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AGC: Congress Should Heed President's Call for Swift Action On Long-Term Transportation and Water Resources Bills

Top Construction Official Adds that the President's Proposals to Improve Skills Training Have the Potential to Help Address Construction Industry's Future Workforce Needs

The chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America, Stephen E. Sandherr, issued the following statement in reaction to President Obama's State of the Union address:

"It is encouraging that the president identified getting swift passage of both new long-term surface transportation and Water Resources Development bills as among his top priorities for the year.  We expect Congress will heed his call for action on these two critical pieces of legislation and will work aggressively to help ensure their swift passage.  We also expect that the administration's fiscal year 2015 budget proposal will reflect the president's priorities and provide additional details about how to address chronic revenue shortfalls that once again threaten the viability of the Highway Trust Fund.

"We also look forward to learning more about President Obama’s intriguing proposals regarding workforce development and their potential impact on helping train the next generation of construction workers.  With private sector demand rebounding and the industry's graying workforce retiring rapidly, many of our members are concerned about where they will find qualified new workers in the near future. In addition, students should be encouraged to investigate rewarding career opportunities that do not require college degrees.

"Finally, we are eager to see the administration act on the president's pledge to cut red tape and regulatory barriers that continue to stall too many essential infrastructure projects around the country.  Many streamlining proposals were included in the last transportation bill, and we hope he plans to speed up the issuance of final regulations.  The last thing our economy needs is for new investments in infrastructure to go unused as transportation officials struggle through years of regulatory reviews."

2300 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 400 · Arlington, VA 22201-3308 · Phone: (703) 548-3118 · Fax (703) 548-3119 · www.agc.org

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