Industry News

The latest news for the construction supply channel, including distributors, suppliers and manufacturer's rep firms.

Visit our Archives under the Industry News heading for the top stories for prior months.


Colorado Homebuilding Academy Zooms in on construction trainees

Online construction boot camp allows individuals to attend basic construction classes from home.

ITR Webinar: Looking Past the Fear and Noise

Webinar with STAFDA economist Alan Beaulieu is set for April 10, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EDT.

Procore provides free access to its software to support COVID-19 construction projects

Offer is open to current Procore customers working on COVID-19 relief projects up to $5 billion in volume.

U.S. Department of Labor issues new paid leave regulations

Ruling provides for two weeks paid sick leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19, and more for caring for children. 

The U.S. Department of Labor today issued a new regulation, effective immediately, implementing the paid leave provisions of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

FFCRA helps the U.S. combat the workplace effects of COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with dollar-for-dollar tax credits for the cost of providing employees with two weeks paid sick leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19 and up to 10 weeks paid family medical leave to care for a child whose school or daycare is closed as a result of the pandemic.

The law enables employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus. WHD administers the paid leave portions of the FFCRA.

The rule also implements guidance previously posted by WHD outlining the limited instances in which businesses with fewer than 50 employees can qualify for an exemption from providing leave. A small business is exempt from mandated paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave requirements only if the leave is requested because a child’s school is closed or a daycare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 related reasons; and if an authorized officer of the business has determined that the employee provides an essential and irreplaceable function to the business that would hurt its operability.

The three criteria used to make that determination include:

  • Such leave would cause the small employer’s expenses and financial obligations to exceed available business revenue and cause the small employer to cease operating at a minimal capacity;
  • The absence of the employee or employees requesting such leave would pose a substantial risk to the financial health or operational capacity of the small employer because of their specialized skills, knowledge of the business, or responsibilities; or
  • The small employer cannot find enough other workers who are able, willing, and qualified, and who will be available at the time and place needed, to perform the labor or services the employee or employees requesting leave provide, and these labor or services are needed for the small employer to operate at a minimal capacity.

Employers are not required to apply for an exemption – rather, they are instructed to maintain detailed documentation of the facts and circumstances that meet the criteria outlined by the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and retain that documentation in the event of an enforcement action.

The WHD will post a recorded webinar on Friday, April 3, 2020, to provide interested parties a more in-depth description and help them learn more about the FFCRA.

The IRS has also issued guidance on the tax credits employers may claim under the FFCRA.

Employers are encouraged to visit for resources outlining the FFCRA’s benefits and requirements. A Fact Sheet for Employees and a Fact Sheet for Employers, available in both English and Spanish, and an expansive list of Questions and Answers are among the tools provided by the Department of Labor.

Sources: NAHB, Dept. of Labor

SKY HOOK provides lifting solution for social distancing requirements

Company offers a safe, single-operator lifting solution for today’s health and safety needs. 

Fastenal acquires Apex Industrial Technologies assets

The two companies have worked together since 2008.

IRS issues guidelines and forms for claiming impact payments

Section covers economic impact payments, employee retention credits, paid leave and more.

Contractor's union asks for Cobra coverage help for laid off workers

Domino effect for workers as COVID-19 layoffs lead to lost healthcare and uncertain futures.

STAFDA, PTDA and NAHAD are working to help members navigate the current crisis. 

Sullair names new CEO

Charlie Takeuchi becomes president and CEO as Jack Carlson retires. 

Pandemic causes distributor revenues to decline

Indian River Consulting Group’s (IRCG) weekly Pandemic Revenue Index. shows a 23.51 perent YOY drop in revenues. 

Larson Electronics offers COVID-19 test kits

COVID-19 IgG/IgM rapid test kit is suitable for businesses or organizations with medical personnel or medical staff to administer the tests.

Act with focus, not with frenzy

NAHAD-sponsored webinar offers advice on motivating customers to act in ways that will drive positive results for your business.

HD announces new COVID-19 operational changes

Company expands COVID-19 measures for customers, employees and communities.

Michigan's governor clarifies essential status questions for projects in the state

Gov. Whitmer’s administration clarifies ‘essential’ construction projects, responds to industry’s call for COVID-19 protections.

