WASHINGTON, D.C.- At the end of March, electrical contractors from across the country gathered in Washington D.C. to participate in the National Electrical Contractor’s Association (NECA) Legislative Conference. This event has been hailed as a premier advocacy opportunity for NECA members to make an impact on Capitol Hill.
This conference allowed electrical contractors the chance to have direct and personal interactions with some of our nation’s top politicians and their staffers. Not only were political figures updating NECA members on the current legislative climate but in turn, received feedback and perspective on the needs of the electrical construction industry.
An impressive lineup of representatives spoke at this year’s conference including Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). Staff members from the Education and Workforce Labor Policy committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure committee participated in a panel discussion as well as remarks from U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary David Turk and the Department of Labor’s Jessica Looman. Several other congressional staffers partook in this year’s Legislative Conference and added to the dialogue between politicians and trades people. Lastly, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) attended and gave remarks at the meeting’s closing reception on Capitol Hill. The reception was attended by over 60 members of Congress.
“Being able to invite NECA contractors to our nation’s capital and immerse them in the advocacy efforts we pursue on a daily basis, is always the biggest goal of this annual Legislative Conference,” said Marco Giamberardino, Senior Vice President of NECA Government and Public Affairs. “It’s a special opportunity for our members to be able to speak with their elected officials and voice their opinions for a stronger electrical contracting industry. We hope this experience creates a ripple effect from the federal level all the way to local policies.”
At this year’s Legislative Conference, NECA was focused on three primary asks for contractor advocacy: a push to enact permitting reform to ensure timely approval for projects, a goal of making the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 permanent and a spotlight on the modernization of airport and water infrastructure.