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Rep. Gregory W. Meeks Introduces Resolution Calling for Workforce Development Programs in Infrastructure Spending Bill

March 1, 2017
Press Release

Rep. Meeks Introduces Resolution Calling for Workforce Development Programs in Infrastructure Spending Bill

Washington, D.C. —U.S. Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, introduced H. Res. 159, a resolution calling for the inclusion of robust workforce development programs in any infrastructure spending bill. Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham, Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressman Tim Walz, Ranking Member of the Committee on Veteran’s Affairs, and Delegate Stacey Plaskett of the Virgin Islands are original co-sponsors of the resolution.

H. Res. 159 expresses that any infrastructure spending bill enacted during the 115th Congress should include workforce development programs that take meaningful actions to recruit and train individuals from communities with high unemployment rates, including African-American communities, Hispanic communities, and American Indian tribal areas. It calls for developing these programs for veterans that served in any conflict since September 11th, 2001. Part of the resolution also emphasizes meaningful outreach efforts to underrepresented contractors, including minority- and women-owned businesses.  

“My colleagues on both sides of the aisle have prioritized rebuilding our nation’s crumbling infrastructure; we all agree it needs to happen.  In fact, our President has pledged upwards of $1 trillion in spending towards those efforts.   Increased spending will boost jobs, but we need workers with the skills required to fill those jobs,” Congressman Meeks said.

“The infrastructure workforce—like our infrastructure itself—is aging at an alarming rate; approximately 3 million workers will need to be replaced over the next decade.  Given that we still have community members suffering from the effects of the Great Recession, it is prudent to recruit and train them to help fill our infrastructure job gap.

“Not only is it the most efficient way of spurring economic growth while we rebuild, but ensuring everyone has a fair shot in the process is exactly the right thing to do.”