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Build Puerto Rico summit announced for Aug. 29

The executive director of Puerto Rico’s Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resiliency (COR3), Manuel Laboy, announced that the “Build Puerto Rico, Reconstruction Summit” will take place at the Puerto Rico Convention Center on Aug. 29 at 8 a.m. 

The event aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the island’s reconstruction progress and offer insights to various construction sector organizations about the execution plan for significant permanent projects that “resiliently modernize” the island’s critical infrastructure.

“The priority of Gov. Pedro Pierluisi’s administration is the agile progress and compliance with reconstruction projects,” Laboy said. “Puerto Rico’s infrastructure is undergoing an unprecedented modernization process that requires the collaboration of multiple sectors. The ‘Build Puerto Rico, Reconstruction Summit’ … will provide specific data on the course of medium and long-term projects with the intention of promoting interest and planning within the local and foreign construction sector to strengthen the workforce that is rebuilding Puerto Rico.”

The event will feature state and municipal officials from the Puerto Rico government and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as well as leaders from different economic sectors and professional guilds.

Concurrent workshops will also be held to discuss resources available to support the local workforce, the impact of inflation on reconstruction, and core topics that assist the organizations responsible for executing reconstruction projects.

Professionals and organizations in the construction sector and key representatives from the various economic sectors, must register to participate in the event, which is free of charge.

Moreover, given the need to hire workers for the projects, the Labor and Human Resources Department will hold a job fair on the same day as the summit, Aug. 29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in Room 201 of the Puerto Rico Convention Center. 

Puerto Rico Labor Secretary Gabriel Maldonado-González urged skilled workers in the construction sector and professionals from a variety of disciplines such as engineering, architecture, project management, accounting, electrical, plumbing, masonry and surveying to participate in the summit, to meet with important employers at the event.

“The construction sector is essential for the full development of our economy, especially given the billions of dollars in federal funds that are available to address the reconstruction process,” Maldonado-González said. “Employment levels in this sector have continued to rise since January 2021 to the present, but the demand for workers remains a significant challenge for this industry. It is estimated that at least 40,000 additional workers are needed to address the reconstruction projects over the coming years. In this job fair, individuals interested in entering the workforce or those seeking new employment opportunities will find very attractive offers related to construction, a result of public policy and decisions by Gov. Pierluisi, such as increasing the minimum wage for workers in executive branch reconstruction projects, as well as the current conditions of an extremely competitive labor market.”

Due to limited spaces, employers interested in participating must first register here

Among the government agencies slated to participate in the summit event are: the Housing Department, the Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority (PRASA), the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co. (Pridco), the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the Department of Transportation & Public Works (DTOP, in Spanish), the Highways & Transportation Authority (HTA), the Labor and Human Resources Department, the Education Department, the Puerto Rico Ports Authority, and the Health Department, as well as several private sector entities.

Laboy concluded by saying, “Thousands of permanent projects are currently being developed in Puerto Rico, funded by multiple allocations from the administration of President Biden through various agencies, with the primary goal of establishing the best infrastructure conditions for safe, resilient socioeconomic development.

“Undoubtedly, progress in reconstruction since 2021 has been significant, and to continue advancing reconstruction, we need the collaboration of both the public and private sectors, as well as nonprofit institutions.”

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