Joint efforts to train students for the construction industry

January 31, 2019 – HBA of Puerto Rico Community Development Corp., a non-profit organization affiliated to the Puerto Rico Builders Association (PRBA), with the collaboration of Caribbean Project Management and the General Contractors Association – Puerto Rico Chapter – formalized an alliance with the Puerto Rico Department of Education to train and certify approximately 2,100 high school students so that they can enter the construction workforce development.

These courses, which will be offered through the Department of Education’s Occupational and Technical Education Division, will prepare those students to acquire a job based in the construction industry needs. It includes courses on job safety, mathematics, construction drawing and basic concept areas. After successfully completing the training, they will earn a high school diploma, a nationally recognized core construction certificate, a 10-hour OSHA construction training certificate and a certification of compliance with Governor Rossello’s Executive Order 2018-033.


These nationally accredited construction certificates are issued from the Home Builders Institute (HBI) and the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and will be valid throughout the United States. For this semester, HBA of Puerto Rico Community Development Corp. will offer the core course and the carpentry training. We expect to expand to other trades for the next school year in other much needed industry areas. This program will add value to the public-school system as students wanting to work in the construction industry will graduate ready to be inserted in the workforce. Our partnership will donate time for mentorship, raise funds to hand graduates tools and offer required on the job training opportunities. HBA of Puerto Rico Community Development Corp., has been contributing for the past months with all the technical and curriculum requirements that the Department needs.

This continuous contribution includes mentorship and knowledge transfer, of a voluntary nature, which is necessary to achieve results with students. In addition, it will establish a system of placements where it will promote direct access between young people and the employers of the construction industry once the educational workshop finalizes.

Workforce Development Initiative

January 30, 2019 – HBA of PR Community Development Corp., a not for profit organization of the Puerto Rico Builders Association (PRBA), unveiled a workforce development and readiness program for the construction industry. It was unveiled by our Chairman, Emilio Colón-Zavala, PE, at the Clinton Global Initiative’s Action Network Post-Disaster Recovery summit held in San Juan on January 30. Also, it was announced by the Puerto Rico Secretary of Education, Julia Keleher, on January 31.

The initiative represents a partnership between the public and the private sector to increase human resource capacity in the construction sector for the projects that will be needed in the coming years. It is estimated that approximately 22,000 students graduate from public schools every year. This initiative would have a potential to produce around 2,100 students in the first semester of the program.

Our goal is to implement an industry recognized certification process in order to accomplish goals and have qualified personnel in our projects. We have secured two certification processes that are nationally recognized; Home Builders Institute (HBI) and National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). We are pursuing courses to be certified by Puerto Rico’s building official in compliance with EO-2018-033. This represents a private industry solution in order to be able to have enough human resources to perform the reconstruction work that will be needed in the coming years. Also, the proposed course will produce better employment opportunities for our students by giving them access to a nationally recognized construction workforce certification. Finally, part of the program will include a process to ensure graduates access to employment opportunities at the end of their training. We will be training and certifying 84 teachers from the public schools’ system after translating and adapting the curriculum to our requirements. Then, we will train students who opt into the program. The approximately 2100 we expect to graduate in May from the program will receive; high school diploma, core course certification from HBI or NCCER, OSHA 10-hr course, and a certificate in compliance with Executive Order 2018-033 that would qualify the student for the higher minimum wage on publicly financed projects. There will be a carpentry certification course during the month of June for those who want to be trained as such. Next semester, we expect to deploy additional trades into the program. This proposal is an alliance with the Puerto Rico Department of Education (DE) for a construction workforce development program. We have secured a partnership between our organization, Caribbean Project Management and the Associated General Contractors of America Puerto Rico Chapter.

Image: José González Espinosa, from Marriott; Emilio Colón-Zavala PE, PRBA’s President; David Bogaty from Worldnet, William Jefferson Clinton, Julia Keleher, Puerto Rico Secretary of Education, and Christine Scanlan, from Keystone.

Opportunity Zones and How to qualify for CDBG-DR funds

January 30, 2019 – These were two of the seminars that the Puerto Rico Builder’s Association (PRBA) recently offered as part of its continued compromise with its members and all professionals from the island in way to keep them informed on new challenges and opportunities.

