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your ACEC Recap: March Wins & Progress

March was a pivotal month in Washington, highlighted by successful votes in the House and Senate on spending packages to keep the government open through the end of the fiscal year. Sadly, we also witnessed tragedy in March, with a massive container ship causing the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.  The rebuilding will come, but right now we mourn the lives lost, and give thanks for the quick actions of emergency responders who saved lives.


ACEC New Jersey scored a major infrastructure win in March, while ACEC Wisconsin scored on indemnification and duty to defend, with both efforts propelled by support from the Minuteman Fund. Connecticut, Nebraska and Maine did fly-ins at the ACEC residence, where ACEC state leaders and national staff lobbied key lawmakers on R&D deductibility and other priorities. The Research Institute launched a new scenario planning effort as part of its Firm of the Future initiative and launched a new study to promote the use of lump-sum contracts by State DOTs. Media coverage was strong in March with ACEC appearing in nearly 450 news articles in DC and around the country. Finally, our education offerings in March were highlighted by a well-attended Business of Design Consulting program in Chicago, our Project Management 101 course, and a special online series from our Women’s Leadership Forum.

Highlights for the month: 


  • ACEC filed comments in opposition to the proposal from FHWA to remove QBS and FAR compliance requirements for local governments receiving IIJA discretionary grants; also organized a joint letter of opposition supported by ASCE, ARTBA, AGC, and NSPE.

  • The Minuteman Fund helped three Member Organizations achieve critical legislative victories this month. The efforts of ACEC New Jersey were key to the successful reauthorization of the state’s Transportation Trust Fund Authority (TTFA).  ACEC Wisconsin’s indemnification and duty to defend bill was signed into law, and ACEC Oregon’s duty to defend bill passed the state legislature and awaits the Governor’s signature. 

  • In addition, ACEC National co-sponsored an ACEC California amicus brief in a case seeking to protect land surveyor licensure in the state. The case achieved victory before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

  • ACEC/PAC raised over $90,000 in March, bringing the total raised for 2024 to $304,000.

  • Hosted 3 MO Fly-In congressional fundraising events at the ACEC Residence that included:

  • ACEC Connecticut reception with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) and U.S. House members John Larson (D), Joe Courtney (D), and Jim Himes (D). 

  • ACEC Nebraska reception with both U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R) and Pete Ricketts (R) and all their U.S. House members Don Bacon (R), Mike Flood (R) and Adrian Smith (R).

  • ACEC Maine Dinner with U.S. Sen. Angus King (I).

  • Other fundraising events at the Residence included Rep. Mike Ezell (R-MS), Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH), Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and a check drop event for Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI) featuring 5 members of the U.S. House: Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), Rep. Frank Mrvan (D-IN), Rep. Gabe Vasquez (D-NM) and Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH)

ACEC Research Institute

  • Delivered the Institute’s Economic Assessment report, Engineering Business Sentiment report, and Diversity Roadmap report results to several audiences, including Zweig’s ElevateHER Symposium, ACEC New York, and ACEC California, as well as the ACEC membership via Future of Engineering Roundtable.

  • Launched a virtual Scenario Planning Workshop with 70 industry executives to identify possible scenarios for the engineering firm of 2035 as part of the Institute’s Firm of the Future initiative.

  • Reopened the Diversity Roadmap maturity model and benchmarking tool for 2023 data entry. Open to all ACEC members.

  • Conducted dozens of interviews with ACEC member firms, state DOTs and federal agencies as part of the Lump Sum Contracting study. Preliminary results to be shared at the ACEC Annual Convention in May.

  • Began review of more than 850 applications for the Institute’s 2024 Scholarship Program. Recipients will be notified in May and recognized at the ACEC Fall Conference in October.

Communications and Marketing

  • Media coverage for the month of March was robust with ACEC represented in nearly 450 news articles. In addition to ACEC national and Institute news, there was strong state coverage of ACEC California's scholarship recipients and 30 articles highlighting EEA projects.  MOs in Louisiana, New York, and Ohio led the coverage for articles celebrating EEA-honored projects

Business Resources and Education

  • The three-day Business of Design Consulting program was held in Chicago in mid-March. Taught by experienced industry practitioners, the agenda covered critical topics including employee engagement, finance and ownership transition, contracts and risk management, and business development.

  • Registration opened for Managing a Multi-State Business, a two-part online series to help firms better understand the requirements to successfully operate in multiple states as well as employ remote or traveling engineers. The first class, A Strategic Guide to Compliance & Growth, takes place April 23 and explores required registrations, professional licensing, entity ownership and structure, resources to manage registrations and licensing, and the impact of state taxes. Other topics in the series will follow. Sign uphere to receive a 10% discount on registration!

  • Fifty-one project managers completed Project Management 101: Laying the Foundation for Superior Project Managers, a nine-week online course which provides valuable content to develop confident, forward-thinking PMs with a strong, business-focused foundation.

  • Thirty-three attendees participated in the first session of the Women’s Leadership Forum’s Spring online series, Adopting an Ownership Mindset, to 33 attendees. Click here to download recording and register for the follow-up program, Building an Inclusive Culture, scheduled on April 5 (ET).

  • The Market Intel team, formerly known as Private Markets, presented at ACEC Nebraska’s Private Client Committee meeting, and provided economic and industry insights, as well as an overview of the energy market and state specific trend. Contact Diana Alexander or Thomas Grogan to schedule a briefing for your state.

  • Registration opened for the May 1 online class,  “Adaptive Re-Use, What’s Next for Office?, featuring Steven Paynter, Principal/Global Practice Area Leader, Gensler; Rob Wenger, Vice President, Preconstruction, WCS Construction, LLC; and Aaron Jodka, Director of Research | U.S. Capital Markets, Colliers. This session is the second in a four-part series centered on markets forecasted to grow or change. To download the first session and/or register for any of the remaining sessions, click here.

Meetings, Exhibits & Awards

Have great week,

Linda Bauer Darr

President & CEO

American Council of Engineering Companies | ACEC


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