September 4, 2018
The Honorable Anthony Brown
United States House of Representatives
1505 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Re: Support for the “Helping America Re-Develop High-Quality Accessible Training Act”
Dear Congressman Brown:
On behalf of the Construction Employers of America (“CEA”) and the 15,000 signatory contractors and 1.4 million employees we represent, we extend our sincere appreciation for your leadership on labor, apprenticeship, and construction issues. In particular, we want to express our support for H.R. 6693, the “Helping America Re-Develop High-Quality Accessible Training Act”, or the “HARD HAT Act.” This legislation would have a profound effect on the specialty construction industry and the apprentices we train and employ, and we look forward to working with you to see the “HARD HAT Act” enacted as expeditiously as possible.
The “HARD HAT Act” would provide a leg up for federal construction contractors that are investing in the future of the construction industry and supporting the next generation of construction workers through investments in registered apprenticeship programs. Your legislation would bar federal agencies from awarding certain construction contracts unless the contractor agrees to require at least 20 percent of their non-management employees to complete or be enrolled in a Department of Labor recognized Registered Apprenticeship Program as of the date construction begins.
Apprenticeships are the backbone of the construction industry, and are the only way to ensure the long-term viability and growth of one of America’s most important careers. CEA’s members have long-recognized that the path to prosperity requires investment in high caliber, accredited apprenticeship programs. Our members independently finance 1,000 apprentice training centers across the country. With over 100,000 future construction workers currently enrolled in our Privately-funded, joint labor-management training programs, we are creating career opportunities for the blue collar workers that drive American exceptionalism. CEA contractors invest significantly in registered apprenticeship programs, even providing paid “on the job” instruction for our apprentices.
The “HARD Hat Act” would bar federal agencies from awarding certain construction contracts unless the contractor agrees to require at least twenty (20) percent of their non-management employees to complete or be enrolled in a Department of Labor-recognized Registered Apprenticeship Program as of the date on which construction begins. This requirement applies to contracts of $1.5 million or more for the construction or resurfacing of highways, roads, streets, bridges, or railways, as well the building of tunnels, sewage and waste facilities, and public buildings. CEA’s specialty trade contractors are the best in the industry at completing these types of projects, and our well-trained and energetic apprentices will assist in ensuring these projects are constructed with the highest quality standards in mind.
CEA’s seven employer associations include FCA International, International Council of Employers of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Mechanical Contractors Association of America, National Electrical Contractors Association, Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors National Association, Signatory Wall and Ceiling Contractors Alliance, and The Association of Union Constructors. We are available to meet with you or your staff to discuss the “HARD HAT Act” with you or your staff, and would be available to publicly support the legislation in any upcoming congressional hearings. You may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202-637-6820 with any questions or to speak to our associations and their members.
Construction Employers of America