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Congressman Tim Ryan

Representing the 13th District of Ohio

Congressman Tim Ryan Urges Prevailing Wage for Workers Building Youngstown VA Clinic

November 22, 2019
Press Release

Youngstown, OH – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today urged VA Secretary Robert Wilke to pay prevailing wages for all construction workers building the new VA Clinic in Youngstown. In a letter to Secretary Wilke, Congressman Ryan advocates for prevailing wages to be paid on all contracts related to the clinic and seeks assurance that the David-Bacon act is being fully applied.

“The new community-based outpatient clinic will be a great benefit to the veterans community in Youngstown – providing a much-needed increase to 35,000 square feet and allowing the VA to provide specialized care. But I am concerned that our local workforce is being sidelined in the construction of the clinic,” said Congressman Ryan. “Prevailing wages required under the Davis-Bacon Act for all federal construction contracts ensure that this facility is built with quality workmanship and that it will be completed on-time and on-budget. I urge VA Secretary Wilke for his attention to this critical issue and to support prevailing wages for our workers.”

Quality craftsmanship, on time and on budget

To view the full letter, click here or read below:

November 22, 2019

The Honorable Robert Wilke
Secretary
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20420

Secretary Wilke:

I write to you with serious concerns about construction contracts for a new VA clinic in my district in Youngstown, Ohio.  It is essential that prevailing wages be paid on all contracts related to the clinic, and I seek your assurance that the Davis-Bacon act is being fully applied. 

The new community-based outpatient clinic will be a great benefit to the veterans community in Youngstown.  It will provide a much-needed increase to 35,000 square feet and allow the VA to provide specialized care that is hindered in the current location.  I appreciate your support for the Youngstown veterans and recognition of the need for a state-of-the-art facility. 

Yet, I am concerned that union laborers are being sidelined in the construction of the clinic.  Not only are prevailing wages required under the Davis-Bacon Act for all Federal construction contracts, but they help the veterans in my community, who work in the construction industry in significant numbers.  

Please answer the following questions:

  1. Are prevailing wages, as defined in the Davis-Bacon Act, being applied to all construction contracts for the construction of the new Youngstown VA clinic to be located at 1815 Belmont Avenue, Youngstown, Ohio?
  2. If not, what justification is there to avoid the letter and spirit of the Davis-Bacon Act, which is intended to ensure fair wages in all Federal contracts?
  3. Can you offer your assurance that all future contracts related to the construction of the Youngstown clinic will apply prevailing wage requirements?

Thank you for your attention to this critical issue.

Sincerely,

Tim Ryan
Member of Congress