“In Their Own Words….” GCAP’s 2018 Gubernatorial Election Publication Governor Tom Wolf, Senator Scott Wagner, Laura Ellsworth & Paul Mango provide insights into the questions that are important to the construction industry, like: the economy, safety, Prevailing Wage, Separations Act & more
General Contractors Association of Pennsylvania 20 Erford Road, Suite 310 Lemoyne, PA 17043 Jon@KeystoneContractors.com SethKohr@KeystoneContractors.com www.GeneralContractorsofPA.com
Welcome to GCAP’s 2018 Gubernatorial Election Publication! This resource is not intended to be an endorsement for a specific candidate nor is it our intention to support one political party over another. This resource is intended to prepare construction professionals for this year’s Gubernatorial Primary and General Elections. On behalf of construction professionals, we sent each candidate a questionnaire so that we can better understand where the candidates stand on important construction issues. Along with sharing this publication with the construction industry, we also hope that this resource encourages our industry to vote. Voting is important in a democracy and our industry can make a difference at the polls. In Pennsylvania, we employ over 250,000 people per the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics and there are over 28,000 construction companies. GCAP encourages employers to share this publication with their employees so that they can be educated on the candidates too. Employers are viewed to be credible by their employees – in fact according BIPAC Market Research, when it comes to issues, candidates, and elections, employees are three times more likely to trust their employer over political parties, the media, and their own research. Here are some suggested ways that an employer can play a role in having a strong construction turnout at the polls this year: • • • • •
Send a communication reminder about this year’s voting days: Primary Election is Tuesday, May 15, 2018, and the General Election is Tuesday, November 6, 2018. If employees need to register, refer them to: www.PAVoterServices.pa.gov. Distribute this GCAP publication, as well as other informative and non-partisan resources, to educate professionals on the issues and the candidates. Allow for an open-door policy concerning the elections. Let your employees know they can turn to you with questions about the candidates and issues to further understand the effects this election can have on the company. Come election day, remind everyone to use their voice and vote.
Again, GCAP does not, and will not, tell anyone how to vote, but we hope everyone votes and votes for who they think is the best individual to lead Pennsylvania.
About GCAP: Since 1953, the General Contractors Association of Pennsylvania has been a strong, unified construction industry voice in Harrisburg representing major contributors to employment and economic growth in Pennsylvania. GCAP represents the memberships of the General Building Contractors Association, the Keystone Contractors Association, and the Master Buildersâ€™ Association of Western Pennsylvania. Collectively, GCAP represents over 600-plus construction companies based throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
GBCA advances commercial construction in the Philadelphia region by providing access to proven advocacy, networking opportunities, safety services, education and training. For more information visit www.gbca.com.
Based in Lemoyne, PA, the KCA delivers member benefits in the area of education, career development, safety, labor relations, government affairs, and community service. For more information visit www.keystonecontractors.com.
The voice for construction in western Pennsylvania, the MBA provides valuable member services, promotes best practices, and helps to grow a highly skilled workforce. For more information visit www.mbawpa.org.
