Vice President Kamala D. Harris delivered remarks at SMACNA member contractor McKinstry for an event commemorating the first anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). During her speech, the Vice President discussed how the Inflation Reduction Act drove investments in jobs and business opportunities. Harris outlined the tangible benefits that the industry has felt during the year since the IRA was passed and the influx of work heading towards contractors because of the IRA and companion legislation such as the Infrastructure and Jobs Act and the CHIPS and Science Act.
Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Governor Jay Inslee, and Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell joined the Vice President in delivering remarks supportive of the significantly increased work resulting from the IRA tax incentives as well as the labor-management partnership in place at McKinstry.
In addition, second-year SMACNA-SMART JATC apprentice Cameron Bowers, a service technician with McKinstry, introduced the Vice President to the crowd in attendance. While presenting the Vice President, Bowers said, “When I think about the reason for this celebration — the IRA legislation, I’m grateful for investments like this and to know money and resources are going into making our buildings safer, healthier, and more energy efficient.”
SMACNA was invited by the White House and DOE to represent the HVAC industry, and Julie Muller, Executive Vice President of SMACNA Western Washington, was also in attendance. Julie spoke with the Vice President on the success of the labor-management partnership and how this cooperation can help drive many of the Administration’s building efficiency, IAQ, and related infrastructure priorities.
Once the Vice President concluded her remarks, she was joined by Senator Cantwell for a tour of McKinstry’s Seattle fabrication shop led by McKinstry CEO Dean Allen. The tour gave the Vice President and the Senator a better understanding of the shop’s complex and high-tech operations. McKinstry employees detailed some of the innovative design and fabrication processes featured in their shops to meet the quickly growing number of projects that have come about through the IRA Act. One of these efforts included creating a strategy team that advises McKinstry’s clients on leveraging the Inflation Reduction Act to achieve maximum energy efficiency and indoor air quality.
Finally, the Vice President met two students, A’Xavier Williams and Subeg Dhillon, from McKinstry’s Heavy Metal Summer Experience program. Williams and Dhillon outlined to the Vice President and Senator Cantwell how their exposure to the skilled HVAC trades has led them to pursue a career in the industry.
During the event, McKinstry CEO Dean Allen said, “When I think about the reason for this celebration — the IRA legislation, I’m grateful for investments like this and to know money and resources are going into making our buildings safer, healthier and more energy efficient.”
In the one year since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, SMACNA contractors have been able to reap the benefits of some of the countless residential, commercial, industrial, and public sector financial incentives that were a prominent part of the legislation. These tax incentive measures include critical tax credits and incentives for consumers and contractors. Beyond these provisions, the federal government has provided financial support to assist in modernizing public sector buildings, including installing state-of-the-art HVAC systems. SMACNA has offered several online resources that members can utilize to take advantage of these benefits. In addition, the recently enacted IRA, CHIPS, and Infrastructure laws have expanded incentives and focus on registered apprenticeships. Higher labor standards will help ensure that megaprojects emerging directly from the IRA and construction and retrofit legislation will be completed to the highest quality and maximum value.
The Vice President’s visit to McKinstry was a tangible example of how a cooperative labor/management partnership can thrive and help drive our nation’s construction economy forward. These long-overdue policy investments in a skilled workforce and quality-driven contractors can ensure America’s competitiveness for decades if sustained.
Also, McKinstry has made available several resources on the impact of the Inflation Reduction Act, which can be viewed here.