Senators Christine Rolfes (D-23) and Jim Honeyford (R-15) got up-close looks at construction projects thanks to hosts John Korsmo owner of Korsmo Construction and Michael Moen co-owner of G.H. Moen.
Sen. Rolfes saw Korsmo’s Suquamish Tribal Clearwater Casino Resort expansion project outside of Poulsbo and Sen. Honeyford toured Moen’s $20 million Yakima Valley Community College. The tours kicked-off AGC’s new Legislator Education And Relationship Network (LEARN) program.
Photo from left: Sen. Jim Honeyford Michael Moen and Van Collins tour the Yakima Valley Community College project.
By touring the ongoing construction projects rather than a finished building the legislators gained insight into the construction process with its challenges and innovation. That is the primary goal of the LEARN program. “We want to expose legislators to local projects during bidding and construction which will bring a new and different appreciation for procurement and construction in general” said AGC’s Chief Lobbyist and Legislative Counsel Van Collins who created LEARN. “A legislator will be able to learn about such things as the design process the time crunch of a risk of bidding the intricate nature of construction processes the contractor’s focus on safety the nature and makeup of the workforce the project owners and what the final completed project will mean to the local area.”
LEARN tours also establish or build on the relationship between a legislator and an AGC contractor – in these cases between Honeyford a key member of the Senate Leadership and the Capital Budget Chair and Michael Moen who with his father Don leads one of the oldest and most prolific construction firms in Central Washington and Rolfes Democratic Floor Leader and member of the Transportation Committee and John Korsmo owner of the 66-year-old firm and recent winner of an AGC Build Washington award.
“It’s our experience that many legislators are often unfamiliar with the construction industry and the positive effects that construction projects bring to the economy of Washington State and the communities in which these projects are built” added Collins. “AGC is working with its members to directly engage legislators in a number of ways. Bid days and jobsite visits are two such ways that the AGC is trying to positively affect attitudes.”
AGC Board Member Ken Day a constituent of Sen. Rolfes’ of Ness Cranes arranged the Rolfes/Korsmo tour. AGC Central District Manager Dave Kearby arranged Honeyford’s tour with Moen. “Clearly if a legislator only ever witnesses the finished product then he or she also misses out on much of the real story” Kearby noted.
For more information about LEARN or to offer a jobsite tour or bid day visit for legislators contact Van Collins 360.352.5000.