GP McManus talks infrastructure and jobs with U.S. Secretary of Transportation

GP McManus talks infrastructure and jobs with U.S. Secretary of Transportation

Mark McManus discussed infrastructure with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg

United Association General President Mark McManus recently met with U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and discussed infrastructure and jobs in America. 

The first question General President McManus asked Secretary Buttigieg was why the Biden Administration was able to deliver what former administrations could not.

“First of all, we have a president who keeps his promises and is serious about following through on what he says they’ll do,” Secretary Buttigieg said. 

He added that the Biden Administration’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act received abundant support from the United Association, as well as other unions and trades.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), aka Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), was signed into law by President Biden on Nov. 15, 2021. The law authorizes $1.2 trillion for transportation and infrastructure spending, with $550 billion of that figure going toward “new” investments and programs.

As a result, a large number of UA jobs were created nationwide – both directly and indirectly – thanks to the IIJA. 

For the Biden Administration, one of the most exciting parts of rebuilding American infrastructure is the economic boost that comes from the good-paying jobs created by these projects. 

Infrastructure moving forward

General President McManus went on to praise Secretary Buttigieg and the Biden Administration for other initiatives, like the CHIPS Act, which allows big projects to be completed under union labor. This creates even more UA jobs for these megaprojects. 

He also appreciates that UA leaders have been asked to sit on various committees to help guide these projects. 

“Right now, we have UA experts who are in there helping to make sure our policies work and are safe and work for the workers who are going to have the most at stake,” Secretary Buttigieg said. 

General President McManus said that no administration in his lifetime has supported union labor the way the Biden Administration has. He then reminded Secretary Buttigieg that unions perform quality and safe work to ensure projects are completed on time. 

“The UA’s biggest blessing is its diversity and the more the UA looks like the cities they represent, the better it is for middle America,” General President McManus said. 

Secretary Buttigieg ended the conversation by expressing his appreciation for General President McManus and all UA members for the work they do every day, and for helping the Biden Administration make the Infrastructure Bill a reality.

“Most of all, thank you in advance because we are going to be turning to you to train, equip and deploy the skilled, safe workforce that’s going to get these jobs done across the country,” Secretary Buttigieg said. “I know this is no small task, but I know America is up to it because I know what your members are made of.
Watch the full interview on YouTube.

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