The number one issue facing Americans is simple: jobs.

Unfortunately, some politicians are pushing a broad array of laws and regulations that would prevent us from getting the economy moving again and creating new jobs. Instead, we should focus on efforts to:

  • Secure small business — we need to allow small businesses to band together to buy health care, create tax deductions for small businesses, and block the Death Tax
  • Guard job growth — we should cut capital gains to secure job growth and expand domestic energy production to boost national security and keep building jobs

Then there are more specific situations. Consider the case of the construction industry where unemployment is at 25 percent.

With that striking figure hitting right in the wallet for hundreds of thousands of Americans, creating jobs and invigorating the economy is a priority for the members of Associated Builders and Contractors, which has proposed a job creation package to put Americans and the construction industry back to work.

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Think on these possibilities:

1. Eliminate “Uncertainty” in the Business Environment

Federal legislative and regulatory anti-business proposals are negatively impacting the economic recovery of the construction industry. The outcome of these proposals is unclear, which has caused much uncertainty in the industry and has made it difficult for firms to adequately plan for the future. Currently, employers are unwilling to hire additional employees or invest in equipment or facilities. ABC believes job creation in the construction industry is best fostered in a pro-business environment where free enterprise and open competition are unconstrained.

2. Increase Access to Capital

The freeze on lending for private sector construction projects must be addressed immediately. The long delay in lending or outright refusal by financial institutions to fund private sector projects has had an extremely detrimental impact on the construction industry. Many ABC members have viable low-risk projects/contracts that simply need funding in order for work to commence.

3. Provide Meaningful Tax Relief that Leads Directly to Job Creation

Under the nation’s current tax system, rates are too high and laws are too complex, thus inhibiting the growth of small businesses. ABC supports minimizing the tax burden on American citizens – and the construction industry in particular – to help increase the rate of capital formation, economic growth and job creation.

4. Stimulate Construction Efficiently

Long-term economic success requires the participation of the entire construction workforce on federally funded and assisted construction projects. Federal agencies should be prohibited from requiring union-only project labor agreements (PLAs) and the Davis-Bacon Act requirements on stimulus funds should be lifted.

5. Promote Energy Efficiency

A comprehensive energy plan will benefit all Americans through less expensive, more stable energy supplies. The potential dividend for the construction industry is considerable. The nation’s energy infrastructure is insufficient and crumbling; new construction and upgrades to plants and transmission infrastructure are desperately needed. ABC is committed to ensuring these new projects are built with open competition and without government-mandated project labor agreements.

6. Support Training Programs for All

One of the keys to attracting new workers to the construction industry is to provide high-quality, flexible training that leads to a lifetime career opportunity in a lucrative field. ABC believes all American workers, regardless of labor affiliation, should enjoy equal access to critical job training, which includes allowing merit shop contractors access to federal training funds under the “Green Jobs” program. Additionally, ABC strongly supports school-to-career programs that offer students a course of study that brings together academics, on-the-job learning and paid work experience—all before high school graduation.

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