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Why Engaging Today Will Make 2021 a Better Year for the Industry

BY BOB LANHAM, AGC PRESIDENT

With the election of Joe Biden and vaccines — hopefully — soon on their way, we are working hard to make sure that the construction industry plays a lead role in rebuilding our economy. We will be making the case that the best way to revive our economy is through rebuilding our country, particularly its infrastructure. But to do that, we are counting on all of you to remain engaged.

We need members to engage in our advocacy efforts for new, broad infrastructure investments that will help finance the next generation of public facilities. These include clear water systems, safer utilities, better schools and modern government offices. We also need to engage with Congress to renew and significantly expand the federal highway and transit program.

Even as we work to line up the federal funding to rebuild our economy, we will also need to protect current construction careers. That is why we need members to engage with Congress and the new Biden administration and encourage them to work together to provide greater flexibility for the Paycheck Protection Program. This includes new funding and making sure the benefits of the program are not offset by efforts to tax firms who used the money to save jobs.

We also need members to engage as we make the case with the incoming president to avoid imposing regulatory measures that will undermine efforts to revive our economy and create more jobs. We also need members to help us as we remain extremely vigilant that the new administration does not look for opportunities to impose key provisions of the Pro Act on the industry.

Weigh in with your members of Congress about the need for liability reforms to protect firms that have put in place coronavirus precautions from needless lawsuits. Without such sensible protections, too many businesses will be reluctant to return to full operations for fear of falling victim to predatory lawyers seeking to profit from the pandemic.

Infrastructure investments, regulatory reforms and enacting liability reforms will help stimulate new economic activity and demand for construction. That is why we will continue to make sure we have the skilled workers needed to rebuild the economy.

If we have learned anything from the past several months, it is that we can accomplish just about anything when members engage with a common purpose and singular voice.

Bob Lanham, AGC President

We have an historic opportunity to recruit many of the millions of qualified workers who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic into high-paying construction careers. To do that, AGC of America is launching a new workforce recruitment effort called “Construction is Essential.” We want to remind workers that their careers in construction will be more stable and secure than the jobs they had that were shut down in the spring.

And we want to demonstrate that the work our industry does is the essential foundation to our economy, security and quality of life. We will be launching digital ads, promotional videos, an educators’ toolkit and other resources encouraging people to Become Essential starting early this year. We will need members to engage in helping support this campaign and spreading its message as widely as possible.

The bottom line is we have a broad agenda ahead of us for 2021. If we have learned anything from the past several months, it is that we can accomplish just about anything when members engage with a common purpose and singular voice. We can overcome the challenges we face as we work to recover and rebuild, but only if all of us engage with AGC. Working together, I am confident we will ensure that we can continue to be safe, successful and secure.