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posted: 3/5/2014 12:49 PM

Well-trained workers improve construction

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In a recent Daily Herald article, select members from the Kane County Board argue contractor training programs don't lead to a better work product. My group knows that it does.

In the article, the Illinois Association of Park Districts says HB 924 "would impose standards that many small businesses may be unable to satisfy." In my experience as executive of the Finishing Contractors Association of Illinois, this is a gross exaggeration. More than 80 percent of the 150 companies in my association have under eight employees, and they all provide an excellent training program.

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I would argue that reducing the number of eligible bidders, as the IAPD fears will occur if HB 924 is passed, would ultimately mean we would be eliminating the unqualified contractors from performing substandard work. HB 924 would ensure that the most responsible contractors are selected to perform work.

Whether it is a construction job performed for a municipal building or a private residential job, taxpayers and homeowners deserve to know that contractors are abiding by state laws and using a workforce that is skilled in their trade. All too often, my contractors see bids awarded to "low bidders" who employ an untrained workforce, providing a substandard product and cutting corners to get the project done as inexpensively as possible. Jobs done right last longer and ultimately save money for municipalities because they reduce long-term maintenance costs.

Mark Palmer

Finishing Contractors Association of Illinois

Aurora

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