Scaffold Law limits opportunities for M/WBEs

In an Op-Ed in the New York Post, the Rev. Jacques DeGraff, Co-Chairman of the Alliance for Minority and Women Construction Businesses and Senior Vice President of 100 Black Men discusses how New York’s antiquated Scaffold Law limits business opportunities for construction-related M/WBEs by driving up the overall cost of projects.

“In the case of large public projects, the added insurance and settlement costs can run hundreds of millions of dollars. This means that hundreds of projects don’t get built each year, costing the state tens of thousands of solid middle-class construction jobs with good benefits, and our taxes continue to rise.

“The Scaffold Law also stands in the way of the mayor’s and governor’s plans to to make pre-K available to every student. There simply aren’t enough seats to accommodate the tens of thousands of kids who’d be eligible under these proposals.

“Already, thanks to the unfair Scaffold Law, the New York City School Construction Authority is paying $150 million more this year for insurance and settlement costs than it did last year — a 140 percent jump — and will pay $1 billion more over the next five years. If the law were changed, the authority could build more than 8,000 pre-K seats over the next five years, without needing any additional public funds.

“What’s worse is that the School Construction Authority has the most successful mentor and Minority and Women Business Enterprise program in the nation — awarding over $1.7 billion in construction contracts to more than 800 M/WBE companies over the last decade. If we don’t reform the Scaffold Law now, this program and the thousands of M/WBE firms and jobs it creates are at risk.”

To read the entire Op-Ed please click here.

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