President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris met with labor leaders yesterday to discuss the American Rescue Plan and the president’s infrastructure plan. Information released prior to the meeting said they intended to discuss how to put Americans to work in good-paying union jobs from building roads, bridges and transit to electric vehicle charging stations, broadband infrastructure, schools and water infrastructure.
“Major infrastructure investments will provide reliable, steady demand for products made by U.S. workers and supply chains of U.S. small businesses,” read a White House memo. “These investments will provide opportunities to Americans who have been too often left behind. And, they will make America more competitive.”
The Wireless Infrastructure Association released a statement thanking the president for his commitment to expanding registered apprenticeships.
“As an organization that brought apprenticeship to the broadband industry for the first time through the Telecommunications Industry Registered Apprenticeship Program, WIA appreciates the focus on this time-tested career pathway for individuals to earn while they learn,” said WIA President and CEO Jonathan Adelstein in a prepared statement. “President Biden recognizes registered apprenticeship as one of the most effective ways to train the workforce needed to meet the new demands of the latest broadband technology.
“Wireless is a growing industry that can put Americans hurt by the pandemic back to work, speeding economic recovery, so his support for expanding apprenticeships comes at a very critical time for opportunity,” Adelstein added.
Biden has called for the jobs created by rebuilding America’s infrastructure to be filled by diverse, local, well-trained workers. This White House effort will begin by expanding registered apprenticeship programs and investing in pipelines into these programs.
“Due in large part to the hard work of North America’s Building Trades Unions and other unions, registered apprenticeships have been a reliable pathway to the middle class for decades – including for workers who don’t go to college – by training workers for good jobs and allowing them to earn while they learn,” the White House statement reads. “A Mathematica study shows workers can earn $240,000 more over the course of their lifetime – $300,000 when including benefits – by participating in these programs.”