Concrete Products

JAN 2018

Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.

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16 • January 2018 GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS REGULATIONS Associated Builders and Contractors' annual "Building America: The Merit Shop Score- card," takes stock of state policies that influence the success or failure of a free enterprise-based environment for construc- tion companies. It highlights states where merit shop contractors are well-positioned to succeed and calls attention to states where strategic improvements need to be made based on their prevailing wage and project labor agreement (PLA) mandate policies; Right to Work status; commitment to devel- oping a well-trained workforce; career and technical education opportunities; and, use of public-private partnerships (P3s). Against the prior year, the 2017 score- card features changes at the top of the rankings and major progress for a handful of states. Virginia moved up a spot to number one, Arkansas went from 20 to second place and Arizona remained in the top tier, land- ing at number three. Arkansas' leap can be attributed to its full repeal of prevailing wage to accompany existing PLA and Right to Work policies, plus perfect marks in other graded criteria. Wisconsin continues its steady climb, moving up 10 spots over the past two years thanks to a repeal of its prevailing wage law; passing ABC-modeled PLA neutrality leg- islation; and, continued Right to Work policy progress. Kentucky moved from 32 to 21 in one year after enacting Right to Work and repealing prevailing wage laws. Conversely, Illinois, Washington and New York rank as the three worst environments on the 2017 Merit Shop Scorecard. Each received an "F" for PLA and prevailing wage mandate policies and failure to adopt Right to Work laws, plus poor marks for workforce develop- ment incentive programs. "ABC is committed to promoting free enterprise-based policies that will improve business climates and ensure a level playing field for all contractors," says Vice Presi- dent of Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs Ben Brubeck. "We believe the Merit Shop Scorecard can help promote policies that will attract additional business investment and benefit state economies as a whole by providing valuable information for policy- makers, contractors, construction users and other industry stakeholders while focusing on specific areas where strategic improvements can be made." The merit shop philosophy is the belief that people and companies succeed based on free enterprise principles within the free market system, which is characterized by open and fair competition and diverse participants, ABC contends. Those who adhere to the philosophy believe employees and employers have the right to determine wages and working conditions through either individual or collective bargaining, as they choose, within the boundaries of the law. Yes Virginia: Sound policies equate to top Merit Shop score The Merit Shop Scorecard was developed with input from ABC chapters and industry stakeholders across the country. State rank- ings, score criteria and definitions, plus construction unemployment rate estimates are posted at MERIT SHOP LEADERS & LAGGARDS MAP: Associated Builders & Contractors We provide ready mix concrete to our communities in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida. We're passionate about concrete and are constantly striving to design better mixes and delivery systems so that we can leave a lasting legacy together. Y E A R S 1 9 2 8 - 2 0 1 8

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