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Chairman McDuffie and members of the Committee, my name is Pedro Alfonso, and I am here today providing testimony on behalf of the Metro DC Hispanic Contractors Association (MDCHCA). We are a member driven construction association comprised of over 200 contractors of mostly Hispanic, Brown and Black immigrants, that are primarily small businesses. Our mission is to provide training, technical assistance, and marketing opportunities for our members. To raise the level of our commitment to the community we plan to one day advance these efforts with our own Construction Trades Academy here in DC under our recently formulated community non-profit organization.
We are here today to provide support for the legislative initiative of The “Electric Utility Underground Work Wage Act of 2021”. This proposed legislation can provide much needed financial relief for the hard-working construction labor force operating in the underground utility space of the construction industry. Many rank and file workers are underpaid for the type, complexity and level of risk taken to do this type of underground work. Therefore, raising the requirement for their pay scale warrants this body’s consideration.
While the MDCHCA is in support of such advancement in pay we are concerned in many ways that the burden of pay will fall on the small business community that are already struggling to stay in business and survive. There are four matters we are asking the Council to consider in their deliberations on this bill.
Our organization is in support of higher wages for our employees so that they can keep pace with inflation and our own members want to be able to attract and retain an experienced work force that would be willing to work in our city which is already in short supply of skilled labor. All construction workers with their higher skills should be duly compensated, in particular, those performing outside underground work, which is even harder, riskier and more physically demanding. A higher more competitive rate of pay for this work is warranted. But it needs to be implemented with proper forethought to reduce confusion and chaos in the ecosystem of our membership of the small business market.
This concludes the MDCHCA testimony. We thank you for this opportunity to share our comments.
Metro DC Hispanic Contractors Association (MDCHCA) is the little engine that could. We repair the imbalance between who builds our region and who controls the construction industry. We make sure our businesses get the opportunities and recognition they deserve.
Our Mechanical Equipment Operators licenses. Information follows here.
out on the farm at The Perdomo Compound. Our third event at this splendid outdoor property on the Potomac. Make sure you reserve the date for a beautiful evening under the stars. The notice is in this email. More details at a later date. Open to all of our membership.