In a Feb. 21 letter, ABC asked President Trump to eliminate an Obama administration executive order encouraging the use of government-mandated project labor agreements on large-scale federal construction projects because it “stands in the way of creating career paths into the construction industry for many merit shop craft professionals.”

ABC member companies annually invest an estimated $1.1 billion to build a construction workforce that is safe, skilled and productive using flexible, competency-based and market-driven education methodologies. This all-of-the-above approach to workforce development has produced a network of ABC chapter and affiliated training centers in 1,400 locations across the country that offer more than 800 apprenticeship, craft, safety and management education programs—including more than 300 U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship programs for 20 different occupations—to build the people who build America.

However, according to the letter, government-mandated PLAs prevent participants in merit shop workforce development programs from obtaining high-paying jobs on taxpayer-funded projects and deny opportunities to the 87.2 percent of the U.S. construction industry workforce that chooses not to join a union.

ABC and industry groups have repeatedly asked President Trump to rescind President Obama’s Executive Order 13502, which allows state and local recipients of federal dollars to mandate PLAs and encourages federal agencies to require PLAs on federal contracts to build projects of $25 million or more on a case-by-case basis. ABC and the coalition have advocated to replace the Obama-era policy with Executive Orders 13202 and 13208, which would prohibit PLAs from being required on federal and federally assisted construction projects, respectively. Two dozen states have enacted fair and open competition legislation that welcomes all contractors to bid on construction projects.

Rescinding the pro-PLA Obama policy and implementing a new policy that welcomes all Americans to build taxpayer-funded construction projects “remains one of ABC’s top priorities, especially as previous and new Democrat governors and legislatures promote PLA mandates on federally assisted and state public works projects” across the country, according to the letter. “Cutting this costly regulation and creating a new win-win policy will protect taxpayers, spur economic growth, maintain robust construction industry career pipelines and allow all Americans to compete to rebuild America.”