On March 30, ABC sent a letter to a Congressional subcommittee cautioning that more regulations and less worker freedom, combined with the construction industry shortage of 650,000 workers in 2022, will make it harder to fill any jobs created by the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021.
ABC sent the letter to the U.S. House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Workforce Development for a hearing titled “Skill, Upskill, and Reskill: Analyzing New Investments in Workforce Development” to underscore the workforce development challenges facing small construction businesses.
ABC advocated against President Biden’s Executive Order 14063 requiring federal construction contracts greater than $35 million to be subjected to project labor agreements, explaining that potential jobs and infrastructure improvements created by the IIJA will be severely hindered. That’s because PLA mandates increase the cost of construction by 12% to 20% and reduce competition by excluding 87.4% of the construction industry workforce that chooses not to join a union.
At the hearing, Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas, the vice ranking member of the committee, discussed how President Biden’s executive order mandating PLAs is costly to taxpayers and discriminatory against most of the construction workforce as contractors seek to compete for federal contracts. Watch Rep. Williams’ statement and question on the topic here.