American Subcontractors Association (ASA)

BVM: What role does advocacy play? Oscar: “On the advocacy side, our issues are non-ideological, they are purely procurement related issues. Ultimately, they’re payment issues. Subcontractors want to be paid, on time, and treated fairly. On the education side, we work to ensure that legislators are aware of the role and impact that subcontractors play within the construction industry. “The construction industry has changed dramatically over the years, so when you’re meeting with members of Congress, congressional staff, and/or regulatory agency officers or staff, you must bear in mind that their understanding of the construction industry may be circa 1970. Also, their degree of separation and understanding of the subcontractor construction industry may be three or four generations removed. That’s why ASA’s advocacy becomes extremely important. Subcontractors comprise roughly 75% of the construction industry.” Bright: “ASA has been very successful in that regard. For example in New Mexico retainage is prohibited, in other states we’ve reduced it from 10 to 5, so there are laws that we’ve had success with around the country. We’ve won court cases that have set a precedent. And there are some great collaborative efforts between the GCs or direct to owner, so it’s not all doom and gloom, but there is still a significant amount of change that needs to take place. Very much around risk transfer and contract language, etc.” BVM: How has COVID-19 impacted your members? Bright: “ We’re an institutional membership with about 2,600 employer members with over 6,000 individual member contacts from those member companies who are listed in our database. And we have about 35 chapters around the country in various degrees of size and sophistication. “All of our members are in commercial or