How to Create Even More Jobs with Infrastructure Investment

Jesús Espinoza Press Secretary, Alliance for American Manufacturing

You don’t need to be a civil engineer to notice that America’s infrastructure is one big hot mess. Our roads have potholes that rock your car so violently, it feels as if you’re off-roading on the moon; our bridges are so rusty, you risk getting tetanus just by looking at them; and driving through our tunnels, especially if you’ve ever traversed any of New York City’s underwater roadways, is an act of faith.

It’s a no-brainer that we need to do something about the sad state of our infrastructure. More robust infrastructure investment is the first logical step, and it carries the overwhelming potential to create jobs that are directly and indirectly related to these projects.

But how do we maximize those job-generating benefits? Tougher Buy America (not to be confused with Buy American) provisions in infrastructure spending legislation, which likely voters from both parties strongly support, are one way. A more permanent, systemic solution—coupled with Buy America provisions—is slashing the manufacturing trade deficit by two-thirds, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

Josh Bivens, EPI research director and the report’s author, found:

“The number of direct and indirect jobs supported by an increase in economywide spending depends in part on how much of this spending goes to purchase imports rather than domestically produced goods and services. In the case of infrastructure investments specifically, the number of U.S. manufacturing jobs supported depends on the share of purchased manufacturing inputs that is produced domestically as opposed to being imported from abroad.”

Bivens also found that investing $500 billion in infrastructure and reducing the manufacturing trade deficit by approximately two-thirds would generate 45,000 additional manufacturing jobs.

Rebuilding America’s infrastructure will require serious elbow grease from policymakers, but for Americans to benefit fully from any sort of infrastructure investment with Buy America provisions, we must reduce the manufacturing trade deficit. Take note, Washington. The ball is in your court now.

Read the full report here

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Steel for Wind Power

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

Siemens Gamesa last month laid off 130 workers at its turbine blade manufacturing plant in Iowa, just months after GE Renewable Energy decided to close an Arkansas factory and eliminate 470 jobs.

The companies reported shrinking demand for their products, even though U.S. consumption of wind energy increases every year.

America’s prosperity depends not only on harnessing this crucial energy source but also ensuring that highly skilled U.S. workers build the components with the cleanest technology available.

Right now, the nation relies on imported steel and turbine components from foreign manufacturers like China while America’s own steel industry—well equipped for this production—struggles because of dumping and other unfair trade practices.

Steel makes up the bulk of turbine hubs and the wind towers themselves. It’s also used to make the cranes and platforms necessary for installing the towers.

Yet the potential boon to America’s steel industry is just one reason to ramp up domestic production of wind energy infrastructure.

American steel production ranks among the cleanest in the world, while China has the highest carbon emissions of any steelmaking nation and flouts environmental regulations.

The nation’s highly-skilled steelmaking workforce must play an essential role in the deeply-needed revitalization and modernization of the nation’s failing infrastructure. Producing the components for harnessing wind energy domestically and cleanly is an important step that will put Americans to work and position the United States to be world leaders in this growing industry.

 

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work