Recovery Act Advocates Good Jobs, More Investment Needed

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)– Leo W. Gerard, International President of the United Steelworkers (USW), released the following statement to mark the first anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), praising the stimulus bill for creating, sustaining and saving good jobs.

“The United Steelworkers applauds the findings of the Obama Administration report on the first year under the Recovery Act that show it responded to the economic crisis that idled the jobs of industrial workers all across America. The job-creating impact of investments in infrastructure and the ‘Buy America’ government procurement provisions have made a big difference in working family economics during uncertain times.

“When tax-payer monies are involved, U.S. made products such as steel, glass, rubber and other manufactured inputs should be given preference for infrastructure projects for the construction of roads, bridges, public  buildings and water systems.

“USW  Industrial workers who have been recalled from layoffs at steel and auto supply manufacturing facilities can attribute their sustained jobs to the Congressional leadership of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate majority Leader Harry Reid for the votes they mobilized to pass the Recovery Act. We thank President Obama for his forceful attention to generating American jobs as the engine for our nation’s economic recovery.

“Recovery Act spending has created, saved or sustained nearly 2.1 million jobs through the end of 2009. That’s a good start, but we urge Congress and the President to do more.” 

Some examples of how the Recovery Act impacted USW-represented workers include:

  • Multiple projects to use ARRA grants for industrial energy efficiency; assistance to Vela Gear Systems for loan guarantees to start up a wind turbine gear factory in Kokomo, IN; grants to train urban job seekers in residential home energy auditing and weatherization in Pittsburgh and several New England cities.
  • Jobs in Pennsylvania for USW road construction workers in the Philadelphia area, as well as USW jobs at a Pennsylvania rail mill for a public transit project.

During the past year of the Recovery Act’s implementation, USW members activated support efforts to advocate the law’s stimulus importance with the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) and other coalition partners, who together fanned out across the nation to accomplish some of the following success stories:

  • USW activists and the AAM partnership worked together in communities across America, winning approval of more than 550 ‘Buy America’ resolutions adopted by local and state governments.
  • Outreach by USW members among elected officials, businesses, retiree and community-based groups to promote the ‘Buy America’ provisions in the Recovery Act.
  • Under AAM sponsorship, a multi-state industrial tour by USW-represented workers in four buses visited 32 cities to advocate the importance of  the manufacturing auto-supply industry, culminating in a ‘Manufacturing Teach-In’ on Capitol Hill.
  • Partnership reports were distributed with USW support of AAM titles:  “Buy America Works;” plus, “How Infrastructure Investments Support the U.S. Economy: Employment, Productivity and Growth;” and joined in a publication by the Institute for America’s Future: "Building the New Economy.”
  • Sponsorship by the USW, the AAM and the Institute for America’s Future of a ‘Manufacturing Summit’ in Washington DC that explored the ways the stimulus was effective and how to expand future investments in manufacturing.

Source: USW.ORG