More than 500 ABC members came to Washington, D.C., for meetings with top administration and congressional leaders on the issues that impact the merit shop construction industry at both the federal and state levels during Legislative Week 2018. To lead off, ABC’s Executive Committee met with President Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senior Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump at the White House to talk about the positive economic effects of tax reform, regulatory relief and dynamic enhancements to workforce development efforts on June 26.
Members heard inspiring calls to action from merit shop advocates and an overview of ABC’s legislative objectives for the year ahead during Legislative Day, June 27, followed by speakers from Congress and the administration. Mick Mulvaney, director of Office of Management and Budget, touted the benefits of strong economic growth driven by the administration’s deregulatory agenda and the “resiliency and creativity of ABC members” and other business owners reinvesting in their companies. He pledged to continue making government work more efficiently and shorten the approval process for construction projects as Congress considers the best way to leverage infrastructure spending.
“Is there anybody in this room who isn’t looking for skilled workers?” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), chairwoman of the Committee on Education and Workforce, asked during her remarks. She encouraged ABC members to keep speaking to policymakers on the need for effective educational programs and thanked them for their support of the PROSPER Act (H.R. 4508), which she introduced to reform the Higher Education Act by opening federal tuition assistance to industry-recognized education programs and by promoting all forms of learning.
Attendees also received the latest updates on the most important congressional races that will have the greatest impact on keeping a merit shop-friendly majority in Congress this November from Josh Kraushaar, political editor of National Journal and frequent political analyst on television and radio.
Legislative Week also featured the ABC Young Professionals Symposium, where prominent speakers helped attendees understand the ins and outs of lobbying, grass-roots advocacy and making their voice heard at both the local and national levels, and the Free Enterprise Alliance reception, where members networked, got political insights from keynote speaker Bret Baier, Fox News chief political anchor and host of Special Report with Bret Baier, and rallied around the principles of free enterprise in the construction industry.
ABC’s Legal Conference, which will take place tomorrow, June 28, will update attendees up on the latest developments and insights on employment and labor law and open competition in the industry. Featured speakers include Marvin E. Kaplan, a member of the National Labor Relations Board, and Nicholas C. Geale, deputy solicitor and chief of staff to the secretary, U.S. Department of Labor. Experts will explain legal and regulatory issues that are confronting the merit shop and share insights on the legal battles that ABC anticipates during the year ahead. Labor attorneys, contractors and ABC chapter presidents and staff will network and share ideas centered around the merit shop philosophy.