Calls for Economic Stimulus to Support Construction
The Finishing Contractors Association (FCA) has joined 20 other
trade associations, including the American Institute of Architects,
the American Subcontractors Association and the Associated General
Contractors of America, in calling on lawmakers to use part of the
proposed stimulus package to fund construction and infrastructure
projects. In a separate request, the groups have also requested
tax incentives, such as a repeal of the 3-percent tax withholding
on many government projects.
In two letters to the Obama administration and the 111th Congress,
the FCA calls on lawmakers to include construction in the infrastructure
portion of the package. The second letter calls for tax incentives.
In requesting that construction projects be included in the infrastructure
plans, one letter points out that "In a strong economy, the
construction industry employs more than 7 million people and represents
more than $1 trillion annually in economic activity, including $500
billion in materials and supplies and $36 billion in new equipment.
With additional investment, the industry will create jobs, contribute
to economic recovery and build a world-class infrastructure to improve
the nation's overall quality of life, improve energy efficiency,
provide long-term economic stability and maintain U.S. competitiveness.
We ask that you not overlook building construction, alterations
and repairs in the definition of 'infrastructure.'"
"Our association represents [many finishing contractor groups
including] union glaziers. Our members, and certainly our glaziers,
understand the power of building projects to stimulate the economy,
create jobs and sustain and build communities," Stuart Binstock,
FCA chief executive officer, told USGNN.com. "Our members would
like to see the stimulus package cover 'infrastructure' in its broadest
sense. This means the building of schools, government buildings,
public projects-all of which benefit the community and the economy."
"We expect the stimulus package to include many infrastructure
renovation projects," adds Terry Webb of Eureka Metal &
Glass Services in Philadelphia and a member of the board of directors
of the FCA. "Typically this type of work has little direct
impact on glazing subcontractors. However, as a result of these
projects, our economy 'perks up' and private development becomes
required again, which does involve our glazing subcontractors. The
funds directed toward infrastructure projects could directly affect
some members of the FCA such as the industrial painter members who
participate directly in the refurbishing of bridges, power plants
and the like. Historically, construction recovery fuels recovery
in other sectors of the economy as a result and therefore the stimulus
package is needed today."
FCA's call has also gained the support of its labor partner, the
International Union of Painters and Allied Trades. General president
James Williams signed the letters, becoming one of the first union
leaders to join in the call.
FCA chairman Ed Smith says having the support of the entire construction
community is critical to alleviating some of the economic stress
in the country, and he is pleased to bring the support of the IUPAT.
"We also support the investment in infrastructure, which we
believe needs to be a national priority for the safety and well-being
of all Americans," Smith says. "We encourage lawmakers
to look for projects that provide long-term community benefits,
can be started quickly and keep good jobs in the community."
HERE to read the letter requesting that construction work be
include as part of infrastructure.
HERE to read the letter requesting tax incentives.
Need more info and analysis about the issues?
HERE to subscribe to USGlass magazine.