Frustrated by the slow pace of stimulus spending for all but a few transportation-related projects, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) announced a recovery plan for the construction industry today. "Build Now for the Future: A Blueprint for Economic Growth" aims to restart construction spending, an economic engine that drives broader financial growth—"Every billion dollars invested in nonresidential construction activity adds $3.4 billion to the gross domestic product, increases personal earnings by $1.1 billion and creates or sustains 28,500 jobs," the AGC notes in its proposal. Among the trade group's suggestions:

  • Repeal the alternative minimum tax, increase energy-efficiency tax credits, and extend tax cuts.
  • Increase spending on federal buildings, make permanent the Build America bonds and encourage public-private partnerships.
  • Streamline environmental reviews, encourage green construction, and avoid government-mandated labor agreements.

"You can't fix our economy until you fix the construction industry," said Stephen Sandherr, AGC's CEO, during the press conference. "If we can enact even half of it, it's going to drive some construction activity."

AGC chapter representatives will distribute the package on Capitol Hill next week. The entire report can be downloaded here.