Attendees at the Arizona Builders Alliance (ABA) Membership dinner at the Savoy Opera House in Tucson were delighted by a surprise guest. The audience, well represented by the AEC industry, warmly welcomed new Arizona Senator Martha McSally. After sharing stories of her first 3 weeks in Washington, she bravely offered to answer questions on any topic. Not surprisingly, workforce development came up. Senator McSally advocated for modernizing our guest worker program, to assist companies in supplementing their workforce when there is not a sufficient number of willing or able American workers. With her background in the Air Force, she is also a proponent for local employers such as Raytheon, to partner with educators to ensure we are able to staff our local industries and keep our graduates in town. She also advocates for CTE programs that offer good paying alternatives to a four year college degree.
The second presenter of the night was Mike Ballaman, President and CEO of Associated Builders and Contractors. This was a rare opportunity for the membership to hear from the organization’s national leader. Mike drove home two key points in his presentation: safety and support of the ABC political action committee. The ABC is promoting a new Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) protocol that has been developed in conjunction with OSHA and which is hoped to correct the misconception that the ABC is not concerned with safety. Mike encouraged all of the contractors present to sign on to the program. GLHN is a member of the ABA and values the relationships we’ve developed with our contractor partners. We recognize that workforce development is a key factor in the success of our region and support these efforts through our internship programs and community partnerships. We also congratulate incoming President Brad Lloyd!