Point of Rental offers electronic signature software free for 90 days to companies affected by COVID-19

App allows for safe signature collection in social distancing era.

U.S. construction still perked along in February

Total construction spending for the first two months of 2020 rose 8.2 percent YOY. 

The Cares Act – What you need to know now

Key provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act for businesses and individuals.

Tim Smith joins Curb Roller Manufacturing’s outside sales team

Smith will support customers in the Midwest territories and Colorado.

Restoration Builders names Michael Iovieno Chief Acquisition Officer

Iovieno steps up from COO.

Coxreels issues Service Truck industry catalog

20-page catalog features Coxreel's complete line of reels and accessories for service trucks.

Pandemic delays HD Supply plans to separate businesses

Plan to separate Facilities Maintenance and Construction & Industrial businesses goes on hold.

WOC Poll: Construction in the Time of Coronavirus

As of March 24, most concrete contractors across the country were experiencing mainly business as usual.

NAHB: DHS designation for home building as essential is not mandatory

Association posts map of current guidelines by state.

Statista: How long is this going to last?

Most Americans who responded to a Gallup poll believe we have a few months to go before things being to improve. 

NAVAC hires Bryan Schwartz as Western Regional Sales Manager

Proven sales executive joins company’s efforts to expand customer base in key North American regions.

Albion Engineering is named an essential business

Albion stays open for business and is ready to serve customers. 

NAEIR: Dos and don’ts for donating inventory to virus victims

Donate money or send product to gifts-in-kind organizations.

Buyers Products donates to organizations fighting COVID-19

Manufacturer of equipment for the work truck industry makes gifts to support most vulnerable during COVID-19 pandemic.

Zurich: Construction contractors are working to manage coronavirus risks

Contractors are staggering shifts and crews are cleaning tools, handles and hands in cities where projects continue.

90 organizations urge DHS to designate residential construction "Essential"

Housing is a major engine of the national economy.

Plumbers are designated Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers

Guidance for Response to COVID-19 DHS deems plumbers and other tradespeople essential workers.

IRCG debuts Pandemic Revenue Index

Index will provide weekly quantified view into how other distributors are faring with respect to revenue declines.

Walter Surface Technologies hosts COVID-19 surface cleaning webinar

Webinar is available for download now. 

Radians donates over 14,000 N95 masks to Memphis

Donation will help first responders and health care workers.

Metabo keeps its business open

Essential Business designation keeps Metabo up and running through COVID-19 crisis.

NAW urges administration to not bypass traditional supply chain

Some members have heard reports that the Federal Government has begun bypassing established distribution channels.

Exclusive: Is your business insured for COVID-19?

Four types of business insurance offer potential options for business owners.

Haydon is open for business

As part of the Critical Manufacturing Sector, Haydon remains open and ready to serve.

Zurn pledges $1 million of hygienic product to healthcare facilities to fight COVID-19

Products include sensor faucets, soap dispensers, flush valves, sinks and hand dryers.

Coxreels releases new Automotive Industry catalog

16-page PDF catalog covers the complete line of Coxreels reels and accessories for the automotive market. 

MaxLite to offer lighting webinar

Webinar is set for Thursday, March 26 at 2:00 pm EST.

Core & Main completes acquisition of R&B Co.

10th acquisition will grow waterworks reach in California.

New home sales dip 4.4 percent in February

Average selling price was $403,800.

ELFA: Equipment leasing activity dropped 26 percent from January to February

But February new business volume was up 15 percent year-over-year.

U.S. Department of Labor issues temporary enforcement guidance for respirator fit-testing in healthcare

Healthcare personnel who provide direct care to patients with known or suspected coronavirus should be equipped with respirators such as N99 or N100 filtering facepieces.

Honda to recall 340,000 inverter generators

EB2200i and EU2200i portable generators may be susceptible to water damage and electrical shorts.

STAFDA Concierge Customer Service workshops now online

Workshop is set for April 21-22.

JLG and ABC Keystone partner on equipment safety training

JLG delivers new machines to Manheim, Pennsylvania training facility.

AGC Survey finds pandemic has halted or delayed projects for 28 percent of contractors 

Coronavirus-caused slowdown shows need for new infrastructure funding and paid family leave.

