of an ongoing labor shortage.”

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Federal Judge Tosses Lawsuit Challenging Biden’s Authority to Block Keystone Pipeline

Keystone XL Pipeline

A federal district court judge granted the Biden administration’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by more than 20 Republican attorneys general challenging the Keystone XL Pipeline’s permit revocation.

Judge Jeffrey Brown, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, ruled that he couldn’t determine the constitutionality of President Joe Biden’s action because TC Energy, the pipeline’s developer, had abandoned the project. On June 9, TC Energy announced its intention to permanently halt construction of the pipeline, saying it would focus on other projects.

Biden canceled the pipeline’s federal permit immediately after taking office on Jan. 20 in an executive order. The order said the U.S. “must prioritize the development of a clean energy economy” and that the Keystone project would undermine the nation’s role as a climate leader on the world stage.

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Michigan Spending $2.5 Million of Taxpayer Money on Private Businesses, Government Groups

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) awarded $2.5 million in Michigan Industry Cluster Approach 3.0 (MICA 3.0) grants to business groups statewide to address labor shortages.

“These grants are putting Michiganders first by helping innovative employers in high-demand industries address talent shortages across Michigan,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Together, we can continue leading the future of agriculture, construction, IT, manufacturing, mobility, and so much more as we usher in a new era of prosperity for our families, communities, and small businesses.”

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New Construction Career School Breaks Ground in Hamilton County

A new construction vocational facility for high school students and adults broke ground in Hamilton County on Thursday. Next week, workers will officially begin the building process of the Construction Career Center in Chattanooga’s Avondale neighborhood.

The old, vacant Mary Ann Garber School at 2225 Roanoke Avenue in Chattanooga is being renovated in order to house the new college-level vocational training center for 11th and 12th-grade students as well as adults in the community.

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Construction Industry Experiences Slowdown as Labor, Supply Shortages Wreak Havoc

The construction industry is struggling to recover from the pandemic due to difficulties hiring workers and severe supply chain shortfalls, a report found.

Construction contractors project revenue to remain stagnant and below pre-pandemic levels over the next 12 months even as the economy-wide recovery continues, according to the report published Wednesday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. While the Commerce Commercial Construction Index (CCI), which the Chamber measures on a quarterly basis, ticked up one point, it remained eight points below its early 2020 figure.

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Commentary: Pennsylvania Is a Microcosm of America’s Housing Crisis

A modern home with a light blue roof and matching siding

In recent years, an acute housing crisis has engulfed both America’s coastal metros and Rust Belt regions. California’s Bay Area, for example, confronts a crisis of affordability and limited supply that hastens a population exodus. Midwest cities like Detroit face low real-estate prices and low demand, intensifying urban decline.

Pennsylvania is a microcosm of such alarming housing trends, especially east of the Susquehanna River, which is seeing an influx of metro New Yorkers relocating to the area.

From the Keystone State’s middle-class suburbs to its post-industrial locales, the housing crisis is a major challenge. In the midstate, most notably in Harrisburg and Lancaster, housing has become significantly more expensive. In the northeast’s anthracite coal region, anchored by Scranton, rents are spiking. And in suburban Philadelphia’s Lansdale, a townhouse went for nearly $500,000.

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Virginia Tech Team Researching Using Robot Dogs to Monitor Construction Progress

Faculty and students at Virginia Tech are putting robot dogs in construction sites testing automated monitoring of construction progress. The dogs are Boston Dynamics’ internet-viral yellow-and-black four-legged Spot robots, and researchers are using them to take 360-degree pictures to document construction sites. Initial findings from the team identify safety risks and operational challenges, but also identify opportunity with the time-saving automation.

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Biden Administration to Continue Building Part of President Trump’s Border Wall

After initially vowing to not build any more new wall along the southern border, the Biden Administration has backtracked and announced that it will resume construction on some areas of the wall, the Daily Caller reports.

Construction will resume on a 13.4 mile portion of the wall located in the Rio Grande Valley, at the southernmost tip of Texas, and will once again be carried out by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The USACE confirmed that it has already “resumed DHS-funded design and construction support on approx. 13.4 miles of levee in the Rio Grande Valley that were partially excavated or at various levels of construction when work on the wall was paused for review.”

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Law Firm That Employs Bart Gordon Opens Nashville Office

K&L Gates LLP, the global law firm that employs former U.S. Representative Bart Gordon (D-TN-06), has opened a Nashville office.

K&L Gates announced it has set up a Nashville law office with more than 25 lawyers handling health care, litigation, corporate, intellectual property, finance, and construction, and other specialties.

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Feds Allege Georgia Construction Owner is Illegal Alien Who Employed Illegal Aliens and Paid Them Below-Market Wages

  A North Georgia construction company owner has been indicted on charges that his company hired illegal aliens and paid them below-market wages, according to a press release by U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. Juan Antonio Perez, 46, of Rydal, Georgia, was indicted on charges that his construction company,…

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