Vermont Considers Nation’s First Construction Certification Program

A Vermont state Senate committee endorsed a bill that would create the first-ever construction contractor certification program in the United States.

Source : Pxhere

May 18, 2021

Author : Patty Rodriguez

Have you ever hired a construction crew whose work was, well, not exactly committed to superior quality and results? Or maybe you’re a company owner who is finding stiff competition from contractors whose reputation precedes them, and not in a good way. The fact of the matter is that if you’re in the industry, you’re in on the gossip, and you know the good, the bad and the ugly.

Complaints about shoddy workmanship are not uncommon. Take Vermont, for example. VTDigger, a project of the Vermont Journalism Trust, reports that between 2012 and 2017, the state’s Attorney General’s consumer complaint division got 600 complaints about construction projects with losses totaling $3.1 million.

Some contractors up and left before the project was over, others were gone with the wind the second a deposit was paid, and some just did a bad job.

Now a Vermont Senate committee is taking action by creating a registry of legitimate contractors. Draft text of H. 157 states “A person shall register with the Office of Professional Regulation prior to contracting with a homeowner to perform residential construction in exchange for consideration of more than $2,500.00, including labor and materials”

Registering to be certified could wind up costing $50 and the process, if the bill is passed, could begin in December. It would also require liability insurance “in the amount of $300,000 per claim and $1,000,000 aggregate.”

Several reasons for the state to create the registration program are listed in the bill itself, including that "there is currently no master list of residential construction contractors operating in the State."

Vermont is reportedly one of only eight states that do not maintain such a list. Sen. Alison Clarkson (D-Windsor) said it's “the Wild West out there.”

The bill also states that “while registration is not licensure and confers no assurance of competence, consumers have no way of knowing whether a contractor is operating legally or has been subject to civil claims or disciplinary actions.”

The bill notes that such a registry would help them disseminate information on new codes and standards.

“Homes are our biggest assets for most Vermonters,” said Sen. Clarkson, according to VT Digger. “This is a step toward protecting them more fully. This gives us an opportunity for education and really helps us shine a light on this issue.”

Category : Contractor Trades State Government

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