PIERRE, S.D. – The Argus Leader reported misleading statements in a story featured on the

cover of yesterday’s paper that the Associated General Contractors of South Dakota (AGC) is

part of the problem of lower wages for workers in the construction industry in this state. There

are many factual errors printed in the article titled “Daugaard overrides workforce grant

decision”. This setting the record straight document is to be used for clarification of the

erroneous reporting in this story.

Error #1: Interviewee Mark Anderson, president of the South Dakota AFL-CIO states that the

AGC is part of the low wages problem in South Dakota. He specifically cited a state wage

survey form required of companies and groups doing road construction projects in South

Dakota. Mr. Anderson stated AGC doesn’t report retirement and health care benefits on the

form, thus giving it a competitive advantage over companies from out of state that bid on the

same projects.

FACT: AGC is a trade association founded on three principles, Skill, Integrity &

Responsibility. Historically, AGC has promoted higher wages for the construction

industry and in no way are we part of the low wage problem as stated by Mr. Anderson.

The wage survey cited by Mr. Anderson is a highway-heavy construction wage survey

conducted by the SD Department of Transportation (SDDOT) in accordance with the

US Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Davis-Bacon Act regulations. This includes

collecting wages and fringe benefits paid to employees directly from highway

construction companies working in South Dakota. The survey includes hundreds of

construction companies from both in-state and out-of-state regardless if they are AGC-
member companies. All construction workers on state or federal highway construction

projects in South Dakota are paid according to a specific wage scale established by this

survey. As a trade association, AGC does not complete a wage survey form.

Error #2: “It makes it impossible for companies that come into South Dakota to compete on

road projects,” Anderson said. “Those companies might pay decent wages, but they can’t

compete. The reason AGC does that is so they can corral the market on road projects. It’s

not right, and they’ve been doing it for years.

FACT: AGC not only represents contractors from South Dakota but contractors

from all surrounding states and several other states as well. Many out-of-state

contractors perform tens of millions of dollars of road construction in South Dakota

every year. As evidence of this, in today’s SDDOT Bid Letting, three of the four

apparent low bidders were out-of-state companies. Which means 75% of the road

construction projects let today will be performed by out-of-state contractors. There

is therefore, no unfair advantage to South Dakota contractors.

Error #3: The “Sioux Falls recipient” has been misleadingly reported as being only the

Associated General Contractors (AGC).

FACT: While it is true that the AGC is the fiscal agent, this proposal was put forth

by the Sioux Empire Workforce Development Coalition. The individuals responsible

for the proposal comprise a cross-sector group with representation from

manufacturing, commercial and residential construction, education, government

and professional trade associations. The Community Incentives Matching Program

specifically asked for cross-sector proposals and that is what was provided.

Error #4: The grant money would be used on mobile trailers, which have been utilized

before, and there were some questions on the degree of success with them.

FACT: Mobile trailers are not the only part of the proposed solution. The complete

training solution includes curriculum and trainers as well. In addition to helping

build a pipeline of qualified workers, meaningful training provides the tangible

benefits of increasing a craft worker’s salary. This training will also increase

recruiting by developing abilities needed for the job; retain employees by equipping

them for career advancement; and return on investment by developing a company’s

human capital.

To read the proposal in its entirety, we invite you to visit

The AGC and its partners are committed to the overall success of Workforce Development in

South Dakota! It is Vital! We are NOT part of the problem, rather a partner in the solution to its


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