Opportunity Zones Seminary

The Puerto Rico Builders Association (PRBA) in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce presented the Opportunity Zones Seminar. The agenda of this seminar ratified the importance of the construction industry’s role in the reconstruction of Puerto Rico. With the collaboration of local and international firms, the PRBA provoked an in-depth conversation on the opportunities the recent natural disasters brought. The attendees had firsthand information on the government master plan by the Governor Chief of Staff, Raúl Maldonado, Esq., and the Secretary of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, Manuel Laboy, PE. The Opportunity Zones on Real Estate topic was also discussed with the collaboration of Rafael Rojo, CEO and Chairman of VRM Companies; the executive director of the Public-Private Partnership Authority, Omar Marrero Esq., and the president of PRISA Group, Federico Stubbe Jr.

Opportunity Zones on New and Existing businesses were also explored at this seminar with the participation of the Chief Investment Officer for LifeAfar, CPA. Eric Berman, the Chief Risk Officer for the Regional Opportunity Outcome Fund, Lorne Joseph, the General Director for Ramírez & Co., Fernando Viñas and the Senior VP and Corporate Credit Division Manager at Banco Popular, CPA Jorge Aldarondo.

Relevant information on How to Establish Alliances on Opportunity Zones were also provided. Mike Eickhoff, Managing Director, Credits and Incentives from Kevane Grant Thorton alongside other investment funds manager collaborated on providing relevant information to all attendees.

How to qualify for CDBG-DR funds

With the participation of over 250 attendees interested in obtaining information on How to Qualify for Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Relief (CDBG-DR) funds, the Puerto Rico Builders Association offered a seminar in which the specific requirements for were discussed. Michelle Foster who serves as VP, Innovation Services for Home Innovation Research Labs where she oversees NGBS Green, the certification program based on the National Green Building Standard ICC/ASHRAE – 700 contributed by developing a conversation on the Sustainable Construction requirements and the National Green Building Standard. Luis Carlos Fernández, Esq. from the Puerto Rico Housing Department, shared relevant information on the Qualification Requirements for Existing and Newly Built Homes. The seminar also included the participation of the PRBA chairman, Emilio Colón-Zavala, PE, who deepened on the importance of the Building Code Considerations, The Resilient Construction Standard and Green Building Standard.

Rebuilding a Puerto Rico Barrio: ‘Dead Is the Only Way They’ll Ever Get Me to Leave’

Victor Manuel Torres raised one hand, about waist level, indicating how high the sea rose in his house during Hurricane Maria last year.

Then, with his other hand, he lifted a rusty machete. At 77, he has lived for more than half a century in a barrio called Vietnam, abutting San Juan Harbor. For nearly as long, municipal authorities have tried to evict him.

“This is how I have held them back,” he told me, waving the machete. “The storm was a passing shower compared to what we have survived here.”

Today numbering some 250 families, Vietnam began like many barrios in Puerto Rico. Laborers lured from the countryside during the island’s postwar industrial boom established a squatters settlement. The harbor was a bustling site of factories, military bases and jobs, but nobody had supplied housing for workers. So the workers did it themselves.

They cleared a swath of mosquito-infested mangroves and cobbled together what were at first rickety shacks that sank time and again in the mud and rain. When the shacks didn’t collapse on their own, the police would come and tear the houses down, hoping to force residents out. The pattern continued even as the houses became cinder block and concrete and the settlement grew into a neighborhood.

By the 1970s, the quagmire of conflict gave rise to the name Vietnam.

For residents, it became a badge of honor.

Now, as the federal government prepares to spend an unprecedented $20 billion to repair neighborhoods across Puerto Rico that were ravaged by the Category 4 storm, the goal of finally replacing Vietnam’s besieged warren of cinder block houses with a flourishing community capable of weathering the hurricanes of the future seems at once more urgent and less likely than ever.

The reasons have to do with basic concepts like home and safety — things that might seem straightforward, but are not so easily defined here.

Much of the island’s population lives in areas, like this one, that are vulnerable to floods and landslides. Thanks to the historical patchwork of homes built and exchanged informally across generations, nearly half of all residents, according to studies, lack the clear titles to their properties that would allow them to take out housing reconstruction loans, sell their properties legally and move to safer neighborhoods.

With crippling debt and a poverty rate that is double Mississippi’s, Puerto Rico has tried to resolve these problems on its own for years, without success.

The billions set to be spent by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development in the coming months for an island where more than 90,000 homes were destroyed represents the largest such grant in the history of federal disaster relief efforts. Hoping to make the most of it, Puerto Rico’s governor has come up with the outlines of a proposal for new development across the 110-mile-long island.