2018/19 GCAP Board of Governors GCAP Officers: President
Noble Quandel, representing KCA
Steven Massaro, representing MBA
Philip Radomski, representing GBCA
GCAP Board of Governors: Representing GBCA: Lance Claiborne, Benjamin Connors, Maura Hesdon, and Ed Szwarc Representing KCA: Seth Kohr, Robert Leahey, John Panzitta, and Richard Seitz Representing MBA: John Busse, Todd Dominick, Jack Ramage, and Clifford Rowe
Tom Wolf Pennsylvania Governor Endorsed Democratic Party Gubernatorial Candidate https://www.wolfforpa.com/ Tom Wolf is the 47th and current Governor of Pennsylvania. Elected on November 4, 2014, Mr. Wolf succeeded Tom Corbett, after defeating three Democrats in the 2014 primary election. A York County businessman, he holds degrees from Dartmouth College (Bachelor’s degree); University of London (Master’s degree); and, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (PhD). GCAP: As leaders representing the commercial construction industry, GCAP is interested in hearing your legislative priorities. Why should the construction industry show support for you? Tom Wolf: I am dedicated to creating government and economy that works for all of the people of Pennsylvania. This begins with education – after restoring the $1 billion of education funding that had been cut by Governor Corbett, I am continuing to invest in early childhood education programs and career and technical education. I will also continue to focus on policies and investments that foster the creation of good-paying jobs for the middle class, encourage partnerships among business and our education system, and lead to a strong economy. My Manufacturing PA initiative supports manufacturing and links job training to career pathways to ensure that training leads not simply to any job, but to careers that provide higher pay and opportunities for advancement with Pennsylvania manufacturers in today’s global economy. I also recently announced a first-of-its-kind $50 million strategic investment in job training and the launch of PAsmart, a realignment of workforce development from K-12 education through career programs so students and workers gain 21st century skills to get good jobs that employers demand. GCAP: Everyone benefits from a strong economy. How can your priorities grow the economy in Pennsylvania? TW: I’m dedicated to building an economy that works for everyone, but that can’t happen unless all workers have opportunities to succeed. I will continue to invest in more skills training, workforce development, and apprenticeship programs. I’ve worked to grow our economy for all workers by making it easier for small businesses to start, investing in schools, and expanding career and technical education opportunities. Over the last three years, we’ve moved our economy forward by pushing ahead on large projects like the Shell Cracker Plant, pipeline development, an expansion of the Port of Philadelphia, and an investment in a steel plant in Johnstown. Collectively, these projects will create more than 15,000 jobs across the state. I’ve also been focused on growing Pennsylvania’s economy through greater investments in infrastructure. During my time in office, I’ve overseen the repair or rebuilding of 1,600 bridges and more
than 18,000 miles of roadway, with $6 billion in infrastructure improvements funding jobs across Pennsylvania. I also announced plans for an additional investment of more than $2 billion in road, highway and bridge projects over the next 10 years. GCAP: The construction industry workforce in Pennsylvania is currently facing some challenges to attract workers. How would you address this issue? TW: Our education system should focus on ensuring students are college or career ready. That’s why I’ve worked with our Department of Education to revisit how we are measuring success. I’m proud that we’ve increased the number of career and technical education students earning industry-recognized certificates by nearly 33 percent, preparing them for the jobs our employers are trying to fill right now. And my 2018-19 proposed budget calls for additional investments in our career and technical and STEM education programs. Under my leadership, the Department of Labor & Industry launched a new Apprenticeship & Training Office in 2016. Since then, it has worked with high schools, businesses and education institutions to increase the number of apprentices in the state by more than 10 percent. Continuing to invest in skilled training programs is key to ensuring we have the skilled workforce to meet today’s needs as well as future needs. That’s why my 2018-19 budget calls for additional investments in apprenticeship programs. GCAP: Additionally, it appears every legislative session that Prevailing Wage is under attack. Lowering workers’ wages may not be an ideal approach to attract future workers. Where do you stand on Prevailing Wage? TW: I will stand in the way of any attempts to weaken prevailing wage laws. As long as I’m governor, I will protect your ability to fight for higher wages, good benefits, and worker protections. I’ve also consistently called on the legislature to raise minimum wage. I took matters into my own hands by signing an executive order to raise the minimum wage for government employees and contractors. I have been, and I will continue to be, your last line of defense against anti-worker policies, and I am committed to making sure that Pennsylvania workers are treated fairly. GCAP: GCAP believes in having the freedom of choice concerning construction delivery methods. The Separations Act is an archaic mandate enacted in 1913 that only allows for one delivery system – Multiple Prime Delivery. Due to inefficiencies of Multiple Primes, this delivery system is only required in three states; meanwhile 47 states, the federal government, and the private sector all benefit from choice in construction delivery. What are your thoughts on the modernization of Separations Act? TW: The Department of General Services has been collecting and analyzing data regarding the Separations Act. GCAP: GCAP members are renowned for having a safety-first mentality. Due to the opioid epidemic, construction workers and the general public are put in harm’s way. How can you help on this issue? TW: I have made combating the opioid crisis one of my top priorities. Over the past three years, I’ve expanded access to treatment for more than 125,000 Pennsylvanians through Medicaid expansion and
