Alicia Amberg Headshot
Alicia Amberg
Executive Director
The Associated General Contractors of Alaska logo
Celebrating wins and delivering value to members
By Alicia Amberg

ote 2021 as another year for the record books. Honestly, we are all more than ready to leave it there, never to be repeated. On the positive side, conflict almost always reveals new opportunities. We certainly found that to be true at Associated General Contractors, or AGC, of Alaska. Despite staring down one obstacle after another, we at AGC of Alaska did what we always do—we led the way for our industry and helped our members successfully navigate threats and barriers.

It wasn’t all bad: 2021 brought with it COVID-19 vaccines for our workforce, allowing many of us to return to a more normal work environment. While it may not yet be time to declare victory over the pandemic, and while the thorny issue of vaccine mandates remains in flux, we are certainly better positioned to fully recover than just one year ago.

We also scored a huge win with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act’s, or IIJA’s, passage. AGC of Alaska joined with several other Alaska trade organizations to publicly advocate for it because we knew it would provide huge benefits to our state. We can reasonably expect $3.8 billion in long-term funding for local infrastructure projects to come our way over the next five years. The IIJA also includes a one-time spend of at least $225 million for repairing and rebuilding Alaska’s bridges. Those dollars not only mean improved infrastructure but also jobs and opportunity for Alaskan families.

Of course, we share concerns about our ballooning national debt. However, the IIJA bill is paid for and makes new investments without raising taxes on American families or businesses. Given that Alaska still lags far behind the rest of the country when it comes to basic infrastructure, we welcome the IIJA’s recognition that we are playing catch up. AGC of Alaska members are more than happy to get busy putting those investment dollars to work.

The IIJA may have made splashy headlines, but most of our work in 2021 focused on our core mission of advocating for the building industry. Throughout the pandemic, AGC informed our members of the latest news, regulations, and resources available via AGC’s COVID-resource database on our website and through social media channels and e-newsletters. We represented the voice of the construction industry at the local, state, and federal level, while advocating for the interests of our organization’s legislative priorities.

In summary, we issue a respectful challenge to our members: Ask yourself where your business—or our industry—would be without the force-multiplying efforts and leadership of AGC of Alaska and AGC of America combined. Working through our long-established partners and leveraging our respected relationships with government agencies, we successfully kept construction classified as an essential industry through the height of the pandemic. The current agenda in Washington is packed with prospects of new taxes on employers, new restrictions on businesses, and new limits on economic activity. We are working hard to keep you up to date on efforts related to vaccine mandates, as well as material prices and availability. What happens in Washington tends to creep its way north to Alaska, so our cooperative work with AGC of America is more crucial than ever.

Ultimately, we at AGC of Alaska are only effective when our members are willing to enter the arena. Fortunately, we are blessed with an active, informed, and engaged membership. Our collective voice makes us a force to be reckoned with, and we have earned a seat at the table where big policy decisions are being made. We owe this clout to our members and urge you to stay involved in 2022. The year ahead will offer many opportunities to advocate, with two statewide offices up for grabs and almost the entire state legislature up for reelection. Ensuring AGC of Alaska’s priorities are well-represented is at the top of our “to-do” list.

You know what should be at the top of your to-do list? Maintaining support for our work together by renewing your membership. We are stronger in numbers, and we are fired up and motivated to keep the momentum we’ve built in 2021 moving at full speed into 2022.

Truly, all of us at AGC of Alaska consider it a privilege to serve and assist our members, now more than ever. Stay involved, stay engaged, and hold us accountable as we continue to advocate for Alaska’s construction industry. We always welcome your feedback and input.