President Biden Delivers Remarks on Working to Strengthen the Infrastructure Talent Pipeline

By | November 2, 2022

President Biden delivers remarks on working to strengthen the infrastructure talent pipeline and will highlight how the Administration is bringing together employers, unions, and other partners to train Americans for good-paying jobs in broadband, construction, and manufacturing following passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, CHIPS and Science Act, and Inflation Reduction Act.

The White House

Good afternoon and welcome to the White House and the talent pipeline challenge It’s such an honor to be here with you Today my name is Alyssa Cruz and I’m a Member of the International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers Local 134 in Chicago Illinois I am a fourth year Apprentice And I’m proud to represent the next Generation of skilled trades women and Men who will power America’s future Although my father Arturo Cruz and my Five uncles are all Local 134 members I’m the first female cruise to join ibw [Applause] As the youngest of three and the only Girl I was not expected to follow in My Father’s Footsteps I gone to college on A scholarship and worked for a few years Before I realized I wondered what my dad Had The IBEW income that put me and my Brothers through college a union pension Health care and the satisfaction that Comes from seeing an empty lot and then Working to build something from the Ground up My father of Foreman was literally by my Side for my first year as an apprentice Guiding me and teaching me Today if I ever get stuck and I have a Question he always has the answer But the IBEW of 2022 looks different From the ibw of his apprenticeship

And he’s not even that old Today half of my apprenticeship class Are a minority or female I’ve been trained to install solar Panels offshore wind turbines and those EV Chargers you saw earlier the new Energy Technologies that will help meet The Urgent climate goals that President Biden was elected to accomplish Nationwide the ibw has more than 12 000 Trained electricians powering this Electric vehicle Network and we are Adding more every day In 2020 Joe Biden promised to rebuild The middle class and to honor the Dignity of all workers he promised union Workers and their communities he’d Restore infrastructure from roads and Bridges to clean water and Broadband he Promised to bring back American Manufacturing so we could get back to Building and making things in this Country Now just 23 months later here we are in The White House infrastructure Manufacturing union jobs promise is made And promise is kept [Applause] Because of all these projects come with Some of the strongest worker protections We’ve ever seen because President Biden Knows that we don’t just need more jobs This country needs more middle class Union jobs

Thank you I’m so proud to be part of the army of Skilled union workers union workers who Look like me that is rebuilding the United States of the future reaching out To put the best of us to work for the Best of our country and we are more than Ready to meet those goals this Talent Pipeline challenge is only the beginning For me for my union for our country There’s literally nothing we can’t do Mr president president we’re ready to Work On behalf of my family and my union I am Honored to introduce the greatest Champion of American workers we’ve ever Had in the White House the 46th President of the United States President Joe Biden [Music] Please yeah I think you can do anything That was impressive And uh before I began I want to uh Remind some folks here that uh You know when I started to run for the Presidency this time The suggestion was Biden was too green He’d never get unions to stick with him One of the first guys I called was Lonnie And before I announced the detail of all My program We sat down for hours hours for more

Than one day And uh Lonnie Became was convinced not by me but Convinced by circumstance But the future Of labor was in the future Was about What we have to do to deal with climate With Advanced Manufacturing That we have to do to deal with things Like those little computer chips that in Fact mobilize everything we do from your Washing machine to your automobile to Our weapon systems it’s amazing And Lonnie jumped on And a lot of you had already come along A lot of the unions have come along but Everybody came along because finally We’ve reached the point With the help of the ibw and the Carpenters so many others so many others That you know the future is about the Future one of the reasons I want to make It clear that I talk about unions all The time Is this young woman has been an Apprentice program for four years she’s Already gone to college Four years People think that you just walk in and Say I want to be electrician and you get You get a job you get hired and you’re At work in a couple days

