Federal News

Jan 31, 2023Advocacy

Jeffry Harris
Bricker & Eckler LLP 

A tsunami is coming of federally funded activity in construction and manufacturing.  Consider this: $1.2T Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act + $370B Inflation Reduction Act + $53B CHIPS Act is going to inject more than $1.6 trillion into the nation’s economy for construction and manufacturing endeavors, starting in late 2023.  Whoa.

These combined incentives (for low-emissions energy production and domestic production of semi-conductor chips (read: Ohio)) and outright appropriations (federal funds for infrastructure construction) is a Certified Big Deal, and represents the largest federal investment in industrial policy since shortly after World War II ended.

Moody’s Analytics expects the creation of 360,000 new jobs – just from the IIJA – by year-end 2023, with peak employment caused by that single piece of legislation to hit 660,000 new jobs at year-end 2025.

Although these three sources of federal funding are ostensibly tied to climate change, rebuilding the nation’s public infrastructure, and reshoring semiconductor manufacturing, they will profoundly impact national and regional workforces.

National media is reporting that labor unions see an opportunity, as they are quickly filling apprenticeship and “pre-apprenticeships” with enrollees from high schools (pending and recent graduates) and prisons (offender re-entry).  It helps that IIJA provides wide authority to states to use federal funds for workforce development strategies.

Grab your boogie board.  And go talk to those 10th and 11th graders at your local high school and career tech.

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