WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Institute of Architects, the Associated General Contractors of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a joint statement urging policymakers to take immediate steps to create jobs in the design and construction industry.
On the eve of the Obama Administration’s major jobs initiative, the AIA and AGC, which together represent nearly 110,000 architects and general contractors, said the effort is designed to highlight how vital the design and construction industry is to the health of the entire economy. The industry employs more than 5 million people and has suffered from unemployment of one and one-half to two times the national average over the last three years.
“It is no secret that this economic crisis has been devastating to our communities, our country, and our profession,” states AIA President Clark Manus, FAIA. “The AIA believes that policy makers must enact key pieces of legislation that focus on the built environment.”
“The value of construction put in place each year equals between five and eight percent of annual GDP,” notes Kermit Baker, the AIA’s chief economist. “The goods that this industry provides are the buildings and infrastructure that define our built environment and provide the foundation for a modern, developed nation.”
“The devastating problems facing the construction industry are crippling our broader economy,” said Stephen Sandherr, the chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America. “You can’t fix our economy until you fix the construction industry.”
Sandherr added that policy makers should act on the proposals outlined in the association’s construction industry recovery plan, Build Now for the Future.
“Investments in transportation and water infrastructure, schools and hospitals not only create jobs immediately in the design, construction and manufacturing sectors, but these investments also create assets that improve productivity and quality of life for decades in the future,” said Ken Simonson, chief economist for the construction association. “Similarly, allowing these assets to deteriorate costs the economy dearly, and makes future construction more expensive.”
About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct to ensure the highest standards in professional practice. Embracing their responsibility to serve society, AIA members engage civic and government leaders and the public in helping find needed solutions to pressing issues facing our communities, institutions, nation and world. Visit www.aia.org.
About the AGC
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the leading association for the construction industry. Founded in 1918 at the express request of President Woodrow Wilson, AGC represents more than 33,000 firms in nearly 100 chapters throughout the United States. Among the association’s members are approximately 7,500 of the nation’s leading general contractors, more than 12,500 specialty contractors, and more than 13,000 material suppliers and service providers to the construction industry. These firms engage in the construction of buildings, shopping centers, factories, industrial facilities, warehouses, highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, waterworks facilities, waste treatment facilities, dams, hospitals, water conservation projects, defense facilities, multi-family housing projects, municipal utilities and other improvements to real property. AGC members play a powerful role in sustaining economic growth, in addition to producing structures that add to productivity and the nation’s quality of life. AGC is truly the “voice and choice” of the construction industry.