On March 30, ACT Ohio and the National Alliance for Fair Contracting (NAFC) sponsored training for 50 affiliate representatives on strategies for holding contractors that cheat on public works projects accountable.

Labor attorneys and educators Patty Gates and Nina Fendel presented “Dealing with Contractors Who Cheat to Compete: Taking the High Road.” The training focused on helping ACT Ohio members from around the state understand what should raise a red flag when reviewing submitted bids on public works construction projects.

The training encouraged ACT Ohio affiliates get more involved earlier in the bidding process to ensure that all contractors are treated fairly.

“ACT Ohio did such a quality job putting together the Fair Contracting Program,” said attendee Brian Collier, Field Representative for Bricklayers and Tile Setters Local 8. “I believe that attending was time well spent. I learned skills to benefit my members and the contractors that they work for. I also felt that the role playing aspect gave those present good pointers on how to approach public entities and what kind of reactions to expect from those entities.”

ACT Ohio works with its affiliates and regional councils to ensure that Ohio’s public bidding laws are followed to ensure the public is protected from unscrupulous contractors.

“One of the central missions of ACT Ohio is to work with our members to ensure public bidding laws are followed.” Said ACT Ohio Legal Counsel Rob Dorans. “All contractors bidding on public works projects should follow the rules. I’m pleased so many of our members attended this training to learn more about how to use the resources of ACT Ohio to help to ensure that all contractors comply with basic bidding standards on public projects.”

The training also focused on how to effectively work with public officials during the bidding process. The trainers helped facilitate simulations for ACT Ohio members to practice presenting information before public bodies.

“Effectively working with public officials is key for ensuring that when our members uncover a red flag about a contractor bidding on a public project, that concern is taken seriously.” said Matt Szollosi, Executive Director of ACT Ohio.

ACT Ohio plans to hold future similar public works compliance training for its members that were unable to attend this first seminar.