Alabama Construction News

JUL-SEP 2018

Alabama Construction News is the states only bimonthly magazine dedicated to the commercial construction industry.

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55 JUL–SEP 2018 AL CONSTRUCTION NEWS JOURNAL ABC Executive Committee Meets with Trump, Takes Part in 'America's Workers' Pledge AS A KICKOFF TO LEGISLATIVE WEEK 2018, ABC's Executive Committee sat down with President Trump to talk about the positive economic effects of tax reform, regulatory relief and dynamic enhancements to workforce development. Held on June 26 at the White House, the meeting also included Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senior Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump. "President Trump was very engaging and excited about ABC being there," said ABC member company Gaylor Electric President & CEO Chuck Goodrich. "He knew a lot about our organization, and he was very willing to get our association's input on business and how the economy is going." The overall discussion also included talk about tariffs and the tax incentive and how it was impacting businesses. "President Trump asked about the industry's investment back into our workers and our business and equipment," Goodrich added. "It was very exciting that he was so engaging and appreciative of our association. Our entire Executive Committee is very encouraged about the leadership of President Trump and his thoughtfulness to our industry and his understanding of our gap in skilled trades." More recently, ABC also took part in signing President Trump's "Pledge to America's Workers" on July 19, committing to educating and developing at least 500,000 construction workers over the next five years. "Being a part of this pledge and representing merit shop with President Trump is probably one of the coolest our association has done over the last couple of months," said ABC of Alabama President Jay Reed. "We actually had ABC members participating in the press conference and the actual signing in D.C. There was also personal dialogue with the President and Senior Advisor Ivanka Trump regarding skilled worker shortages and how the Trump administration can assist us in filling this gap." The pledge was signed by more than a dozen leading companies and industry trade associations and it stressed the need to expand apprenticeship programs to educate current and future generations of America's workforce. "ABC is proud to join the White House in pledging to develop and support generations of skilled craftsmen and women who are building America," said ABC's Vice President of Environment, Health, Safety and Workforce Development Greg Sizemore. "There are currently 500,000 open positions in the construction industry alone, a number which will continue to grow if we don't join forces to expand registered and industry-recognized apprenticeship programs in the United States to fill skills gaps." Brianna DeAngelo, a second-year electrical apprentice with Gaylor Electric, attended the White House signing of the pledge, and she emphasized how much she values the education and career opportunities her apprenticeship program provides. "Being an electrician is more than a job, it's a career path," she said. "Through my apprenticeship program, I have learned a skilled trade that will afford me a fulfilling and well-paid lifelong career. And as older generations continue to retire, there will be a huge void in experienced construction workers if companies don't continue to recruit and train young people like me to join the construction sector." As an association, ABC members invest $1.1 billion on workforce development to educate more than 475,000 industry employees annually, and ABC chapters have set up more than 800 apprenticeship, craft training and safety programs across the United States. Yet more than 80 percent of ABC members report they have trouble finding skilled labor, which impacts construction firms of all sizes. And as the Construction Labor Market Analyzer projects a deficit of 1.1 million workers over the next decade, prioritizing apprenticeship and workforce development program is a key priority for ABC members.

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