Inside this issue
  ABC testifies on increased apprenticeship funding  

ABC Delaware President, Edward Capodanno recently testified on behalf of the Department of Education during its annual budget hearing with the Office of Management and Budget. The testimony was for funding that will enable the expansion of trade craft training programs in the Vo-Tech Schools in Kent/Sussex counties. ABC supports apprenticeship training and promotes a well-trained quality workforce of local students. This funding is desperately needed to bring equity to the two southern counties to capitalize on the job opportunities for Kent/Sussex students.

This funding is especially critical for compliance of SB 184, which passed last session, and mandated craft training requirements for construction contractors to bid on State funded construction projects. The hearing is the first step for the Department of Education as they prepare to submit it to the Governor in December.  The Governor will then submit his full budget to the Joint Finance Committee of the Delaware General Assembly in January 2022.   Click here for his full testimony.



  Updated COVID-19 Vaccination Guidance Issued for Federal Contractors  

The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force recently issued updated guidance on when covered contractor employees must be fully vaccinated, as well as new FAQS on vaccination and safety protocols and workplaces.

On Sept. 9, President Biden announced his Path Out of the Pandemic: COVID-19 Action Plan and signed Executive Order 14042, Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors. As required by the EO, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force issued guidance, COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors. According to the Sept. 9 guidance, covered federal contractor employees were required to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8, unless the covered federal contractor was legally required to provide an accommodation for medical or religious reasons. However, on Nov. 4, the White House announced that the vaccination deadline would be extended to align with the vaccination deadline included in the OSHA COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard.  

On Nov. 10, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force issued updated guidance on the COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors that states "covered contractors must ensure that all covered contractor employees are fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless the employee is legally entitled to an accommodation. Covered contractor employees must be fully vaccinated no later than January 18, 2022. After that date, all covered contractor employees must be fully vaccinated by the first day of the period of performance on a newly awarded covered contract, and by the first day of the period of performance on an exercised option or extended or renewed contract when the clause has been incorporated into the covered contract."

For more information, see the newly updated FAQs on vaccination and safety protocols and workplaces and the federal contractors overview website.

Note: Multiple lawsuits have been filed seeking to block the federal contractor mandate from going into effect; the preliminary injunction hearings will be held in several district courts during the first week of December.




  Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Signed into Law  

On Nov. 15, President Biden signed H.R. 3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, into law at the White House.

The IIJA authorizes nearly $550 billion in new federal money for infrastructure projects, while renewing approximately $1.2 trillion for existing programs that were set to expire.

The federal government will now implement the legislation, which will provide funding to agencies and states to improve the condition of infrastructure systems. (Here is a breakdown of state benefits from IIJA funding.) Before signing the bill, President Biden announced that former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) will supervise implementation of the IIJA. Landrieu will be a senior adviser responsible for the coordination of the new law, working through the National Economic Council.

Here's a topline spending overview:

  • $110 billion for roads, bridges and other major projects
  • $73 billion to update the nation's electricity grid
  • $66 billion for passenger and freight rail
  • $65 billion for broadband internet
  • $55 billion for water infrastructure ($15 billion for removing lead pipes)
  • $50 billion for climate resiliency projects
  • $39 billion for public transit
  • $25 billion for airports
  • $21 billion for environmental remediation projects
  • $17 billion for ports and waterways
  • $11 billion for transportation safety projects
  • $7.5 billion for low emissions buses and ferries
  • $7.5 billion to construct EV charging stations

As the bill made its way through Congress, ABC continued to advocate for merit shop priorities in the legislation, ultimately remaining neutral on the passage of the IIJA. Although the IIJA does not include project labor agreement mandates, the bill does include an expansion of Davis-Bacon requirements and other provisions of concern to ABC. 



  Grassroots Website, Toolkit and Alert to Oppose ETS, Reconciliation Bill Penalty Increases:  

Today, several trade associations, including Associated Builders and Contractors, National Retail Federation, and the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, created - a website where associations and their members can reach out to Congress and express opposition to the OSHA ETS and the provisions in Congress' reconciliation bill that dramatically increases penalties under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The website includes a description of the issues as well as a web portal that will send a pre-populated letter directly to members of Congress. ABC urges members to view the website and contact their members of Congress on these critical issues.  







Legislative Committee

Thurs., Dec. 9th 8:30 a.m. ABC Classroom