This is we have the best trained workers In the world in the world and that’s not Hyperbole And I mean this and I think American Businesses are coming to understand this American industry Is that you know it costs more to hire Union worker than a non-u worker but Guess what it costs you less over time Because they have the best product but For much you’re paying for and so anyway I just want to thank you Lonnie and all The union presidents that are here for Stepping up it wasn’t easy to step up as Police I really mean it I’ve always had Support of the ibw but never on this Never and so aggressively on dealing With the things we’re talking about There are three major major pieces of Legislation That already created seven hundred Thousand manufacturing jobs are going to Create literally several million more And that is the the infrastructure bill Which is fact do everything from Highways and bridges to broadband to Clean water lead I mean across the board And then we came along with a little Thing that everybody wondered what it Was we talked about the chips and Science Act well guess what we have American and non-american business Investing literally several trillion Bill I mean billions hundreds of

Billions of dollars Because it’s the future Every single thing that your kids when You’re they’re your age of buying it’s Going to require computer chip we Invented them We invented them We’re the ones who Advance them the United States of America Yet we lost the market Because we didn’t invest We didn’t invest in America We came along and with the help of all Of you in this room We got we got strong support and we Invested And all the way from I was just up at IB IB IBM up in Upstate New York and then I Went to over to Syracuse New York which I just those two outfits are several Hundred billion dollars over time So look this is I am I’m uh Lonnie’s Heard me say this I am optimistic I’m truly optimistic because of your Generation You know speaking of Labor it’s always Been great to work with you all and last Year we signed the historic Infrastructure law once in a generation Investment in Rhodes Bridges railroads Airports high-speed internet clean air Clean water clean energy future I signed that I signed that so that the That we could be positioned to win the

Competition of the second quarter of the 21st Century We to do that we had to make sure the Law would be billed all of America Lift Us all up workers and in the process of The with products that are made in America and guess what we didn’t stop There so I said we passed the chips and Science Act result companies are Investing hundreds of billions of Dollars tens of thousands of jobs by the Way you know what these jobs are going To be and for example the ones down and For Intel when they get these factories Built or up like I’m going to leave Somebody else won’t name them all But you know non-college without a College degree 120 000 bucks a year 120 000 a year In August we plastic inflation reduction Act investing 360 billion dollars in Clean energy There’ll be more to come I believe We put Americans to work making solar Panels wind turbines electric cars by The way I was I I was in part of Ohio Looking at the at the facilities where They’re training people on wind turbines You know we have the blaze of wind Turbines now that are a 102 for 104 yards long Longer in a football field not a joke Not a joke

Wind energy solar energy is cheaper Than oil and gas and coal cheaper Look we’re you know we’ve already Created as I said 700 000 new Manufacturing jobs that’s what today’s About Back in June we launched a nationwide Talent pipeline challenge And uh I tell you it’s designed to Ensure that workers across the country Especially those in historically Underrepresented in infrastructure jobs Could take advantage of job growth in Three sectors that were going to booming Because what we’re going to do because Of the infrastructure law High-speed internet Construction electrification of all Those new electric vehicles and Batteries improvements to electric grid Infrastructure laws are going to provide 800 billion dollars in Workforce Development then we went out and asked Employers and unions to get in the deal Educational institutions state and local Tribal and territorial governments And philanthropic organizations to join Us to make tangible commitments to build The 21st century Workforce Commitments to prepare women people of Color underserved populations Good pain high quality jobs in those Three sectors Today I’m proud to announce that more

Than 350 organizations across the Country nearly 50 states and territories Have responded to my call and committed To the challenge Companies many of you are here are Forging Partnerships with unions Community colleagues local nonprofits to Create apprenticeships that train Workers to develop the necessary skills It’s the first time we have high paying Jobs and not enough people to do them Nice thing isn’t it it’s a nice problem To have we’re solving it quickly Employers are providing support services Like help with child care and Transportation So workers with kids and only parents at Home don’t have to choose between taking Care of their families and completing Their training or or taking a better Paying job Colleges are creating new infrastructure Academies and preparing partnering with Companies to expand apprentice and Pre-apprentice programs To match the trainees with mentors to Provide on-the-job experience you know a Lot of Community College particularly my Wife says Community College is the best Kept secret in America I wonder why she Says that They’re still teaching but my point is That you know what happened was what do You need in the community go to the

