ABC New Hampshire & Vermont News

Chapter President Josh Reap's Testimony on SB2

January 22, 2019
My name is Josh Reap, I am the President of Associated Builders & Contractors of New Hampshire/Vermont. In New Hampshire we represent over 200 companies that employ tens of thousands of Granite Staters. As an association we work to help our members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work.
If I may speak on the merits of the bill, we are very pleased to see it expands flexibility by allowing businesses to access funds to train employees they are going to hire in the future -- rather than limiting it to current employees. This shows that state government is truly a partner with employers and sends the message to all New Englanders: opportunity awaits you in the Granite State.
New Hampshire construction companies are ready and eager to hire. We are so committed to workforce that I will point out that nationally, and on an annual basis, ABC and its members spent over $1.1 billion on craft and safety training. However, more needs to be done.
By our estimates, right now there are over 500,000 skilled construction jobs to fill across the country; you can imagine the challenge we face here with such a low unemployment rate. Well, the problem is only going to magnify as baby boomers continue to retire at a record pace. What is the Granite State doing to address this crisis?
This leads me to my next point.
The sector partner initiative has brought together industry and public entities to identify needs as well as locate the resources that exist. We found that the communities within New Hampshire have a lot of great things going on, and the sector partnership has become sort of the nexus, or meeting place, where its come together. In just the last twelve months, the construction sector partnership has brought together dozens of stakeholders and helped to address general needs which has led us to find resources. But it has also began to look at what the long-term.
The construction partnership has helped create resources and enhanced communication across the sector.
We are optimistic that the results of the SPI thus far are only the beginning.
We are encouraged that SB2 seeks to ensure the long-term success of the SPIs and for that we thank each and every Senator.
We are enthusiastic for what the future may hold and fully support SB2 and encourage its swift passage.
Thank you.

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