ABMA One of the First to Sign On to COTA

ABMA Endorses New Workforce Development Bill

RENSSELAER, N.Y. – On Thursday, Congressmen Glenn Thompson (PA-15) and Derek Kilmer (WA-6) introduced the Creating Opportunities to Thrive and Advance Act (COTA). The American Building Materials Alliance (ABMA) was one of the first to sign on as an endorsing organization.

The bill would amend the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to allow funds for Title II to be used to provide career guidance and to create public outreach programs through public service announcements, social media campaigns, job fairs, and more to spread the word about workforce development (WFD) programs.

“ABMA applauds Representatives Thompson and Kilmer for raising WFD awareness to match the need of people seeking high quality careers with those in need of great employees,” said Rita Ferris, president of the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association (NRLA). “Rich careers in the building material supply industry are unfortunately a best kept secret. We appreciate the formal plan to systematically share these excellent career opportunities.”

ABMA Chair Joe Cecarelli of Hood Distribution in Connecticut commented, “This bill is really needed right now as many industries, including the building industry, need workers. These programs help ensure that employers can find the workers they need, and having the support through WIOA funds is vital to success. Together we will move forward.”

WIOA was signed into law on July 22, 2014. According to the U.S Department of Labor (DOL), “WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Congress passed the Act with a wide bipartisan majority; it is the first legislative reform of the public workforce system since 1998.”

“People can’t find work if they don’t know what work is out there,” stated ABMA Vice-Chair Ida Ross Hicks of Swift Supply in Alabama. “This bill will help ensure that employers can use WIOA money to help inform people of career options in industries that are seeking workers, like the building industry.”

ABMA will continue to update you on the status WIOA and other federal WFD initiatives. As WFD is one of our top priorities, we will continue to advocate for it on the Hill on the lumber and building materials behalf.

About ABMA

ABMA, established in August 2021, is a committee of unified voices advocating on behalf of the lumber and building materials (LBM) industry at the federal level. ABMA currently represents LBM dealers and associated businesses in Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. The mission of the ABMA is to advance, shape, and influence policy in all branches of government. We work directly with members of Congress, the White House, and federal agencies to impact the legislative and regulatory process as it affects the LBM industry. ABMA is powered by the NRLA and Construction Suppliers Association (CSA).