1. On April 12, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney issued a memorandum to begin President Trump’s campaign promise of overhauling the federal workforce. The brief memorandum outlines short and long-term goals focusing on reducing the number of federal employees and making the processes that surrounds these employees more efficient. In addition to signifying the end of the government hiring freeze brought on by the President, this memorandum is intended to act as a guide for federal agencies as they comply with President Trump’s executive order issued earlier in March to develop a reorganization strategy.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA will continue to monitor how the changes and restructuring of federal agencies will play out, how the changes might affect the construction agencies, and the impact on the electrical construction industry.
2. While overall job growth during the month of March was moderate, a clear bright spot was the 7,300 new jobs in nonresidential specialty trade construction. The nonresidential specialty trades have continued to show their resilience as their gains were offset by 6,600 job losses in the residential specialty construction sector.
NECA’s Look Ahead: NECA is pleased to see that growth is continuing a positive pattern for our industry but is weary that the overall job rate is slowing, indicating some cause for concern. With this in mind, we will continue to urge Congress to develop a properly appropriated infrastructure bill which will bolster our efforts to expand and fund our workforce.
3. NECA sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan and House Minority Leader Pelosi, urging them to focus on infrastructure, specifically legislation that prioritizes the modernization of the electric grid and Energy storage systems.
NECA’s Look Ahead: Although the Trump administration has called for cuts to several agencies that oversee energy programs, Members of Congress as well as state and local governments remain supportive. President Trump, in his infrastructure plans, has noted the need for the modernization and innovation of the electric grid. The issue is one that Members of Congress from both parties and the administration can agree on. The programs are likely to be saved by Congress not wishing to make unpopular cuts supported by their own states and constituents.