Associated Builders and Contractors member Roy Heim, president of Heim Construction Co. Inc., Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania, today testified before theU.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee during the hearing “From Nothing to Something: The Story of the American Dream.”
Testifying on behalf of his small business, Heim—who began his career in construction in high school through a vocational technical school where he now serves as a board member—described the significant growth in regulatory requirements affecting small businesses in the construction industry. Heim Construction is a 30-year-old construction management, design-build, general construction and concrete services company that does millions of dollars of public and private work each year, including state, federal and federally assisted projects. Heim Construction employs approximately 95 people and is located in the small rural town in eastern Pennsylvania where Heim was born and raised.
“We have spent an enormous amount of time and money to stay compliant, employing eight full-time employees who work countless hours to ensure we remain in compliance with the ever-changing regulations,” said Heim. “Many of these laws and regulations, while well-intended, make it much more difficult, if not impossible, for small businesses to comply, compete and survive—let alone profit.”
Heim is deeply involved in his community as an elected school board member and a member of several associations. His remarks further describe the burdens of President Joe Biden’s government-mandated project labor agreement executive order and the Build America, Buy America Act on his company and small businesses across the country.
“When the federal government issues executive orders, like President Biden’s EO 14063, or passes regulations mandating or prioritizing project labor agreements, it can tie federal funds to the use of union-only labor, discriminating against the more than 88% of workers who have chosen not to join a union,” said Heim. “I have a relationship with unions. I hire them and they hire me on jobs. But there is no reason to mandate union-only labor when we can fairly compete against each other.”
“An additional issue facing small businesses like mine is the Build America, Buy America Act,” said Heim. “While we fully support the intentions behind the legislation to keep jobs and manufacturing in our country, the recent modifications, amendments, legal decisions and executive branch actions surrounding it have left even federal officials confused as to how to get projects completed and ensure compliance.”
Heim included a list of federal and state regulatory requirements that affect construction industry job creators for committee members to review.
“Picture yourself as a small business owner or someone helping an aspiring entrepreneur,” said Heim. “Ask yourself if government has created too big of a hill to climb. Please be our advocate to reduce these regulations and give small businesses back the ability to remain the backbone of the American economy.”
Read the full testimony here.