By Bill Singleton, ECA President email: [email protected]
One of the great assets that we as an association have is our joint partnership with the other union heavy construction groups in Southern California through what is known as “the industry funds.”
Most contractors have only a vague idea of what these funds are and what they do, so I thought this would be a good time to explain just a bit. The industry funds—and there are two (Construction Industry Advancement Fund and Fund for Construction Industry Advancement) allow ECA, AGC, BIA and SCCA to pool our resources to provide special services for our members instead of having to duplicate them over and over and over again.
A few examples of these services include the Construction Industry Air Quality Coalition which deals with CARB, local air district and even federal issues, the Construction Industry Coalition on Water Quality which covers with state water agencies on issues like stormwater pollution, the Construction Industry Force Account Council which fights force account violations and the Crime Prevention Program which helps keep our equipment safe from thieves and helps find it when the thieves are successful in their work.
Each of the associations enjoys funding from the industry funds as well. Some use this funding to pay for lobbyists in Sacramento,which ECA used to do. When we decided to take our advocacy efforts to the local level, we also decided to use our share of industry funds for local purposes—our effort with the Southern California Group is funded this way. We get money for our scholarship and safety programs and more funding for local advocacy and industry communication efforts.
So where does the money come from to pay for all of this? From our union contractors, along with their compatriots in the other associations through a dues check-off system, just as the contract administration funds that support the labor relations and other programs of ECA and the others are paid for. If we had to pay for the special knowledge and experience that we get from CIAQC, CICWQ, CIFAC and CPPP on our own we’d never be able to assemble an equal team, but together we have better information and advocacy on these issues than contractors in other parts of the state.
As an ECA industry funds trustee, along with Dave Sorem and Scott Van Diest, we assure you we take our responsibilities to our association and our industry seriously, appreciating the efforts made for construction in southern California by these contractor funded and contractor led organizations.