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President Trump deserves credit for American economic boom | Opinion

It's hard to argue with success.

President Donald Trump placed a hard hat on his head with the Presidential Seal on it and struck a pose for the audience of National Electrical Contractors Association members at the Philadelphia Convention Center on October 2, 2018.
President Donald Trump placed a hard hat on his head with the Presidential Seal on it and struck a pose for the audience of National Electrical Contractors Association members at the Philadelphia Convention Center on October 2, 2018.Read moreMICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer

It is hard to argue with success. The American economy is hitting all cylinders, and the Trump administration deserves credit where credit is due in providing the environment, policies, and support for the hard-working men and women who make up our nation's workforce.

Last week, we were honored to host President Trump as the keynote speaker at the National Electrical Contractors Association's (NECA) annual convention in Philadelphia. It was a momentous occasion for our organization and the electrical construction industry.

I am proud to be associated with the nearly 150 contractors in this area and the thousands of skilled employees who work so hard every day to keep Philadelphia's beautiful cityscape powered up every single day and night.

>> READ MORE: President Trump hails 'best economy in our history' in Philly speech to electrical contractors

NECA is a trade association that represents the voice of the $160 billion-dollar electrical construction industry that brings power, light, and communication technology to buildings and communities across the United States. Our members reflect the spectrum of electrical contractors from the family-owned to public companies, from companies with a few employees to those with thousands. Our members do well when there is work. When the economy is doing well, projects from new construction, remodeling, restoration, and repair are abundant, and when not, we are forced to retrench, reduce our workforce, and hope for brighter days.

A president sets the climate and direction for the economy, and it is clear that this president has done well in that arena. Creating millions of jobs, reducing corporate and individual tax rates, cutting regulations, reducing bureaucracy, and leveling the playing field on trade have ginned up the economy and created a boon for electrical contractors and the workers they employ. Our members are hiring, expanding their businesses, and investing in cities, towns, and states from sea to shining sea.

President Trump started his term by setting policies that will require the use of American aluminum and steel on construction projects. He has streamlined the regulatory process to reduce the amount of red tape holding up key infrastructure projects. He is also committed to revitalizing our infrastructure and strengthening our electrical grid. We have had the rare opportunity to weigh in with the administration and these policies will put more Philadelphians to work to improve, rebuild, and expand growth in this great city.

It is up to businesses to lead as well. Therefore, NECA has set high goals for our industry to continue to grow our workforce, enhance labor relations, expand training and education, invest in innovation and technology, and focus on marketing and market analytics. In order to keep an economy strong, a workforce must be competitive, adaptive, and innovative. As part of our initiatives, our organization has pledged to help create 60,000 new job opportunities nationwide so Philadelphians and their fellow Americans across the country will have access to apprenticeships and on-the-job training provided by the National Electrical Contractors Association.

>> READ MORE: Alexander Acosta, Trump's labor secretary, on jobs, pay and immigration

As he closed his remarks, the president concluded with a nod to our electrical contractors, "With cable, copper, wire, and steel, you are the ones lighting America's path forward.  So important. You are the ones rebuilding this land that we love. You are the ones who are making America greater than ever before."

The president of the United States and NECA have the same mission: to empower lives and communities across our nation through training, opportunity, good-paying jobs and rewarding careers. That also means creating and expanding job opportunities for the hard-working people of Philadelphia.

America has the finest, hardest working men and women the world has ever known, and electrical contractors are an important sector of that force. I am very proud that the members of the National Electrical Contractors Association make America greater every day we go to work.

John M. Grau is chief executive officer of National Electrical Contractors Association.