Welcome to fall! I hope you are still busy and have ample backlog as we look at 2024. Nationally, hours are up from 2022, and we see continued demand from megaprojects (especially auto manufacturing), indoor air quality projects, and, more recently, commercial office conversations. A tremendous amount of work is on the horizon that has Davis Bacon requirements and PLAs. Both should give our members a good starting point for bidding. If you have a megaproject, please let us know your workforce needs as soon as possible. We are working every day with SMART to fill these roles. If you are bidding on one, please get in touch with us with any workforce concerns. The more information we have, the more likely we will be able to meet your needs.
As you know, SMACNA’s Government Affairs and Labor Relations teams have been commenting heavily on regulations — from Davis Bacon to PLAs and rules for CHIPs funding. We have also been lobbying heavily to make sure the tax credits that allow our industry to flourish remain in place. Their work has been outstanding this year and will only intensify as we move into the next few months.
As we have come to expect, Washington is a political mess. Even though a continuing resolution was passed a few weeks ago to fund the government, the drama surrounding the Speaker of the House continues to create political uncertainty. The worst of politics is on display and both sides share the blame for our inability to govern. Unfortunately, the threat of a government shutdown in November continues to loom heavily. Unless Democrats and Republicans can reach a bipartisan compromise on a funding package, government operations will halt. There will be a significant impact on many SMACNA contractors who rely on government work if this occurs. It could also create a recession that impacts our projects for years.
These events should serve as a reminder that SMACNA contractors must become more involved in the political process. We are in an enviable position where we have friends on both sides of the aisle who recognize the value of a highly skilled sheet metal and HVAC industry. It is essential to remember that we must always work to strengthen our existing political relationships and build new ones whenever possible. Our Government Relations team has recently released a treasure trove of new resources for you to draw upon, ranging from the video tutorial on the Prior Approval Process to our monthly mailing on state and local legislative affairs. Please take advantage of these tools whenever possible, and please stay tuned to updates from our Government Relations team as we continue to navigate this dynamic period.