Last week CAGC leaders, including members and staff, met in Washington, D.C. with Congressional Delegations from the Carolinas to urge their support of infrastructure and Career Technical Education (CTE) funding, and to oppose mandatory Project Labor Agreements pushed by unions, burdensome Buy America provisions that will create unnecessary red tape and proposed heat standards that would be extremely impractical for the construction industry.
The three-day National and Chapter Leadership Conference, held Sept. 18-20, featured business and political sessions, networking events and visits to Capitol Hill by about 300 representatives of AGC of America’s 89 chapters, including CAGC.
“This year’s AGC National Chapter Leadership Conference again gave us a great opportunity to help support the construction industry in the Carolinas by informing us of the latest on what we need to know politically, and then having us do something about it by making personal visits with our Congressional delegations in North and South Carolina,” said Charlie Wilson, Chair of the CAGC Board of Directors.
CAGC representatives participating in the AGC of America event included the five Board of Director officers: Charlie Wilson, President; Mark Johnnie, Chair Elect; Dean Wilson, Treasurer; Ty Edmondson, Vice Chair; and Casey Schwager, Immediate Past Chair. Also participating in the annual outing were Dave Simpson, CAGC President & CEO, and Allen Gray, Director of AGC’s Utility Infrastructure Division and former CAGC Utility Division Director.
A highlight of the trip included personal visits with U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R-NC (who supported CAGC’s push to do more with immigration efforts to ease the construction workforce shortage, including his support of asylum reform), and U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-SC, who voiced support about continuing to significantly increase CTE funding. In addition, the CAGC delegation met with the staffs of U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham, R-SC, and Richard Burr, R-NC, and U.S. Reps. Patrick McHenry and Virginia Foxx, both of NC.
Some key points of the messaging to members of Congress included:
- More needs to be done with guest worker relief and immigration reform, including extending DACA & TPS, to allow badly needed and qualified people into the construction industry at a time when the workforce shortage is our number-one challenge.
- Continue increasing CTE funding at a time when federal funding is running at $27B for CTE versus $101B for higher education.
- Oppose government-mandated Project Labor Agreements on federal projects.
- Oppose HR 2193 involving federal heat standards and instead support industry efforts and best practices.