by establishing new, innovative approaches to treatment, like our Centers of Excellence and PacMAT program, expanded the use and availability of naloxone to save lives, and enacted significant reforms to address over-prescribing and improve education, which has led to reduction in doctor-shopping by 86% and overall opioid prescribing by double digits. While we’ve made significant progress in combating this epidemic, we are still losing far too many Pennsylvanians. That is why earlier this year, I declared the epidemic a statewide disaster emergency as a means of using every tool at my disposal to help those suffering from substance use disorder get into treatment, save more lives, and improve response coordination. Through this declaration, we’ve established a new Opioid Operations Command Center, extended a hotline that connects residents to the help they need, and eliminated barriers for substance users to get into treatment. I will continue doing all that I can to combat this epidemic, to help those suffering from the disease of addiction to find treatment, and to prevent opioid abuse in the first place. GCAP: If you win the 2018 Governor’s election, what will your legacy be 20 years from now? TW: We’ve accomplished a lot together these past three years – we’ve restored school funding, expanded access to health care, increased apprenticeship and skills training opportunities, and dedicated resources to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic, to name a few. But there’s still a lot of work to be done. I’m committed to building a better government, economy, and future for all Pennsylvanians. I want to be remembered as the governor who fought to change Harrisburg, and I’m asking all Pennsylvanians to join me in working towards this goal.
Scott Wagner State Senator & Business Owner Endorsed Republican Party Gubernatorial Candidate http://wagnerforgov.com/ Scott Wagner is a current member of the Pennsylvania State Senate. Elected to the Senate in a special election held on March 18, 2014, Mr. Wagner is the first write-in candidate to win a Pennsylvania Senate election. A York County resident, Mr. Wagner owns Penn Waste Inc. and KBS Trucking. GCAP: As leaders representing the commercial construction industry, GCAP is interested in hearing your legislative priorities. Why should the construction industry show support for you? Scott Wagner: One of the biggest reasons I involved myself in what was going on in Harrisburg, is that as a 40-year private sector businessman, I have felt the adverse impact created by abusive regulations and burdensome taxes on the business community. Pennsylvania has 153,661 restrictions and a regulatory authority that issues operational permits at the pace of a snail, and it’s hurting job creators, job seekers, their families – and certainly the economy. All of this leaves Pennsylvania unable to compete for new business. As governor, overhauling these government impositions is a top priority. The construction industry should support my campaign, because in me they’ll have a governor who’ll treat them, and all business owners, like the valuable job-creating entities they are. I will reduce – by legislation or executive order – the punishing taxes, rules and regulations that beat them up, close them down, diminish jobs and kill the economy. GCAP: Everyone benefits from a strong economy. How can your priorities grow the economy in Pennsylvania? SW: As a business leader for the last 37 years, I will work to ensure that favorable policies are implemented which will ensure economic growth and situate Pennsylvania as an economic powerhouse in the Northeast. I recognize that overregulation and over-taxation runs businesses out of Pennsylvania and stops future businesses from opening here as they seek a better business climate. I will evaluate every current state and local government imposition – including taxes regulations, permitting and processing delays – for its impact on economic development and growth, and my administration will remove the barriers to success. GCAP: The construction industry workforce in Pennsylvania is currently facing some challenges to attract workers. How would you address this issue? SW: Burdensome taxes and regulations keep many businesses from being able to pay attractive wages, but beyond this, is the lack of skilled labor. I know from my own four decades of private sector experience that there are less and less people who possess the skills needed to operate a business that depends on those skilled positions. While there is an abundance of skilled jobs in the commonwealth,
