West Virginia’s Prevailing Wage: Good for Business, Good for Workers

January 28, 2015 by Sean O’Leary

Construction workers hired for public projects in West Virginia must be paid a minimum “prevailing” wage and benefits level. This prevailing wage level must equal the market wage rates as determined by the West Virginia Division of Labor, and varies by geographical area within the state and by occupation.1 West Virginia’s prevailing wage law was first enacted in 1933, two years after the federal Davis-Bacon Act, which established a prevailing wage for federal construction projects. Read PDF of report.

Thirty-two states, including West Virginia, have prevailing wage laws for state-funded construction projects, while there is also a federal prevailing wage law for federally funded construction projects.2 These prevailing wage laws help ensure that government-funded construction projects are done with highly skilled workers from the community, increasing productivity and strengthening the economy with good-paying local jobs.

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ACT pickets local health center

August 24, 2013

By Wendy Holdren Register-Herald Reporter
A group of pickets with Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation were gathered on the roadway outside the Beckley VA Medical Center this week, holding signs that read “Demand Local Jobs for Local Workers.”

Representative Wayne Rebich said his group is concerned that the company hired to build an MRI center and an adult day care center at the VA, Seawolf Construction, is not following the same laws that West Virginia contractors are obligated to follow.

Seawolf Construction is a GSA-approved contractor, according to a representative for the Beckley VA Medical Center, and is based in Jersey City, N.J.

Rebich explained that Seawolf was the lowest bidder for both of the VA projects, so his organization contacted Seawolf to encourage them to hire local subcontractors.

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