STAFDA to host COVID-19 webinar

Webinar is set for Tuesday, March 24 at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time.

The Crosby Group names General Manager, Load Monitoring

Thomas Dietvorst steps up as David Ayling moves into a consulting role.

Fed takes action to keep credit flowing

Creates three new programs to support business and consumer credit.

STAFDA announces Anaheim Associate State-of-the-Industry Speaker

Stanley Black & Decker division president Maria Ford will deliver the state of the industry manufacturer's update.

ISA cancels Atlanta convention

Event had been scheduled for April 20-22.

Exclusive: Who should take pre-employment tests?

Use this fast method to determine which job applicants should be tested. 

HD adjusts store hours

Stores will close at 6:00 pm dailly; company extends paid leave.

Single-family housing construction holds steady in February

Permits rise 1.7 percent and starts climb 6.7 percent for month. 

AD hosts over 250 attendees at live virtual member meeting

AD will host live virtual member meetings for the PHCP, Electrical and Gypsum Supply divisions in coming weeks.

Weiler Abrasives names John Hobbs Director, National Accounts

Hobbs to manage national accounts team and relationships with distributor partners.

National Hardware Show moves to this fall

New show dates are Sept. 1-3 in Las Vagas. 

RSA Solutions now represents Allmoxy

Solution for ramping up website commerce to address the challenges of social distancing.

Grainger cancels Grainger 2020 event

Concerns over COVID-19 prompt Grainger to cancel this year's Grainger Show scheduled in Orlando.

ABC: Nonresidential construction spending hits all-time high in January 

Both public and private nonresidential construction spending expanded to start 2020.

CPWR offers free webinar on fall protection for roofers

April 16 webinar will highlight specific fall prevention measures for contractors. 

Radians announces new gloves and PPE vending machine program

PPE vending program will launch with three packaging options for users.

Mule-Hide Products launches redesigned, enhanced website

New site is faster and easier to navigate.

Protective Industrial Products expands salesforce in Latin America

PIP names Jose Montalvan to lead company's Latin America sales team.

AD ISD-U.S. and PHCP shift to virtual format for 2020 spring network meetings

Buying group adjusts meeting formats to safeguard members' health.

Wildeck names Dan Lorenz president

Lorenz steps up from VP of operations. 

Exclusive: Environmental Perspectives on Cartridges for Adhesives and Sealants

Sulzer Mixpac’s ecopaCC reduces waste and costs for customers.

GH Phipps Construction Company collaborates with Pype to reduce cost and labor

By leveraging Pype AutoSpecs, GH Phipps has been able to reduce cost and labor involved in maintaining contract compliance for key stakeholders on their projects.

Werner announces National Ladder Safety Month programs

Company offers free resources and training. 

U.S. Department of Labor offers guidance for preparing workplaces for Coronavirus

Resources are available for employers and workers. 

Grabber welcomes new Director of Innovation, Jason Roxburgh

Roxburgh joins Grabber from USG.

ITR Webinar: Probable Impact of COVID-19 on ITR Economics’ Outlook

STAFDA economist's webinar is set for March 13, 2020 at 3:30 pm EDT.

IAPMO: Coronavirus in plumbing systems

How did the outbreak occur in Hong Kong and is there a risk in the United States?

Exclusive: A 7-step method for hiring the best 

Use these steps to separate poor or good prospects from superstars.

Dodge: BIM use by mechanical contractors provides multiple benefits

New study shows that most mechanical contractors that use BIM experience benefits such as improved cost and schedule performance, lower labor costs and greater productivity.

Walter Surface Technologies acquires ArcOne

ArcOne is a provider of industrial safety products based in Taunton, Massachusetts.

Hyphen Solutions launches new construction management software products

Hyphen CRM, Hyphen Wallet and SupplyPro GM improve communication between home builders and suppliers.

SafetyNetwork to merge with AD 

New partnership will create the AD Safety Network Division.

IAPMO promotes Hansen to Executive Vice President

Dain Hansen has been with plumbing and mechanical trade group since 2010.

JCB rolls out 750,000th Backhoe

Rocester, Staffordshire plant achieves production milestone.

Huttig Building Products announces Q4 and full year 2019 results

Company posts net sales of $812 million for full year.