which deliver good wages, job security and career paths – there are not enough people to fill them. We have to encourage an educational structure that shows children that a pathway to work does not always mean four-years at college. It can mean career and technical training, shorter degree programs, and industry certification programs. My administration will retool the thinking in our schools by emphasizing the respect these vocations deserve, and the value these jobs deliver – to the family, the community and the economy. GCAP: Additionally, it appears every legislative session that Prevailing Wage is under attack. Lowering workers’ wages may not be an ideal approach to attract future workers. Where do you stand on Prevailing Wage? SW: Many taxpayers in this Commonwealth feel they are unjustifiably funding projects in excess of what they should cost, which is why many members of the General Assembly support a repeal of the Prevailing Wage Act – their constituents have requested they do so. One area that I do believe taxpayers are hit the hardest is in relation to school construction and renovation projects. As a fair means of permitting the taxpayers to weigh in on these issues, I would support a referendum process that would permit the voters to decide whether or not they want their local schools subject to the Prevailing Wage Act. Since the taxpayers are funding these projects, we should allow them to weigh in on the cost requirements for those projects. GCAP: GCAP believes in having the freedom of choice concerning construction delivery. What are your thoughts on the modernization of the Separations Act? SW: I would absolutely work to repeal this antiquated statute. The Commonwealth should not have to endure these costly constraints and we should work to remove any inefficiencies that end up costing us more money in the long run. I would support the passage of Senate Bill 744 (Folmer) were it to be considered. GCAP: GCAP members are renowned for having a safety-first mentality. Due to the opioid epidemic, construction workers and the general public are put in harm’s way. How can you help on this issue? SW: One of the largest issues we currently face is the opioid and heroin epidemic. Not only are we losing our citizens at a staggering rate, but it is also a major cost driver for families battling this disease and for the Commonwealth as a whole. From my personal experience as a co-founder of the York Regional Opiate Collaborative, I know that the most effective way to address this epidemic is through a multipronged approached focusing on prevention, treatment and recovery. We must implement strategies to address any stigma associated with addiction and break down administrative barriers to provide wider access to treatment and counseling. We must also address and fund those programs that provide individuals a pathway to life after drugs. GCAP: If you win the 2018 Governor’s election, what will your legacy be in 20 years from now? SW: My legacy will mark a shift away from a government that serves itself, to a culture of service to the people – one that brings back good stewardship, people-centered policy and a booming economy. My legacy will serve as a model for those seeking to understand how, with limited government interference, Pennsylvania was able to rise from the bottom of the nation to become an economic powerhouse.
Laura Ellsworth Partner at Jones Day http://ellsworth2018.com/ Prior to entering the 2018 election, Laura Ellsworth was a partner at Jones Day, where she was the firm’s first-ever partner-in-charge of global community service initiatives. Before accepting this position in 2015, Ellsworth spent 12 years running Jones Day’s Pittsburgh office. GCAP: As leaders representing the commercial construction industry, GCAP is interested in hearing your legislative priorities. Why should the construction industry show support for you? Laura Ellsworth: The three priority issues of our campaign are: (1) job creation and economic growth; (2) infrastructure and transportation; and (3) education and workplace. All of these issues are grounded in the fundamental building blocks of any successful enterprise: a clear business plan and a sound budget process – neither of which Pennsylvania has today. Attached to this Questionnaire is our detailed outline of these – and other – key issues for Pennsylvania, entitled Delivering on the Promise of Pennsylvania (http://ellsworth2018.com/deliveringpennsylvania/). There we discuss new ideas that we have to develop Pennsylvania by strategies far more creative than the current “tax or cut” mentality of Harrisburg. Pennsylvania is a place of virtually unlimited promise that has been stifled for too long by mismanagement and insider gamesmanship. Construction requires planning, workforce, organization, vision, and focus; that is what our plan will bring to Pennsylvania in a comprehensive and organized way. In addition, we operate on the conviction that those closest to their business know it best and, for that reason, our plan incorporates the expertise and insight of the private sector in an organized and meaningful way. We will govern by plan, not by panic. We will govern pursuant to a coherent long-term goal, not the current “whack-a-mole” approach in Harrisburg. Our decisions will be made on the bases of whether or not they advance the 10-year business plan embodied in “The Map” – the visual depiction of what we intend Pennsylvania to achieve that vision. We will reorient our administrative agencies to likewise focus on the goal of The Map, so that agencies and citizens are aligned, not adversarial, in the achievement of the business and economic growth agenda will be the guiding principles of our Administration, all of which overlap perfectly with those of the construction industry. GCAP: Everyone benefits from a strong economy. How can your priorities grow the economy in Pennsylvania? LE: Government does not grow the economy. The private sector grows the economy, and the job of government is to produce an environment in which the private sector can act in the most effective and efficient way, unhampered from unreasonable regulation and red tape. Our disciplined approach will enable those in the private sector to have the predictability, focus, and workforce necessary to conduct productive planning and under take growth strategies. We will focus on investments – governmental, P3, and private – that further collective economic growth.
