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New York’s Construction Policy Environment Worst in Nation, Says ABC

[New York] Dec. 7th—Associated Builders and Contractors has released its ninth annual Merit Shop Scorecard, announcing that New York has THE WORST public policy environment for merit shop construction contractors. Ranking 51 out of 51, New York rated the lowest based on state laws, policies, and programs related to open competition and developing current and future craft professionals.

The scorecard, released annually since 2015, ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on policies and programs that strengthen career pathways in construction, encourage workforce development, and advocate for fair and open competition on taxpayer-funded construction projects.

New York's 2023 Scorecard:

  • Overall rank: 51
  • Project labor agreement policy: F
  • Prevailing wage mandates: F
  • Right-to-work laws: F
  • Public-private partnerships: F
  • Construction job growth: C
  • Workforce development incentives: A
  • Career and technical education: D

"It's incredibly embarrassing that New York ranked last for its construction environment; however, this comes as no surprise to anyone in the industry. The legislature continues to pass laws and regulations that increase the cost of construction, creating a nightmare for those in the construction industry," said Brian Sampson, President of Associated Builders & Contractors, Empire State Chapter.

"We demand that Governor Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Heastie take immediate corrective actions. Our leaders must prioritize policies that reduce construction costs, starting with the elimination of their frequent use of Project Labor Agreements and Prevailing Wage mandates.  We have seen major renewable energy and housing projects significantly scaled down or abandoned entirely because the price of construction is too high in New York.  The Governor and the leaders in both houses should be ashamed. It's time for them to create conditions that allow quality contractors to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and improve our communities."

Building America: The Merit Shop Scorecard rates state laws, programs, policies, and statistics central to the merit shop philosophy, which encourages open competition and a free enterprise approach that awards contracts based solely on merit, regardless of labor affiliation.

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The Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, part of a national construction industry trade association established in 1950, was founded on the merit shop philosophy. ABC Empire State Chapter helps its more than 400 members develop skilled tradesmen and women, submit winning bids for work and deliver that work in a safe, ethical and timely manner for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work.
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