The proposal promises nobody will be forced to move. But there’s a catch. Because of federal regulations, those living in flood-prone areas won’t be given any public money unless their homes comply with flood-protection standards.

Complying with regulations that require elevating houses, employing licensed contractors, providing wheelchair access and using only certain materials can be just too costly for many Puerto Ricans — more costly than the value of their homes. This means hundreds of thousands living in barrios like Vietnam will not get assistance.

As an alternative, they will be offered titles to free new apartments elsewhere.

If they are available. The plan is vague. It wagers that, provided with enough incentives, for-profit developers will build the necessary housing and infrastructure, bringing crucial jobs with them.

But that’s a gamble. Over the last century, Puerto Rico has produced landmark social housing projects like El Falansterio in San Juan, an Art Deco-detailed waterfront complex from the 1930s that, all these years later, remains a thriving community and a model of elegant, humane design.

Unfortunately, anyone who knows about rising construction costs, the island’s crippled bureaucracy and its legacy of failed projects, and the federal government’s looming deadlines for spending reconstruction money also knows that the only things that may actually end up getting built are sprawling, quasi-suburban projects on cheap, shovel-ready agricultural land, uncoordinated with services and transit.

“People usually opt to preserve their communities and ties to the land, even if it means living in harm’s way,” points out Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist at N.Y.U. whose specialty is social resilience. “They have seen enough projects go wrong to suspect that they’re better off risking the next big storm and staying home, where at least they have friends and family nearby.”

Carmen Ayendez, who lived in Vietnam much of her life, said her father four years ago took up the government’s offer of a new home in Sunset Harbor, one of three housing projects built by the municipality of Guaynabo — Vietnam straddles Guaynabo, a mostly prosperous district outside San Juan, and the adjacent municipality of Cataño — with the purpose of relocating Vietnam’s residents.

When her father died two days after signing the new lease, Ms. Ayendez took over the house. But shortly after moving, she started waking in the night, unable to breathe.

It turned out the new house was plagued by mold. Ms. Ayendez hasn’t been able to get rid of it. When Maria hit, her roof cracked. She was supposed to be safer in Sunset Harbor.

“I preferred living in Vietnam,” she said. “I built my own house there on a piece of land that my dad gave me when I was 19. It was a wooden house. It had bats and worms, but not mold. I had my friends and neighbors. The roof wasn’t very secure, but it was home.”

To protect its residents from evictions and gentrification, San Juan’s largest barrio, on the banks of the Martín Peña canal, has been operating as a community land trust for some years. It ensures everyone in the barrio has rights, a stake and a say. The trust has negotiated voluntary relocations where the clogged, polluted and frequently overflowing canal needs to be dredged or widened and homes get in the way.

Evelyn Quiñones, 63, one of the community’s leaders, showed me the house she agreed to move to a few years ago, on a street just outside the barrio. The decision to leave wasn’t easy, she said. It made all the difference that the choice to move was hers, the new house was in good shape — and that her relocation improved conditions for people inside the barrio.

“I return to the old neighborhood every day,” she said. “The new house is bigger and I feel safe there. But these are not my people.”

Through the generations, the community of Vietnam has similarly bonded over its common enemies, meager resources and views of the harbor, which have also insured that moneyed interests continue scheming. During the early 2000s, the mayor of Guaynabo, in league with developers, started expropriating properties to make way for luxury villas.

Neighbors banded together, sued and won.

“Just because you don’t have a title to your property and you are poor doesn’t mean the government shouldn’t work with you to improve your neighborhood,” said Carmen Yulín Cruz, San Juan’s mayor. She worries about the current approach.

So does Ricardo Álvarez-Díaz, former president of the Puerto Rico Builders Association. “My fear is we will build houses for the sake of building houses where people don’t want to live,” he said. “People don’t just need houses. They need communities. The hurricane proved this.”

“It was the communities not FEMA,” he added, referring to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, “that saved most people.”

After Hurricane Maria, Mr. Torres replaced the zinc roof that blew off his home in Vietnam. A stack of bamboo washed ashore during the storm and he used it to fashion a chair, now perched on his patio, facing the harbor.

He said he would gladly accept money from the federal government to fortify his house. But, with or without it, he’s content just to sit in his chair and watch the sun set over the harbor. He is not moving.

