As a recent editorial in the Youngstown Vindicator stated, "what is not in doubt is the urgent need to fix the nation’s roads, bridges, public transit, railroads, energy system, schools, public parks, ports, airports, waste systems, levees, dams, drinking water facilities and hazardous-waste installations...."
We couldn't agree more, and President-elect Trump's plan to spend $1 trillion over 10 years to address the problem holds tremendous promise. (We hope his unusual approach to funding his plan holds up.) Of particular interest, from a labor perspective, is the fact that tens of thousands of jobs will be created, particularly in many of the nation's older -- and in some cases, crumbling -- inner cities.
Henry Cisneros, who served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Bill Clinton, pointed out in a recent article on The Hill website that 14.5 million Americans work in infrastructure-related jobs, a number that should increase under Trump's initiative.
More important, as Cisneros said, "these are jobs that cannot be outsourced...jobs that will put money in the pockets of people who will spend it in our communities, causing a positive multiplier effect."
At the same time, the National Association of Home Builders estimates there are about 200,000 unfilled construction jobs in the U.S., an 81 percent increase over the past two years. The effects of the recession in 2008 and 2009 caused many workers to go back to school, join the military or take lower-paying jobs in retail and other fields.
As a result, training will be essential if Mr. Trump's plan is to work. We offer apprenticeship training as a way to learn on the job and build a more secure, high-paying career. Visit our website at www.eastcentralohiobuildingtrades.com to learn more.
We joined the national Building Trades council in congratulating Mr. Trump for his election victory in November, but we also pledged to hold him accountable for his promises and his actions in office. We hope that his plan to rebuild America's infrastructure comes to fruition and creates jobs that will help propel our economy forward.
The East Central Ohio Building & Construction Trades Council is online at www.eastcentralohiobuildingtrades.com.