Community College tell them they’ll set Up a training program with you for Ms at A little more complicated but that’s the Essence of it And philanthropies are now providing More than 70 million dollars new Commitments so far to recruit talent and Underrepresented communities I made a commitment we’re not going to Leave anybody behind and I really mean It Many of the organizations are here with Us today communication workers in America Are partnering with ATT and Corning to Create training programs For Broadband technicians United Airlines and the teamsters announced a New apprenticeship for airline mechanics The Center for Energy Workforce Development and Urban League are working With the ibw Right now to train thousands of workers To build and maintain charging Infrastructure electric vehicles all Across the country and by the way in Your home you know the batteries that we Have now and they’re getting more and More sophisticated you know a lightning Storm takes out all the electricity in The house guess what you can plug your Car into the house and make it light up You think I’m joking it’s a little Simplistic but literally you can

Literally it can Oh this summer It really is kind of exciting I I I I I Get a little This summer Jill my wife joined the labor secretary Marty Walsh at a electrical substation In Boston where Bunker Hill Community College students have paid internships At a public utility company to prepare Them for union jobs that support American electric grid infrastructure That’s happening now You know we just did a walk through Several union-led demonstrations in the Dining room we had a bricklayer I didn’t Want the cement to get in the salads but You know it may have He was good though didn’t drop anyway All kidding aside The the trainees that these Organizations provide are truly state of The art I saw workers are trained both in person And virtually through virtual reality Tools to create brick and mortar Structures walls dams buildings weld Materials for roads Bridges airports and To wire electrical boxes for electric Vehicle charging stations it matters but Also provides really good paying jobs Where America will lead the world again In manufacturing I don’t know where it’s written I said

We can’t be the manufacturing Capital World again look for most of the 20th Century America led the world because we Invested in ourselves But somewhere along the way not a joke Somewhere along the way we stopped to Investing ourselves Jobs are going overseas Jobs Because our adversaries have been Closing the gap Well this Talent pipeline challenge These Partnerships we’re regaining the Momentum and taking back our Competitive Edge And the United States is going to win in Addition to the bipartisan Infrastructure the inflation reduction Act is the biggest investment ever in Climate ever ever in the history of the World in climate creating jobs of the Future so work is in small businesses Lead the transition to a clean energy Economy Something we owe our children or Grandchildren beyond measure the chips And science act The Supercharged efforts To make semiconductors and small Computer chips that power our everyday Lives with every aspect of life is just Going to grow and grow and grow And we’re doing it the right way Centered around workers and communities Bringing everybody along

You know as part of the economic Vision I ran on and I’ve been carrying it out As soon as I came to office with help With people in this room Rebuilding our economy from the bottom Up in the middle out I’m so sick and tired of trickle down Economics Hi I don’t remember my dad ever filmed that Trickle on his head But seriously And by the way businesses are coming Along one thing that’s happening is that You know when you when when the middle Class grows And it’s growing And the poor have a ladder up and the Wealthy still do very very well Long is her knowing it’s her The economy decrees good paying jobs Union jobs high quality jobs that don’t Require college degrees The economy that works for everybody Through bold actions like this when We’re taking that Vision to reality This is what it looks like when America Comes together to get something done So let me close with this because I Don’t want to get started because I’m Really excited about all this The country’s been through a tough four Or five years And folks are still hurting

Granted that we inherit a six and a half Percent unemployment rate is down to Three and a half percent but guess what Inflation’s still hurting people But we’re making real progress We’re reasserting ourselves as a nation That’s why I want to look at out at Everyone here and across the country I’m more optimistic about the future Than I ever had been ever in my career I’ve been more optimistic than today We just remember who we are we’re the United States of America There’s not that means sincerely from The bottom heart there’s nothing nothing We cannot do nothing When we do it together So that’s my goal to bring us together To get more done And I look in this room there’s business Labor apprentices a lot of good folks All understanding that we can Out-compete the rest of the world like We always did in the past There’s nothing beyond our capacity Nothing nothing nothing God bless you all may God protect our Troops [Applause]

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