“Dead is the only way they will ever get me to leave,” he said. “Maybe not even then.”


We should work together to access relief funds

Expressions of the United States Office of Management and Budget regarding disaster relief and nutrition assistance funds for Puerto Rico –approved by Congress­ should be clarified in an open and constructive dialogue between Trump Administration, the government of Puerto Rico and those allies the island has in the newly-inaugurated Congress. A $600 million package to ensure the continuity of emergency funds granted through the Nutrition Assistance Program, for individuals and families seriously affected by the hurricanes in Puerto Rico, is still pending.

The first $1.27 billion, allocated in temporary PAN benefits after the 2017 disaster, could lapse in March. This emergency benefit has served 279,000 new participants affected by the storm. Regularly, PAN has served around 1.3 million people on the island. Likewise, the release of about $ 20 billion allocated through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program is delayed. These funds are essential to repair damaged homes and communities, among other works. These drawbacks to Puerto Rico´s access to federal financial aid -that the island clearly needs- join those strict requirements set for the island to receive reconstruction funds after the hurricane. It is not the first time that the island faces criticism over lack of transparency and accountability. In the past, these criticisms led the island to lose its credit capacity and the confidence of the markets as well.

Therefore, the commitment of Puerto Rican authorities to use federal and local resources properly must be firm and verifiable. It is up to the government to open all possible ways to access those funds through guarantees and compliance that will enable the island to regain trust.  At the same time, it will be important to dispel doubts remaining in Washington over the need for those funds. It is wise to stress that the island’s revitalization is also convenient for the United States, destination of the mass exodus of Puerto Ricans affected both by the hurricanes and the crisis.

History shows that local precariousness pushes Puerto Ricans to the mainland. To the extent that more opportunities are created for people to access housing, better health care and jobs on the island, those indicators that define the island ´s humanitarian crisis will dispel. It is up to all sectors here and in the diaspora to join forces to appeal to those friends of Puerto Rico, both Democrats and Republicans, in the search for fair solutions for the American citizens living on the island. The responsibility to avoid funds for Puerto Rico to remain trapped in political disputes lies with federal and local authorities. Constructive dialogue, humanitarian generosity and accountability are essential for that purpose.

The economic and social well-being of Puerto Rico, as well as our diaspora political activism in both parties, have an impact in the American sphere of power. We trust that Republicans and Democrats will build a bridge towards a constructive dialogue that will reopen the flow of funds that Puerto Ricans need.

In the mean time, may these experiences be useful for the island´s governmental and private leadership to explore creative ways to reactivate the economy through the development of diversified industries that will create long-lasting jobs and even grow towards exports. It is everyone’s responsibility to prevent Puerto Rico from continuously succumbing into its crisis and being a hostage trapped in political games.


Análisis justo y riguroso de la ley de condominios

La propuesta legislativa de establecer una nueva ley de condominios, pendiente de vistas públicas, debe asegurar una participación amplia de los ciudadanos que permita a los legisladores armonizar, de forma justa, los diversos intereses propios de las dinámicas de la convivencia en comunidad.

El Proyecto de la Cámara 1874 crearía una nueva ley de condominios, al derogar la vigente que data de 1958. Las enmiendas más sustanciales se llevaron a cabo hace 15 años.

La medida, presentada con el aval de 34 representantes y pautada para verse en audiencias públicas a principios de este año, impactaría a más de 250,000 dueños de apartamentos. La participación de estos es crítica para asegurar una ponderación balanceada de los alcances de las nuevas normas propuestas.

En su exposición de motivos, los proponentes señalan que las reformas a la ley están incluidas en el Plan Fiscal como herramientas de desarrollo económico. El propio documento establece que los cambios propuestos surgieron de un grupo de trabajo y de una mesa redonda convocados por los proponentes. El activismo vecinal debe abonar a dar claridad y precisión a las propuestas, para su justa afinación. Entre otros asuntos sobre la balanza legislativa está la propuesta de eliminar el requisito vigente de unanimidad de los titulares para encaminar, por ejemplo, nueva construcción. De aprobarse, la nueva ley requeriría el consentimiento de dos terceras partes de todos los titulares.

Establece, además, que, para obras necesarias para la conservación o seguridad del inmueble solo se requiere la aprobación de una mayoría simple de los titulares, siempre que no afecte los elementos comunes del inmueble. En tal caso, el requisito sería de dos terceras partes de los titulares. El gobierno arguye que el requisito de unanimidad para la realización de obras desincentiva la inversión en la construcción de nuevos condominios.

