May 11, 2021

grassi.pngGrassi ‘State Of The Construction Industry’ Summary

Late last month, LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst served as one of four distinguished panelists for a special ‘State of the Construction Industry Outlook’ webinar presented by LICA member Grassi Advisors & Accountants. Herbst was joined on-screen by Carlo Scissura from the New York Building Congress, Hank Kita of the Subcontractors Trade Association and Lou Coletti from the Building Trades Employers Association. As advisors to the industry, Grassi webinar host Steve Oliveri, along with Grassi principals Scott Lempke and Scott Stern, used this opportunity to gain insight from the panelists and hear their thoughts on the industry moving forward, we look to recover from the economic and social challenges of a national pandemic.

Panelists were asked to share their thoughts on a variety of questions such as: How long they expect it will take NY’s construction spending to come back to pre-covid levels? When will contractors understand the true cost of COVID (with regard to delays, job site condition changes, insurance premium impact, etc.)? How would a federal infrastructure plan impact the industry, New York and LICA members in particular? They also discussed issues related to bringing workers back safely and the challenge of attracting and training new workers to replace the aging industry labor force, as well as work force diversification.

Before concluding, each panelist was asked “What are the top 3 areas you believe the industry should focus on over the next 3 months?” Hank Kita quickly chimed in, believing the #1 priority we need to focus on is the legislative process and concerns over the progressive direction things are going. We need to pull together as an industry to try and defeat the over-prescribing of rules such as the HERO act. He also cited the importance of upcoming mayoral and gubernatorial races in NY. LICA Chairman Marc Herbst shared Hank’s legislative concerns noting that if the industry is not engaged enough, then uninformed legislators simply act on bills for face or political value, without knowing how broad an impact it could have on the industry. Overregulation and unrealistic quotas for projects are a growing concern, a sentiment which Lou Coletti also shared, stating that the capacity to achieve 30% MWBE on projects does not exist due to many factors facing MWBE businesses. He added his view that the entire public procurement process is a disaster and should be thrown out in order to ‘start all over’. Carlo Scissura agreed the NYC Mayor & Council elections in NY City are of paramount concern, followed by the need to get people back to their offices to work and lastly, a view shared by all, he stressed the importance of the US House & Senate to pass a REAL infrastructure bill for real projects that will get people back to work quickly and provide economic stability.

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