Our fundamental structure of having a business plan (The Map) and a sound budget will provide the strategy and structure around which the private sector can plan and invest with confidence. Our focus on education will provide the diverse options necessary to allow every child to achieve his or her potential and to engage in meaningful work. Our focus on workforce development will ensure that we appropriately align our educational workforce that our employers demand. Our focus on reforming the administrative systems will foster a more service-oriented culture which is less adversarial and unpredictable, thus improving processes without sacrificing the benefits brought by sensible regulation. And our engagement of the private sector in real time will, in due course, bring the expertise and experience of both industry and labor into the process of government. GCAP: The construction industry workforce in Pennsylvania is currently facing some challenges to attract workers. How would you address this issue? LE: Having served for many years as Vice-Chair of the Workforce Investment Board and its Youth Policy Council, as well as Vice-Chair of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, the Chair of the Chamber of Commerce, I have had the opportunity to work from the inside on workforce programs across the state. One of the fist things we need to do is leapfrog over the “college vs. Technical/trade school” debate; we should moot the debate by linking together our trade schools and our vast college and university system so that a student can get the training that he or she needs for the construction industry from a specialized school that also provides a university credential. To actually create those linkages, we would partner with the contractors to develop curricula for our university and community college systems, and provide internship and summer employment opportunities for students in their chosen field. We should have a Governors School, on that is competitive and clearly focused on the development of trade skills, including construction, and we should emphasize that is a benefit to students to obtain a work credential even if they intend to pursue additional education going forward. Our emphasis should be: “Instead of going into debt, go into business.” We also need to do a better job at connecting our unemployed to the work opportunities afforded by training in the building trades by providing better transportation options between worksites and neighborhoods. GCAP: Additionally, it appears at every legislative session that Prevailing Wage is under attack. Lowering workers’ wages may not be an ideal approach to attract future workers. Where do you stand on Prevailing Wage? LE: I would not modify Prevailing Wage. As a practical matter, it is a “mini-Davis Bacon Act,” and many of the largest projects are governed by the “adult version” in any event, and are likely to be more so if federal transportation legislation is passed. In addition, at the moment, a labor shortage is driving wages to a competitive level. As a practical matter, the Act is not having any materially negative impact on public projects. In fact, wages are a benefit: the family-sustaining wages of the construction industry are a primary driver of developing the workforce that will be necessary in the near term to staff up the major projects already on the drawing board. Therefore, we should leave Prevailing Wage where it is and focus our attention on other important legislative initiatives, such as the elimination of The Separations Act. GCAP: GCAP believes in having the freedom of choice concerning construction delivery methods. The Separations Act is an archaic mandate enacted in 1913 that only allows for one delivery system – Multiple Prime Delivery. Due to the inefficiencies of Multiple Primes, this delivery system is only required in three states; meanwhile 47 states, the federal government, and the private sector all benefit from choice in construction delivery. What are your thoughts on the modernization of the
Separations Act? (Since this is such an industry-specific question, please do not hesitate to contact GCAP for additional information on this topic.) LE: The Separations Act should be abolished. It is an anachronism that is contradicted by virtually all of the practical realities of a modern construction project, which is one reason that the federal government, the private sector, and all but a handful of other states have eliminated this ineffective structure. The inefficiencies, delays, cost-overruns, proliferation of claims, and lack of coordination created by the Act can no longer be tolerated, particularly because the purported benefit – lower cost to the taxpayer – is illusory at best. The practical problems created by the Act are manifest: Public entities typically lack the expertise or the manpower to effectively manage these projects, and that problem is exacerbated where the Owner is a collective entity like a