Douglas P. Nelson, Business Manager
Fulfilling a Critical Campaign Promise on Infrastructure
President Biden promised to put America back to work. On March 31, he shared his plan to deliver, with a historic $2 trillion package to rebuild a diminished infrastructure, battle climate change and take on global competitors.
The eight-year proposal will put the United States on the path to a revitalized domestic infrastructure while creating tens of thousands of jobs in several of the IBEW’s core sectors. Biden’s plan will:
- Upgrade the electric grid by laying thousands of miles of new transmission lines, modernizing power generation and delivering clean energy: $100 billion
- Construct 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations and retool factories to produce batteries and electric vehicles: $173 billion
- Revitalize American manufacturing: $300 billion Invest in research and development on advanced manufacturing: $180 billion
- Upgrade transportation, highways, bridges, ports, transit systems and airports: More than $100 billion
- Deliver reliable and affordable high-speed broadband to all Americans: $100 billion
- Invest in workforce development programs: $100 billion
- Repair and upgrade Amtrak and modernize its Northeast Corridor: $80 billion
- Make infrastructure more resilient: $50 billion
- Clean up mines, brownfields and Superfund sites: $21 billion
The plan will ensure that American taxpayers’ dollars benefit working families and their communities by requiring goods and materials be made in America and transported on U.S.-crewed and -flagged ships. It will also safeguard workers’ right to organize, join a union and bargain collectively. It asks Congress to tie clean energy and infrastructure investments to prevailing wages, local hire rules and apprenticeship programs.
“The American Jobs plan is an investment in America’s workers and communities to not only rebuild the physical infrastructure and the battered economy but to harness new technologies to reposition the United States as a leader against global competitors like China,” said IBEW President Lonnie Stephenson. “This plan utilizes and creates jobs in nearly every branch of the IBEW’s membership.”
President Biden traveled to Pennsylvania to announce the plan. He was introduced by Pittsburgh Local 29 member Mike Fiore, a lineman employed by Duquesne Light, who talked about the need for the Build Back Better plan.
“What President Biden is proposing isn’t just an investment in infrastructure,” Fiore said. “It’s an investment in good union jobs. It’s an investment in good schools and strong communities. It’s an investment in the future of so many forgotten parts of America.”
Pennsylvania was once a global leader in manufacturing and good union jobs, Fiore said. “It can be that way again. President Biden has a solid plan to make it happen.”