At the beginning of the year, Governor Charlie Baker and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito joined us for our installation of officers and directors and discussed their investments in vocational and technical training to incentivize our future workforce to enter the trades and close the labor gap. We met with Speaker of the House Bob DeLeo and Chair of House Ways and Means Brian Dempsey to discuss the lack of skilled workers facing the construction industry and proactive steps government can take to help alleviate the situation, such as reexamining excessive licensing requirements and restrictive apprentice-to-journeyman ratios that limit the number of apprentices contractors can employ. Many members also met individually with their elected officials, a key element of our government affairs efforts, which directly impacted the trajectory of specific bills.
The state government leaders we met with all heard important stories and information from our members about our desire to have an open and competitive construction industry. We believe we can have an impact on issues when there is engagement at all levels. Legislation we oppose will surely be filed again when the new legislative session gets underway in January. We need to continue our efforts to promote a level playing field for merit shop contractors.
Of course the new session will also provide opportunities. Several pieces of legislation we proposed made significant progress and we intend to file them again next session, along with new bills that will promote jobs and encourage fair and open competition. In the coming months we will strategize about our priorities for the next legislation session. This will be a collaborative process with members, so please be on the lookout for information on how you can participate.
I want to thank Massachusetts legislators for their willingness to listen to our thoughts and ideas over the recently completed session. I also want to thank all of you who have met with your legislators or supported our education efforts on Beacon Hill. I hope you’ll agree they have been well worth the effort.