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HOUSTON –  The Associated Builders and Contractors Legislative Day last month attracted nearly 150 contractors and suppliers from across Texas, including more than 40 members of the ABC Greater Houston chapter, to promote open competition, free enterprise and better construction careers with members of the 85th Texas Legislature. Leonard A. Bedell, president and CEO of Mobil Steel International, Inc., joined Texas construction members from commercial and industrial construction companies, and service suppliers of that industry, to share with Texas legislators ideas to enhance the business environment and improve industry regulations that foster competition in Texas construction.

The ABC Houston chapter visited offices of approximately 50 local and regional legislators, promoting the ABC free enterprise philosophy and discussing legislation that could help Texas construction businesses thrive. Conversations included discussions about ways to improve the development of a skilled workforce critically needed for today’s construction projects, as well as suggestions to improve competition in construction, and payment for work completed by contractors. ABC Greater Houston promoted a program that values construction careers with enhanced training, good wages, benefits and a safe work environment. ABC members also supported rules to ensure that all contractors are able to fairly compete for jobs based on merit.

Bedell with State Representative Dwayne Bohac and fellow ABC members

Additionally, ABC members recommended modernizing Texas lien laws by switching communication to an internet-based registry to record and notify when liens are placed on a work project. According to ABC members, this open and transparent communication should ensure that contractors are paid timely for work done and reduce a need for liens.

“It is imperative that we continue to look for programs to improve our industry, to keep up with demand,” said Bedell. “Last year, we heard that the construction industry nationally will see a 1.6 million worker shortage, so we have emphasized a program to recruit and develop the skilled crafts workers that will be needed as we continue to grow the economy in Texas.”

Bedell is an advocate of “good government” programs that engage elected officials in addressing business issues that can drive the state and local economy.

“It is important that our Texas elected officials understand the issues and constraints on the construction industry. We not only visit our elected leaders in Austin, we invite them to our facilities and to meetings where they can learn first-hand about issues facing the construction industry, and see what we are doing and what is needed to keep our economy moving forward,” Bedell added.

Bedell and other Mobil Steel managers are active with Associated Builders and Contractors Greater Houston Chapter.  ABC Greater Houston is an affiliate of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., a national association that protects free market enterprise and business freedoms of commercial and industrial contractors. ABC offers member training, education and networking. Additionally, ABC and its members support good government and fair and reasonable regulation through active participation in local, state and federal legislation.

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