Week of July 31, 2000
  Snapshot from the Field

Building the U.S. Presidential Platforms:
Associated General Contractors
Want Piece of Project

George W. Bush and Al Gore - the respective Republican and Democratic nominees for the U.S. presidency - are busy hammering together their political platforms. And the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC at www.agc.org) has served notice that it wants a piece of that project.

The AGC, founded in 1918 and the largest, oldest U.S. construction trade association, has just released "A Platform for Building America: Major Issues Affecting the Construction Industry."

The "Platform for Building America" report, say AGC officials, has been sent to U.S. political, business and industry leaders "to serve as a starting point for discussions on a variety of topics that directly influence the construction industry and the country." Among the recipients: both the Republican and Democratic National Platform Committees.

'Guidebook' Release Coincides With Presidential Conventions

The "guidebook" was released late last week, and the timing certainly seemed significant. The release came only days before the Republican presidential began this week in Philadelphia. And the Democratic convention will unfold Aug. 14-17 in Los Angeles. "AGC looks forward to advancing its political agenda with the new administration," said AGC Executive Vice President and CEO Stephen E. Sandherr. Noted the press release announcing the publishing of "Platform for Building America," "AGC expects the presidential nominees to address a number of the critical issues outlined in the guidebook." Among those critical issues, says the AGC, are:

  • "infrastructure investment,"
  • "transportation needs,"
  • "environmental policies,"
  • "labor and human resources regulations,"
  • "ergonomics standards,"
  • "small business tax and fiscal affairs,"
  • "health-care reform,"
  • "procurement methods,"
  • "blacklisting regulations," and
  • "workforce apprenticeship programs."

AGC's Political Clout: 33,000-Plus Member Firms

The AGC certainly seems to have the heft to wield considerable political clout. The association represents more than 33,000 firms. Among that number are 7,500 of "America's leading general contractors," and 12,000 specialty-contracting firms, according to the AGC. Over 14,000 service providers and suppliers are also associated with AGC through a nationwide network of chapters, the association reports.

"AGC continues its effort to communicate a unified legislative message, and works hard to give its members and partners a competitive edge," Sandherr said. "While the construction industry is an important component of the American economy, it also contributes to this nation's everyday quality of life.

"We would like the nominees to recognize that this industry holds clout and has identified issues that should be addressed."



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