school board which may face its own internal organizational challenges. Consequently, it is common to see the hiring of a separate Manager, and sometimes a separate scheduler as well, both of which add coast and delay, and neither of which are permitted by the Act to operate with the efficiency of Owner in managing the project. Meanwhile, the lack of centralized management of accountability fosters delay, errors, cost-overruns, and spawns claims and disputes, all of which increase the cost and delay on projects. Moreover, the “balkanization” created by the Act effectively deprives public projects of the most progressive delivery systems, like Design/Build and Integrated Project Delivery, which depend on coordinated and collaborative processes. Quite the reverse, the Act creates a perverse incentive for the contractors to remain silent about perceived problems, where they believed they will be able to further their own individual interests at the expense of another participant when the issue ultimately arises in the time-crunch of the actual project. Finally, but perhaps most importantly, the Act makes it challenging, if not impossible, to provide a unified safety system for all the workers on the project. This issue is one that has been considered by at least two gubernatorial transition teams, without any actual change in the inefficiencies that plague the system. We need a non-politician to take the reins and proved the leadership that is clearly right for the people of Pennsylvania who deserve to have the most effective, efficient, cost-effective, and progressive delivery stems employed whenever their tax dollars are involved. GCAP: GCAP members are renowned for having a safety-first mentality. Due to the opioid epidemic, construction workers and the general public are put in harm’s way. How can you help on this issue? LE: The Opioid Crisis is yet another example of government doing a lot of talking but not enough acting. The problem is of particular concern in industries like construction that involve heavy physical labor and the need to control pain associated with that physical exertion. The first thing necessary is education of the patient, with clear explanation of the risk of addiction and the prescription of the “least addictive alternative.” Education of the dangers of opiates and the preferred use of non-opiates is essential. While prolonged supply of opiates should be prescribed in all but the most limited and carefully monitored situations, we need to be mindful of the fact that it is when prescriptions are terminated that people will turn to the street version of these drugs. It is not usually the prescription pills that kill’ it is the heroin and synthetic fentanyl purchased on the street. Where addiction has resulted from the use of prescription opiates, particularly over a prolonged period of time, workers should be encouraged to seek treatment and should not be penalized for seeking that help. Danger on the worksite often arises when a situation has been concealed rather than dealt with.
More aggressive action is also necessary with respect to so-called â€œPain clinicsâ€? that overprescribe pain medication which becomes addictive by taking action such as confiscating their civil licenses (with a lowered standard of proof) and criminally enforcing existing provisions of the law. Finally, we need to address the problems that exist within the workers compensation system, where lawyers and doctors are collaborating to over-prescribe in order to increase awards. While every worker should receive fair compensation for injury incurred on the job, no worker should be exposed to the dangers of opiate addiction simply to increase financial recoveries in worker compensation cases. Moreover, where prescriptions are not consumed by the patient, the supply of pills on the street should not be increased by schemes such as these. Focused attention on those doctors who prescribe an unusually large amount of opiates can be an effective too and should be used with more focus and intensity to cut off the sources of supply. GCAP: If you win the 2018 Governorâ€™s election, what will your legacy be 20 years from now? LE: Pennsylvania will be on its second 10-year business plan, having fully achieved the goals of the first, and still working with the vision, planning, focus, and dedication to serving the interests of the people of Pennsylvania, rather than the politicians, with the private sector still tightly integrated into the functions of government. In addition, we will be reaping the benefits of a targeted Constitutional Convention, which will have reduced the size and expense of the Legislature, imposed term limits and campaign finance reform, and included provisions prohibiting the payment of legislative and executive salaries unless and until a timely balanced budget is in place, and mandating the forfeiture of government pension upon conviction of a crime involving violation of the office or the public trust.
