Biden’s Ohio visit shows Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s impact
Posted February 17, 2022 in Press Releases
State and local leaders can go even further
President Joe Biden will tour sites in Cleveland and Lorain today to highlight the expected impacts of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed last year. Some of these federal funds will be awarded competitively and some of the funds will be distributed according to a federal funding formula. To encourage state and local officials to maximize the benefits of those federal resources, the Biden administration created the “good jobs initiative,” giving funding priority on competitive grant opportunities to projects with strong community and labor standards, that hire union workers, and build a more inclusive economy by bringing more working people of color and women into high-road jobs.
Amanda Woodrum, Senior Researcher for Policy Matters Ohio, and Co-Director of the Project to ReImagine Appalachia released the following statement:
“Today, President Biden will celebrate the infrastructure act's potential to revitalize and protect Northeast Ohio's most precious resource, Lake Erie. But there is much more this legislation can do to expand our climate infrastructure and meet working families' needs. This infrastructure act is a down payment on our climate infrastructure and working family needs. Communities can use these federal funds to modernize our energy and transportation systems, reduce pollution contributing to climate change, and create family-sustaining jobs. Projects funded by these dollars, if spent right, could put Ohioans to work installing electric vehicle charging stations and laying rail. By taking advantage of federal resources, state and local leaders can create jobs repairing damaged lands, reclaiming abandoned mines, and remediating brownfields.
“To secure many of these potential gains for Ohioans and be competitive under the guidelines for President Biden’s Good Jobs Initiative, state and local officials will need to work with union and racial justice leaders as they develop their projects, as well as other key stakeholders. They would also do well to adopt responsible bidder or best value contracting policies as mechanisms for ensuring jobs created are good union jobs, with pathways for women and Black workers and other people of color. Union contractors pay higher wages, offer better benefits, and do higher quality work. On-the-job training opportunities for apprentices and pre-apprentices will be essential to build out the future workforce and ensure it is diverse.
“Just as the Good Jobs Initiative is helping maximize the infrastructure bill’s impact, federal, state and local leaders can do even more by including ‘buy American,’ and ‘buy local’ provisions in funded projects. Doing so will help Ohio’s communities maintain our central role in the supply chain for new sustainable industries, like manufacturing electric vehicles and their component parts; producing alternatives to single-use plastics and growing the feedstock for bioplastics in the region; and playing a central role in battery technology development.”