We Need an All-American Strategy for Rebuilding Our Infrastructure
It’s Infrastructure Week, and America has a lot of work to do to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure.
The Trump administration has laid out its vision to Congress, but it’s unclear when or if lawmakers will send a comprehensive bill to the president’s desk tackling this popular and bipartisan issue.
In the meantime, the White House is taking action. President Trump signed an executive order streamlining the environmental review and permitting processes that will go a long way toward eliminating unnecessary delays and uncertainty that can cause budget overruns—after all, time is money in this industry. The order ensures that we safeguard our communities, maintain a healthy environment and are good stewards of public funds.
But President Trump can do more via executive authority to improve our infrastructure and economy by supporting new construction jobs for all Americans.
The Trump administration would be wise to issue an executive order eliminating government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal and federally assisted construction projects. Government-mandated PLAs essentially require union work rules and the hiring of union workers, discouraging the 86 percent of the construction workforce that chooses not to join a union from rebuilding taxpayer-funded projects in their own communities. The president’s new policy would ensure critical construction projects are awarded through fair and open competition, which promotes innovation and benefits projects by delivering them faster, safer, at higher quality levels and ultimately at a lower cost.
Associated Builders and Contractors—which represents the large and small businesses that build your airports, hospitals, military installations, schools and power plants—stands ready to work with policymakers and other stakeholders toward an all-American strategy for rebuilding our infrastructure.
To learn more about #InfrastructureWeek, click here.
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association representing more than 21,000 members nationwide. Locally, ABC Greater Houston was founded in 1969, and today serves several hundred commercial and industrial contractors, suppliers and construction associates in the Greater Houston area. Associated Builders and Contractors of Greater Houston represents the interests of merit shop contractors and its employees in the policy-making process of the government, protects and enhances the free enterprise system within the construction industry, and provides educational, marketing, and informational programs for the benefit of members and their employees.
Construction & Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF) is the vehicle through which industry and craft professionals in the Houston area receive formal training. Our goal is to recruit new entrants and retain existing workers through a variety of programs focused on assessment, training, and continuing education. We believe that a community approach to training is fundamental to developing a skilled and educated craft workforce within the entire industry.