As a father of five children, I have fully prepared myself for "the" talk.  Already, I have discussed the various scenarios with my daughter about dating, courtship and marriage.  According to this eleven-year-old Princess, the line in the sand of appropriateness … is … "just holding hands."  (Whew!)

 Just Holding Hans ... ABC and AGC

Last week, the two primary construction industry groups in Tennessee—the Associated General Contractors (AGC) and the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC)—began holding hands.  At the 2009 State AGC Convention in Nashville, leaders announced a new partnership between the state AGC and ABC organizations.  According to Ed Baldwin, President of AGC of Tennessee, "both groups have recognized the importance of partnering as a positive means to achieve excellence in construction and better represent the entire industry." 

The "holding hands" venture has been officially reduced to writing in a "Cooperation Statement" approved by leaders of both industry groups.  According to the statement, the groups have agreed to the following measures:

  1. Provide a forum to identify and discuss common areas;
  2. Endeavor to build trust and respect between the two groups; and
  3. Attempt to avoid surprises in their cooperative efforts.

In response to my inquiry, Dan Brodbeck, President of ABC of Tennessee, said, "Our group is excited about the cooperation agreement with AGC.  We look forward to opening the lines of communication with our partner to address those construction concerns that each of our members currently face." 

Is there any precedence for such a cooperative agreement?  Actually, these two organizations have done more than hold hands, kissed and dated … they got "hitched" in two states.  In 1994, the Arizona chapters of ABC and AGC merged to form a joint venture called the Arizona Builders Alliance.  More recently, TEXO: The Construction Association was formed in October 2008 as a result of a merger between North/East Chapter of the AGC of Texas and the ABC North Texas.