Es importante, sin embargo, hilar fino con este tipo de requisitos según el racional de la construcción propuesta y la capacidad de todos los residentes para asumirla. Deben diferenciarse las obras requeridas para garantizar la seguridad estructural o de los vecinos, de aquellas modificaciones que no son vitales. Una medida justa debe proveer los mecanismos que eviten el fenómeno de la gentrificación, el desplazamiento de residentes, en particular de adultos mayores, por grupos con mayor poder adquisitivo. Ninguna disposición que violente las condiciones de vida de algún residente, mucho menos que le obligue a mudarse contrario a su voluntad, debería pasar el crisol legislativo.

Tampoco debería dársele espacio a la oposición injustificada al mejoramiento del inmueble. La medida dispone, además, que no se prohibirá el arrendamiento de apartamentos a corto plazo, aunque el Consejo de Titulares puede regularlo. La propuesta responde a la tendencia global que gana auge de arrendar propiedades como alternativas a hoteles y otras hospederías. En el análisis deben sopesarse los intereses de propietarios que aspiran a generar nuevas fuentes de ingreso, por un lado, y, por otro, los de los propietarios que por asuntos de seguridad y privacidad prefieren mantener el carácter exclusivamente residencial de los inmuebles.

Los dueños de propiedad horizontal deben conocer en detalle las propuestas de reforma. Del conocimiento y la comprensión deriva el respeto por los reglamentos comunes y la defensa de sus derechos en las vistas públicas. Como estas propuestas, el proyecto contiene cambios sustanciales que ameritan que la Legislatura actúe con sensibilidad. Respetar los derechos fundamentales de quienes han invertido en una propiedad horizontal los ahorros de su vida es crítico. Si bien la isla necesita medidas que incentiven el progreso económico, como código que regirá la convivencia en comunidad, la nueva ley de condominios que se apruebe debe asegurar los mejores intereses y bienestar de los propietarios.


La Navidad arrancó con la Asociación de Constructores

En un ambiente de mucho entusiasmo y alegría, la Asociación de Constructores de Puerto Rico dio comienzo a la temporada navideña con una celebración para socios y amigos de la industria en el Restaurante Antonio del Condado.

Fue una noche de mucha camaradería donde, además de disfrutar de la exquisita gastronomía de Antonio y el tradicional lechon “asao’, los invitados disfrutaron de la excelente oferta musical de Ale Croatto y su grupo, y el artista Euclides Brignoni.

  1. Silvio López,   Carmencita Suárez, Pedro y Jovita Casanova (sentada)
  2. El Doctor Norberto Pérez, Waleska Rivera y el ingeniero  Emilio Colón Zavala, presidente de la Asociación de Constructores.
  3. Emilio Colón Zavala y el licenciado Patricio Martínez.
  4. Zaida Rodríguez, Alfredo Martínez Álvarez, Jr., e Ileana Fas.
  5. Juan Riera, Fiorella Buso, la doctora Ali Soami Vargas y María Medina.
  6. La arquitecta Vanessa de Mari, Jaime Plá, el ingeniero Orlando Méndez y Geraldine Méndez.
  7. Felipe Vidal y Rosa Diez
  8. Ing. Adolfo González,   el licenciado Kenneth Rivera, la licenciada  Nydin Watlington   y Carlos Ramírez Sánchez.
  9. Stephen y Flory Spears
  10. Mónica de León, Wilma Alejandro y Diana Ventura.

Puerto Rico y la meta de competitividad global

Durante las pasadas semanas, hemos visto cómo se ha pasado de la esperanza de traer a la Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPR) una obra teatral de fama mundial, junto a la exposición e impactos económicos que traería, a la decepción de ver cómo, una vez más, la institución pierde una gran oportunidad. Resulta que luego de restaurado el teatro, para beneficio de la UPR y de nuestra sociedad, la Hermandad de Empleados Exentos No Docentes procedió a amenazar la posibilidad de poder llevar a cabo la obra.

