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ASA Advocacy Sits Down with Congressman Mike Johnson

from Catherine Treadwell Perry, J.D., Director of Government Relations

ASA Advocacy had lunch with Congressman Mike Johnson (R-LA) last week, as part of the monthly Washington Industrial Roundtable meeting. The discussion focused on Johnson’s work as Chairman of the Republican Study Committee. What ASA members will find most important about the Republican Study Committee and Congressman Johnson’s work as Chairmen, is there is a task force dedicated to workforce development.

The American Worker Task Force addresses the challenged related to building a strong and vibrant workforce that can compete in our 21st century global economy, which will have benefits for families, communities, and our country. A key part of the strategy is the utilization of a specific task force to ensure the focus is on the issues that matter most to the American people and have the resources to combat ill-advised policies with real, actionable solutions.

ASA Advocacy had the opportunity to speak with Congressman about the workforce issues and skilled-trade labor shortage our industry is facing. According to the American Supply Association’s 2015 Labor Study, the total workforce for the PHCP/PVF wholesale industry is estimated at 205,408 full time and part time employees and by 2020, 25% of the employees in the PHCP and PVF industries will have retired. There is a critical need to hire and train qualified replacements throughout the supply chain, which begins with returning craft training to our high schools. We support legislation and regulatory policies that invest in the next generation of workers needed to meet the demands in all facets of the PHCP and PVF industries.

Congressman Johnson understands the need connecting people with the skills they need to get good-paying, in-demand jobs. A “Washington knows best” approach to creating successful skills-focused education programs is not the answer as communities plan and develop career and technical education programs tailored to their local economies. The best thing the federal government can do is update the career and technical education laws to give community leaders and educators the tools and freedom they need to build programs that will open up more pathways for students and workers.

There are several other task forces related to the RSC. The Budget and Spending Task Force is in charge of producing the annual RSC budget and spearheading strategy related to spending caps, the debt limit, and appropriations. The Health Care Task Force develops proposals for lower premiums and ensure more choices for coverage. It addresses failures of Obamacare by providing alternative solutions that benefit, not burden the American people. The National Security and Foreign Affairs Task Force keeps members of Congress abreast of important events around the world and provide engagement opportunities and legislative ideas to ensure national security and secure international relations. The Government Efficiency, Accountability, and Reform Task Force works to make the government more efficient and accountable by offering measures to reform, streamline, and modernize federal government.

ASA is dedicated to being YOUR voice on the Hill and in D.C. Please contact Catherine Treadwell Perry, J.D., Director of Government Relations at ctreadwell@asa.net with any regulatory or legislative issues you are facing. more


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