The Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County firmly opposes the adoption of the Responsible Contractor Ordinance (RCO) currently under consideration by the Centre County Board of Commissioners. The RCO, intended to ensure the hiring of responsible contractors for County-funded infrastructure and public works projects exceeding $250,000, poses significant challenges for local contractors and ancillary businesses.
During today’s commissioner meeting, Greg Scott, President and CEO of the Chamber of Business & Industry of Centre County, made a public statement. In his statement, he highlighted the Chamber’s concerns, which reflect the collective sentiment of the Chamber’s board and membership.
Scott stated, “While the Chamber supports the County’s aim to ensure accountability, this ordinance imposes excessive restrictions that will negatively impact our local contractors and ancillary businesses. The Chamber believes in fostering a competitive and inclusive business environment that benefits our entire community. The Chamber urges the Centre County Board of Commissioners to reconsider this ordinance and seek alternative solutions that uphold quality and safety while preserving access for our local contractors.”
The Chamber recognizes and appreciates the County’s objective of promoting accountability, quality, and safety in public projects. However, the RCO’s requirements, such as the mandate that 70 percent of the craft labor workforce have completed a formally registered apprenticeship training program, and the adherence to the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act, 43 for offsite custom fabrication work, will impose unnecessary and burdensome restrictions on local contractors.
If the RCO is adopted, this ordinance will effectively exclude many of our local contractors and business, potentially in favor of out of County entities, from participating in County projects exceeding $250,000, limiting their ability to contribute to the growth and development of our region.
The Chamber also extends its gratitude to the Centre County Commissioners for their continued dedication to the well-being of our community. While we respectfully disagree on this particular issue, we remain committed to working collaboratively with the Commissioners and other stakeholders to explore solutions that support the growth and success of Centre County’s businesses.