Bay State residents can help get this critical legislation across the finish line.
Back in October, I had the chance to chat with Stephen Capone for The Manufacturing Report podcast. Capone owns Capone Iron Corporation in Massachusetts, which makes fabricated steel products like beams, columns, and trusses.
Capone’s father, Charlie Capone, started the company back in the 1950s. The family-owned business has employed generations of Massachusetts residents, and quite literally helped build the state. It could still do that, too. The products Capone Iron Corporation makes can be used in a variety of infrastructure projects, including roads, bridges and government buildings.
Only Capone stopped bidding on taxpayer-funded construction projects years ago. His company is forced to unfairly compete against foreign companies that are often heavily subsidized by their governments and don’t abide by the same labor and environmental guidelines and American companies and workers do.
The worst part is that Massachusetts has long supported these foreign companies over its own businesses and citizens.
Now, however, there’s an opportunity to change that.
Buy America legislation has been making its way through the Massachusetts state house that would give American workers and companies the first shot at government-funded projects.
By Wednesday, lawmakers are likely to vote on an amendment put forth by Sen. Joan Lovely that would ensure Massachusetts agencies support American manufacturing in their purchases whenever possible.
Not only would this legislation level the playing field for Massachusetts manufacturers and workers, the state would see the financial benefits, too. One study by the Steel Fabricators of New England found that every dollar spent on American-made steel creates $1.50 in economic activity.
At least 38 other states already have similar legislation on the books. Now it’s time for Massachusetts to join them.