It seems fitting to provide an update on how your association is serving your needs, with many of us coming together in mid-September for AGC of America’s Annual Convention. In many respects, 2021 is proving to be a promising year as your national association has been successful on many fronts. But we still have more work to do, especially when it comes to getting even more members engaged.
Among our successes has been getting the Small Business Administration to more quickly process Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness applications, particularly for loans over $2 million. We got the agency to abandon its dubious loan necessity questionnaire, which would have rewritten the rules on who qualifies for loan forgiveness. Meanwhile, our Freedom of Information Act filing looking into why the agency wasn’t moving faster in approving loan forgiveness applications led to an increase in forgiveness approvals, especially for larger loans.
We continued to improve the health and safety of the construction workforce, by organizing successful vaccination drives, playing a lead role in National Construction Safety Week, and helping get tougher highway work zone safety laws enacted. This commitment to safety helped us make the case, successfully, to OSHA officials that their new COVID Emergency Temporary Standard need not apply to the construction industry.
Our Construction is Essential targeted digital advertising campaign is helping modernize the way the industry recruits, and our nationwide rollout of Culture of Care is helping the industry retain those new workers. Meanwhile, our successful transition to virtual learning is making it easier for workers to improve their skills and advance their careers.
We have made rising construction materials prices a national issue. We are leading the fight against the PRO Act, and we are pushing back against new regulatory burdens. And we have found a way to return to successful, in-person events, allowing us to connect with each other, in real life, once again.
As successful as we have been, we still have much more that we need to accomplish. Foremost among that is finding ways to get more members to engage regularly with AGC. For example, we need more members to engage in pushing back against a PRO Act that would, if enacted, make France look like the land of labor harmony compared to the United States.
We need to find ways to get more members to support our AGC Political Action Committee. We are the largest commercial construction association and the voice of our entire industry. But our PAC is far from being the largest for our industry. And we need to find ways to get more members to support our AGC Construction Advocacy Fund.
As we gather later this month to celebrate our association and our industry, there is a lot that we can be proud of. But we also need to take this opportunity to redouble our efforts and make sure we are engaging today for an even better tomorrow. I can’t wait to see all of you who are coming to Orlando. And I can’t wait to hear how all of us are engaging with our national association to help ensure the continued success of our industry.