Paul Mango Businessman & Former U.S. Army Officer http://www.mangoforpa.com/
Paul Mango received a bachelor’s degree in 1981 from the United States Military Academy and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Field Artillery. Following training as an Army Ranger, Mango went on to serve in the 82nd Airborne Division for four years. Mango spent nearly three decades at McKinsey & Company building and running the U.S. Healthcare vertical for the management consulting firm. GCAP: As leaders representing the commercial construction industry, GCAP is interested in hearing your legislative priorities. Why should the construction industry support you? Paul Mango: First, I am the only candidate who has put forth a detailed plan for what they envision for the future of Pennsylvania. My priorities will be to get Pennsylvanians working again and to give our children and grandchildren jobs and opportunities right here in Pennsylvania. My priorities will be: 1. Creating an environment for economic growth and prosperity 2. Education alternatives that teach our children to succeed in the modern economy, including bringing dignity back to vocational education. 3. Healthcare that people can afford. 4. Addressing the opioid crisis 5. Honoring our veterans, law enforcement and first responders 6. Creating a more efficient, effective and transparent government GCAP: Everyone benefits from a strong economy. How can your priorities grow the economy in PA? PM: My number one priority as governor is to Restore the Dream of America to the People of Pennsylvania by creating economic growth that will lead to well-paying private sector jobs. We have so many advantages in Pennsylvania, including access to critical markets, natural resources, and highly skilled workforce in critical industries. Pennsylvania is uniquely positioned to compete and grow jobs in the following industries: 1. A Global Powerhouse in Energy Production – We can and should lead the work in the production of low cost energy. 2. A World Leader in Robotics, Advanced and Additive Manufacturing and Artificial Intelligence – The technologies being taught and developed at our universities are world-class and will allow us to once again become a world leader in manufacturing. 3. A Global Center for Cell Biology and Drug Discovery – Pennsylvania is blessed with some of the most advanced medical research institutions in the world. We will become one of the leading biotechnology centers in the world. 4. Agricultural Leader – Pennsylvania is already a leader in agriculture, but as we improve our infrastructure we should be able to extend our reach beyond U.S. borders and provide our agricultural products throughout the world.
5. Recreation and Tourism – Pennsylvania’s nature is beautiful and our history is fascinating. This combination should make us a work-wide destination. To grow these jobs, I propose pursuing the following key legislative priorities to bring our jobs and our children home to Pennsylvania: 1. Create a Corporate Tax Structure Encouraging, Rather than Discouraging, Business Development, Entrepreneurship, and Growth in Jobs and Wages 2. Alleviate Harrisburg’s Enormous Regulatory Burden and Anti-business Culture 3. Support Home Ownership by Eliminating School Property Taxes and Empowering Counties to Eliminate County Property Taxes. 4. Develop a Skilled Work Force to Meet the Needs of a Changing Economy 5. Rebuild Our Strategic Infrastructure 6. Promote Our Great Advantages to Those Across the U.S. and the Globe For more information on my plan to “Restore the Dream” and seizing the promise of Pennsylvania’s future, please go to my website: mangoforpa.com. GCAP: The construction industry workforce in Pennsylvania is currently facing some challenges to attract workers. How would you address this issue? PM: The Commonwealth has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs in the last two decades. Employers need workers who work well with their hands and with modern machinery: they need carpenters, plumbers, laborers, electricians, machine tool operators, operating engineers, bricklayers and steam pipe fitters to name a few. Yet at the same time, we have nearly 200,000 unfilled positions in the trades throughout the Commonwealth. It is time to bring dignity and recognition back to the trades ant to those who apprentice our next generation of skilled laborers. I will make skilled vocational training a priority and create tens of thousands of well-paying middle-class jobs. GCAP: Additionally, it appears every legislative session that Prevailing Wage is under attack. Lowering workers’ wages may not be an ideal approach to attract future workers. Where do you stand on Prevailing Wage? PM: Pennsylvania’s prevailing wage law was enacted in 1961 to protect Pennsylvania workers from outof-state competition mandating that workers were paid the prevailing wage in each region of the state on all public construction contracts over $25,000. According to the U.S. Census data, Pennsylvania government spends more than $10 billion on construction. It is estimated that prevailing wage raises the total cost of construction projects by 20% on average. This amounts to about $2 billion in extra costs for Pennsylvania government / taxpayers each year. I would support increasing the threshold on public projects to $200,000 and indexing it going forward, which would reduce costs for taxpayers. My number one priority though will be to get Pennsylvanians working again by growing our economy and allowing innovators and job creators to prosper. If we do this, skilled workers and the middle class will prosper. GCAP: GCAP believes in having the freedom of choice concerning construction delivery methods. The Separations Act is an archaic mandate enacted in 1913 that only allows for one delivery system – Multiple Prime Delivery. Due to the inefficiencies of states, the federal government and the private
