Certification has long been a subject of discussion in the construction industry. Discussions usually revolve around questions of “Who does the certifications? Whose courses do we use? What can we use as a standard for hiring new employees that will help ensure us that the prospective employee has the basic skills we need to get the job done safely? Read more » about Certify to Qualify
According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Standards) the March job numbers showed a positive growth of 162,000 jobs. There is “joy in Mudville,” to coin an old baseball term, if those numbers hold true as it just might be the first positive indicator of the economy since we dropped from the peak of the last cycle in December of 2007.
April 13 was the first day that the new Obama styled contracting guidelines requiring that all Federal projects with budgets of over $25 million have negotiated Project Labor Agreements or PLAs. The guidelines further suggest that those agreements can only be negotiated with Union contractors and subcontractors according to Fox News . The Presidential Executive Order was quietly signed a few days after Obama took office last year. According to the news article, “Those agreements require contractors to negotiate with union officials, recognize union wages and benefits and generally abide by collective-bargaining agreements” effectively shutting all “Merit Shop” or “Open Shop” contractors and subs out of this work.
According to the article, “Proponents of the new policies (actually the reinstatement of Clinton era policies under an Obama banner) such as Mark Ayers, president of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department praised the policy.
The Governor was lobbying to have the delivery services removed from the bill, but the Senators voted against that move. The bill is the result of the difficulty that contractors who are meeting the measure of the law and paying benefits and taxes for their workers made the case that they were at a major disadvantage in bidding on projects in this economy.
According to statistics from the Houston Independent School District in Texas, the third largest school district in the country, for every 100 students entering grade school this year, only 25 will complete high school and consider college.
One key part of the health care bill passed by the House and signed into law this week by President Obama is that everyone in the US must have health care or be taxed by the Government. On it’s face it appears that the playing field in the construction industry has just been graded if not totally leveled. Both legal citizens and illegal citizens must be offered healthcare by their “employers” under the new law.