Bob Dagostino to House committee: ‘It’s all about connectivity’

NECA Member Testifies on Infrastructure & Small Business ICYMI: President of NECA member Dagostino Electronic Services, Inc. tells House Small Business Committee "It's all about connectivity." Posted by National Electrical Contractors Association – NECA on Wednesday, April 25, 2018

WASHINGTON – Dagostino Electronic Services President Bob Dagostino testified in Washington, DC, Wednesday before the House Small Business committee about the importance of robust infrastructure systems for small businesses.

DES President Bob Dagostino waits to testify before the House Small Business committee on the importance of robust infrastructure systems for small businesses on April 25, 2018. (NECA)

The hearing, entitled “American Infrastructure and the Small Business Perspective,” focused on how American infrastructure and technologies like broadband internet and fiber optics can benefit small businesses and how not having access to them can inhibit proficiency.

Dagostino, one of four panelists, has served on the board of the directors for the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association since 2015 and testified on behalf of the association.

In his opening remarks, Dagostino talked about the importance of the work done every day by NECA’s 4,000 members and their mission to keep people connected through the nation’s power grid and communication infrastructure.

He told the committee, “We’re working every day to build the next generation of reliable power and communication networks and infrastructure that will advance this nation into the next digital revolution.”

Dagostino highlighted three overarching themes of funding, contract reform and workforce shortage.

He voiced NECA’s concerns about the lack of direct federal funding for infrastructure projects to ensure safety, security and efficiency of our transportation, power and communication networks.

He asked the committee to continue to support the Small Business Payment for Performance Act, a bill that aims to help small businesses in the construction industry get paid for their work in a timely matter.

And he addressed the nation’s skilled labor shortage. Dagostino said NECA is already doing its part by teaming up with its 70-year partner the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers with an apprenticeship program that provides students with as many as 10,000 hours of classroom and on-the-job education.

Watch Dagostino’s 5-minute opening statement here:


Dagostino was also asked several questions by committee members. Watch the video below each question to hear his response.

Q: What would you say is the No. 1 challenge faced by small businesses due to lack of certainty from the federal government when it comes to infrastructure?

Q: Rural areas can be hit hard by economic instability given their isolation and, in some communities, limited diversity in industries. What investments would be most useful to spur growth in those regions?

Q: What federal efforts do you suggest to target infrastructure to [rural] areas in order to facilitate growth and attract small businesses to locate and remain in rural communities?

Q: About 32 percent of the Highway Trust Fund is allocated for roads and bridges. Are you concerned about actually building more roads and bridges out of the Highway Trust Fund?

Q: The governor of PA announced investments of $60 million for 12 wastewater projects across the 12 counties. Can you put that into context when you talk about connectivity verses location?

Q: What can we do at the Federal Government level to ensure a more reliable stream of workers?

Read more about the hearing and the panelists who spoke here.


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