sector all benefit from choice in construction delivery. What are your thoughts on the modernization of the Separations Act? PM: The Separations Act was enacted in 1913 and I think it is fair to say that the world and specifically the construction industry has evolved in the last 105 years. I believe to rely solely on the multiple prime delivery method for public construction projects is outdated, inefficient and costlier to taxpayers. Relying upon government employees to serve in a role in which they do not necessarily have the experience and training, such as the general contractor for public construction project, seems absurd. Today’s construction industry can do it better, safer and more cost effectively than 105 years ago. While there could be contracts where a multiple prime delivery system makes sense, the same can be said for design-bid-build and integrated project delivery. We live in the greatest country in the world and are free to make choices every day. I believe it is time to allow the Pennsylvania construction industry, government and the taxpayers the ability to choose the best delivery methods. GCAP: GCAP members are renowned for having a safety-first mentality. Due to the opioid epidemic, construction workers and the general public are put in harm’s way. How can you help with this issue? PM: The opioid epidemic knows no economic or geographic boundary – it has affected Pennsylvanians across our state from every walk of life. Drug overdoses are killing nearly 100 people a week in Pennsylvania. To date we have treated the epidemic as a clinical issue; as Governor, I would broaden this to include social determinants – particularly “diseases of despair” – which lead to addiction. As Governor, I will lead the effort to end this epidemic through three specific actions: 1. Clinically-Related Actions – We must work with doctors, pharmacists, nurses, rehabilitation specialists and insurance providers to take a much more integrated approach to addressing this challenge. I will work with and encourage doctors and pharmaceutical companies to identify appropriate pain management treatments. 2. Social and Community-Related Actions – Increase public awareness among our children, parents, teachers and among the care provider community of the destructiveness nature of drug addiction. We should complement our local education efforts with localized prevention efforts. This epidemic is not going to be solved in Harrisburg. It’s going to be solved locally in our communities, places of worship and other local organizations. 3. Law Enforcement Actions – Incarceration alone will not solve this problem. We must ensure that all law enforcement improve real-time reporting of overdoses and deaths. I would not reduce or eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for drug dealers and those who distribute the drugs that lead to overdoses. Our current administration has lacked a sense of urgency on this issue. I called for the Governor to declare a statewide emergency on this issue more than six months ago on national television. I am encouraged that he finally chose to do so. I would go one step further than the current declaration to develop a comprehensive strategy focusing on prevention. We must create a structure that engages with all relevant stakeholders – pharmacist, prescribers, social workers, insurers, educators, and Pennsylvanians at large to pursue a plan that includes:
1. Social and traditional media campaign targeting those most vulnerable 2. Detailed, specific engagement in schools to identify, prevent and address addiction 3. County-level “strike teams” comprising law enforcement, EMS, pharmacists, doctors, coroners, and others to diagnose, then develop county-specific plans to address root causes 4. Regular monitoring of execution against county strategies that incorporate big data to identify patterns across communities in the Commonwealth 5. Developing provider-oriented training and fact books with best practices for any physician prescribing pain medicines. GCAP: If you win the 2018 Governor’s election, what will your legacy be 20 years from now? Quite simply, to bring our jobs and our children home. Currently, Pennsylvania continues to mortgage our children’s future through higher taxes and borrowing to pay for ineffective spending today. We must grow our economy now to ensure our future prosperity. I hope that my five daughters will look at Pennsylvania as the land of opportunity that is has been for me. To do so, we must immediately begin the transformational changes necessary to make Pennsylvania prosperous and to make Pennsylvania a leader in job growth and opportunity for years to come.
The candidates vying for governor of Pennsylvania provide their views on construction industry questions.