Over 25 leaders from North Carolina and South Carolina construction firms recently visited U.S. Senators and Representatives in Washington, DC. The construction leaders participated in the annual Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Legislative Conference (LegCon).
“Whether you are new or well established in the political arena of lobbying, the Merit Shop Construction Industry relies on our membership to represent business as a whole,” said Angela Latino, ABC Carolinas Chapter President and CEO. “During the annual ABC Legislative Week in D.C, members coming together to educate our elected officials on issues affecting the industry amplifies the collective voice of free enterprise. This past week’s visit on the Hill was no exception, and the Carolinas was well represented when gathering to hear impressive guest speakers and meeting with the Senate & Congressional delegates from our two great States.”
The event, which was attended by hundreds of ABC members from around the country, had a decidedly Carolinas flair. Featured speakers included Mick Mulvaney, Director of Management and Budget (OMB), who served as a Congressman from South Carolina before joining the Trump administration. Mulvaney addressed fiscal issues, tax policy, trade and tariffs, and the regulatory environment.
Congresswomen Virginia Foxx (R-NC) from North Carolina addressed the audience with insightful commentary on the state of education, training and workforce in the U.S. Specifically, the proposal by the Trump administration to combine the Departments of Education and Labor.
“We are spending billions of dollars on education and training, and we don’t have a lot to show for it,” Foxx said. “The language we use doesn’t convey how much we value them. All education is career education.”
Foxx also discussed her recent visit with Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta to Omega Construction in North Carolina. “I recently had the opportunity to visit jobsites with Secretary Acosta in North Carolina. I’ve been on several Omega Construction sites, and I was excited to show the Secretary how ABC members are working hard to fill the skills gap.”
In addition, John Kraushaar, Political Editor, National Journal, discussed the current political environment in Washington and his thoughts on the 2018 mid-term elections.
ABC Carolinas Chapter members also spent time on Capitol Hill meeting with their Senators and Representatives. According to Chris Bullard, ABC Carolinas Chapter’s Director of Government Affairs, the members of Congress and their staffs were very receptive to hearing about the issues that are important to the construction industry in the Carolinas.
“It was a privilege to spend a few days in Washington DC with members of ABC being the voice of Merit Shop Construction among our elected representatives,” said ABC Carolinas Chapter Chair Casie Sears, Sears Contract.
ABC Carolinas Chapter Board Members Art Odom, David Allen and Company, and Ryan Wathen, Rodgers Builders, played an instrumental roles in introducing featured speakers at the receptions. Odom introduced Mark Harris, a Republican candidate for Congress in the Charlotte area, and Wathen introduced House Majority Whip, Steve Scalise.