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ABC Applauds Congress’ Passage of Key Workforce Development Bill

Washington, D.C. – Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan (ABC) today praised the U.S. House of Representatives’ passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), H.R. 803. WIOA passed the House on July 9 by a vote of 415-6, and is the first major overhaul of federal workforce training programs since 1998. The U.S. Senate passed the bill by a vote of 95-3 on June 25 and it now awaits President Obama’s signature. 

“It’s encouraging to see bipartisan support of this legislation that streamlines much-needed workforce development training programs,” said ABC of Michigan President Chris Fisher. “We look forward to seeing this legislation’s positive impact on the Michigan construction workforce.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the construction industry’s need for workers will grow twice as fast as the average for all industries and that the industry will face a workforce shortage of 1.6 million workers by 2022.  The state of Michigan alone predicts that demand for skilled trades jobs will be increasing by at least 7.4 percent by the end of the current decade. For many industries the demand is much higher: construction (25.3 percent), transportation (54.5 percent) and production (17.3 percent).

WIOA will streamline and localize job training programs while ensuring that they are targeted toward available career opportunities. ABC believes that effective, targeted and accessible workforce training programs will be crucial in preparing new workers for careers in construction and has been a vocal supporter of WIOA.

Training facilities and programs like those ABC operates around Michigan have long been advocating the need to fill labor shortages and encourage rewarding construction career opportunities that are in high demand. ABC members and other contractors can take advantage of craft training, workforce development programs and peer groups, apprenticeships, individual safety training, and more. 
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ABC of Michigan is a statewide trade association representing the commercial and industrial construction industries. Dedicated to open competition, equal opportunity and accountability in construction, ABC members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically, profitably and for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work.