Más decepcionante aún es que no es la primera vez que esto ocurre. Esta situación vuelve a acentuar la falta de visión y unidad de propósito para poder lograr objetivos que redunden en beneficio de todos. La exposición y beneficios que hubiese tenido la UPR al lograr la presentación de una obra como esta no se sabrá nunca. El potencial, entre otros, era poder establecer el teatro como fuente de ingreso importante de la institución. De la misma manera, en nuestra isla estamos perdiendo oportunidades de desarrollo económico que podrían ayudarnos a la recuperación. A manera de ejemplo, el retraso de los fondos de reconstrucción solo abona a que la gente reconstruya sin cumplir con los reglamentos aplicables causando que no se preparen para el próximo desastre. No poder ejecutar las iniciativas en el Puerto de las Américas y el redesarrollo de Roosevelt Roads son otros ejemplos de oportunidades perdidas.

Y es que nos falta como colectivo internalizar la necesidad de resolver nuestros problemas estructurales. Que es importante establecer reformas estructurales de modo que aprovechemos la reconstrucción para atraer iniciativas nuevas que redunden en una economía sostenible. Los fondos de reconstrucción que se proyectan recibir a corto plazo podrán servir como base de una recuperación económica, solo si aprovechamos ese impulso para lograr una sociedad más ágil y enfocada en insertarnos en un Siglo 21 globalizado.

Podemos optimizar procesos burocráticos y lograr iniciativas que a mediano plazo nos ayuden. Mientras se comienzan y ejecutan los programas de reconstrucción debemos adiestrar y certificar nuestra fuerza trabajadora para la construcción, economía del conocimiento, agroindustrias, manufactura y turismo. Un esfuerzo en el que los sectores privados puedan hacer alianzas para lograr obtener trabajadores con las destrezas que nos hacen falta.

No se debe esperar solamente a que el gobierno y la academia provean las herramientas que necesitamos para emprender. Comencemos la conversación con el objetivo de lograr colocar a Puerto Rico entre las primeras diez jurisdicciones en competitividad global y en facilidad de hacer negocios.

Esta visión nos dará oportunidad de lograr atraer nueva inversión y salir de nuestra depresión económica. Siempre nos ha gustado compararnos con Singapur debido a que ellos establecieron algunas estrategias que aprendieron de Puerto Rico el pasado Siglo. Sepamos que hoydía ocupan la segunda posición en el mundo en ambos índices.

Trabajemos para implantar iniciativas y medidas alineadas con esta visión y lograr una sociedad con los motores económicos para poder sostener los programas sociales que necesitamos. Manos a la obra. El autor es presidente de la Asociación de Constructores de Puerto Rico.


PRBA reacts to the announcement of the resignation of the Deputy Secretary of HUD Pamela Patenaude

Puerto Rico Builders Association recognizes the robust support, advice and commitment of the Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Pamela Patenaude, to the people of Puerto Rico in its reconstruction.  Rarely before has Puerto Rico benefited of having such of a close collaborator that has far exceeded her responsibilities. One of her most important contributions is how she managed to bring together all stakeholders to achieve an holistic vision for reconstruction of the island. Last September was recognized by the Association for her efforts towards the people of Puerto Rico.

“During 2017 and 2018, Deputy Secretary Patenaude has been a partner of Puerto Rico and this Association in its agenda to overcome the challenges post hurricanes Irma and María”, stated Emilio Colón-Zavala, Chairman of the Puerto Rico Builders Association. “We wish her the best on her upcoming endeavors and hope that the ties that have been developed between her, Puerto Rico and its people continue”.


La ACPR reacciona al anuncio de la renuncia de la Subsecretaria de HUD Pamela Patenaude

La Asociación de Constructores de Puerto Rico reconoce el gran apoyo y el compromiso de la Subsecretaria de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano, Pamela Patenaude con el pueblo de Puerto Rico y su gente durante el proceso de reconstrucción. Rara vez se había beneficiado Puerto Rico de contar con un colaborador tan cercano que haya sobrepasado sus responsabilidades. Una de las contribuciones más importantes de Patenaude para con Puerto Rico es el trabajo que ha llevado a cabo para unir a los diferentes sectores y así lograr la reconstrucción holística de la Isla.

“Durante el 2017 y 2018, la Subsecretaria Patenaude ha sido una aliada de Puerto Rico y esta Asociación en su agenda para superar los desafíos traídos por los huracanes Irma y María”, dijo el Ing. Emilio Colón-Zavala presidente de la ACPR. “Le deseamos lo mejor en sus próximos proyectos y esperamos que continúe con los vínculos que ha desarrollado con Puerto Rico y su gente”.