PHCC Members Go to Capitol Hill With a Powerful Message and Tell Their Story
For Immediate Release:
April 25, 2015
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Clearly, top-of-mind in the trades these days is workforce development – attracting and training skilled professionals to fill the increasing worker shortage expected in the p-h-c industry. At the Congressional Reception, Congressman Glenn Thompson (R-PA) not only supported PHCC members in their cause but stressed that the need to address worker shortage is not just to keep businesses competitive but to keep America viable. “It’s not really about job creation,” he said. “It’s about America’s competitiveness.”
With that, the timing was perfect to hear from Congresswoman Foxx at the Legislative Breakfast. As chair of the House Subcommittee that has jurisdiction over education and training beyond the high school level, she provided valuable insight into how to help close the skills gap for the trades in America. To set the stage, she explained that while statistics indicate U.S. unemployment is still slightly up, vacancies in the p-h-c trade also continue to rise. “We haven’t done enough in our culture to honor people with practical skills,” she offered as part of the problem.
To help streamline workforce development at the federal level and put more control in states and localities, Congresswoman Foxx was instrumental in passing the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in 2014. She explained that Workforce Development Investment Boards now exist throughout the United States, and she encouraged PHCC members to check them out and serve on them to influence how the $15 million in federal grants is being awarded.
Offering a Presidential Sneak Peek
Perfectly punctuating the Legislative Briefing and Orientation with some political insights was well-respected analyst Stephen Hayes, a senior writer at The Weekly Standard and a FOX News contributor. With unique, behind-the scenes examples, Hayes gave an insider’s view of politics in Washington today. He reviewed the status of President Obama’s goals for his two terms of office, and gave his perspectives of surveys indicating the public has a growing distrust of government. PHCC members certainly responded to his energetic, down-to-earth style.
Hayes then offered his analysis into the 2016 Presidential election, calling Marco Rubio the “best communicator in American politics today.” The “likable” contender, Hayes said, will be the Republican frontrunner. And, while he indicated Democratic leaders are concerned that voters aren’t enthusiastic about a “vulnerable” Hillary Clinton, Hayes predicted she will get the Democratic nomination.
Cutting Through Politics
What resonates across the political spectrum are small business issues, Congressman Collin Peterson (D-MN) told members at the Legislative Breakfast. A ranking member of the House Committee on Agriculture, among others, Congressman Peterson stressed that pro-small business issues definitely cut through politics on Capitol Hill and that Congress is trying to keep federal regulations under control. “Agencies and bureaucrats have too much power now,” he expressed.Sharing Stories
Following the Legislative Breakfast, PHCC members from across the country met with their respective members of Congress about key issues important to PHCC and their individual businesses. Members of PHCC’s Executive Committee had the excellent opportunity to meet with House Small Business counsel to discuss DOE’s proposed furnace rule. Combined with the feedback PHCC has already received from Congressional offices, PHCC has shown the power of its message and the true impact of going face to face with influential leaders.
Finally, at the Closing Reception, PHCC members heard from Greg Casey, chief executive officer of the Business Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC), a well-respected organization dedicated to electing pro-business-minded lawmakers. Casey presented an overview of a BIPAC program focusing on employer-to-employee communication regarding public policy.
PHCC’s Legislative Conference proved to be a pivotal relationship-building event, allowing members to directly give crucial input to those making decisions that impact their businesses. Among the legislators at the Congressional Reception: Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Congressman Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Congressman Mike Coffman (R-CO), Congressman Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Congressman Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Congressman David Schweikert (R-AZ), Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Congressman Garret Graves (R-LA) and Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI).