Alabama Construction News

JAN-MAR 2018

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

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52 AL CONSTRUCTION NEWS JAN-MAR 2018 JOURNAL ON FEBRUARY 15, ABC OF ALABAMA HAD ITS FIRST FLY IN FOR 2018. Traditionally, the association travels to D.C. once a year, however, starting in 2017, the leadership decided to conduct these fly ins quarterly to consistently be in front of the Alabama delegation while they are in session in D.C. This fly in was certainly centered around recently elected Senator Doug Jones. While Jones' voting record is being scrutinized by all, business leaders are certainly finding some of his votes that lean toward pro-business, pro-economic development refreshing. That said, ABC of Alabama decided to make an early meeting with Senator Jones a priority. ABC of Alabama will concentrate on ensuring that Senator Jones understands that in the state of Alabama, an overwhelming majority of contractors are merit shop/open shop. " While we have a complete binder of information on commercial construction and economic development in Alabama, we do have one message for Senator Jones: ABC's D.C. Fly In Alabama's construction community is overwhelmingly free enterprise and merit shop," said ABC of Alabama President Jay Reed. "The association also plans to discuss immigration, Trump's infrastructure package, industry recruitment to our state and workforce." ABC of Alabama's Federal Legislative Chairman Jim Cooper (Cooper Construction) lead the group on the trip. Others attending included Tim Hightower of Southern Carpet, Tile & Hardwood, Tim Harrison of Harrison Construction, David Pugh of Bradley, Mark Mattox of Robins & Morton and ABC of Alabama 2018 Chairman of the Board Allen Harris of Bailey-Harris Construction. ABC of Alabama President Jay Reed also joined them on the trip. From the North Alabama chapter was Kerrick Whisenant of Cornerstone and ABC of North Alabama President Tiffany Brightwell. "Our association was excited to sit down with Senator Jones to lay out the needs and wants of this 12 billion-plus dollar industry," said Reed. One very compelling and convincing piece of information the association talked with Senator Jones about is a recent letter the association presented to President Donald Trump. This letter talked about the negative impact that government mandated project labor agreements have on our industry, our workers and tax dollars. During the trip, the attendees also joined the entire Alabama House delegation for a luncheon where the same topics were discussed, as well as a mid-morning meeting with Senator Shelby. "As an association, I really feel that it is our duty to communicate with Senator Jones in order for him to speak for the commercial construction industry in Alabama," said Reed. "He has to speak and see through the lens of merit shop contractors. We even left a copy of the book Freedom in the Workplace for Senator Jones to review. This book, written by Samuel cook, does an amazing job of telling the story of why merit shop and free enterprise in our industry matters." Perhaps the most pressing issue on all of the elected officials' calendars for the day was the immigration bill actually going to the Senate floor. During the association's meetings with the senators, the immigration bill was being debated and amendments were being discussed. However, as the day played out, the immigration bill died on the floor. "As an association, the biggest win I felt was the government neutrality/PLA discussions we had with Senator Jones," said Reed. "He and his staff clearly understood the ratio of merit shop contractors versus union contractors. They also asked some very pointed questions and requested additional follow up data on government neutrality and the added expense PLAs create." "OUR ASSOCIATION WAS EXCITED TO SIT DOWN WITH SENATOR JONES TO LAY OUT THE NEEDS AND WANTS OF THIS 12 BILLION-PLUS DOLLAR INDUSTRY." –JAY REED

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