Promoting skilled worker education and tax incentives for business owners continue to be NARI's plan once Donald Trump takes office with a Republican Congress behind him in January. The remodeling advocacy group says its message remains the same no matter who is in power and sees hope that some of its key issues will be addressed.
"There are no easy days in the work our members do," said Fred Ulreich, CEO of NARI. "If there's any way that we can make sure that we can continue to raise awareness and the advocacy of what it means to be a small business owner in this country, and how to make it at least less taxing--less red tape, all those things that would allow us to prosper---we're all for that. That mission hasn't changed."
NARI is encouraged that tax incentives for business owners will be a priority for the new administration once President-Elect Trump is inaugurated on Jan. 20.
"One of the things we're looking at is tax incentives, tax extenders," said Dan Taddei, director of education and certification with NARI. "We've asked Congress to really integrate that and pass those for the coming year. And also looking at long-term tax reform, the whole tax structure. I think that's what the new president brings in is a look at taxes--how that affects the corporate tax and how to bring those in line and kind of reduce that burden."
Details on the president-elect's tax plan are still emerging, but his transition website states that his primary goals are "lower, simpler, fairer, and pro-growth," taxes.
NARI is also optimistic about the promotion of education for skilled tradespeople. Trump has mentioned reinforcing American infrastructure like roads, airports, and public transportation with an investment of up to $550 billion. Skilled employees will be needed to execute those plans, and while implementation may put an initial strain on the available workforce, there's future potential for greater dividends.
"While that may cause some shortages in the short run, I think this is really going to kickstart the training and workforce development programs and really drive interest into those programs," said Taddei. "Because they are good-paying jobs. So it's going to, over time, build our work force."
That type of technical work goes beyond the STEM curriculum currently being promoted, but NARI is optimistic that a push by President-Elect Trump will help bridge the skill gap between STEM education and skilled trade labor.
"It takes technology, it takes math, it takes science to do what our members do," said Ulreich. "We're encouraging our newly elected president and those that get appointed to take a good hard look at education in our country to allow that to expand a little bit beyond the STEM curriculum."
NARI's mission remains the same going forward into the Trump administration: promote professionalism in the industry. Both Taddei and Ulreich added that while a new president will absolutely cause change, all politics are local, and NARI remains active in local governments promoting pro-business policies.