PRESS CALL: Wisconsin Leaders Highlight Biden’s Infrastructure Announcement and Impacts on Climate and Jobs in Wisconsin

Washington D.C. – Today, in a press call, Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, State Senator Chris Larson, Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich, and Kevin Gundlach, President of South Central Federation of Labor AFL-CIO discussed the positive impacts of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and its implications for the future of Wisconsin’s infrastructure and economic development. 

During the call hosted by Climate Power, Wisconsin political and labor leaders noted that these investments will have significant positive impacts for Wisconsin, boosting the state’s economy, creating thousands of good-paying union jobs, and improving the quality of life for hard-working families throughout the state, especially in Black and Brown communities. 

On Wednesday, Biden announced the American Jobs Plan, part of his administration’s Build Back Better agenda, which includes a historic $2+ trillion investment in clean energy and infrastructure.  The plan outlines ambitious investments that will create millions of good-paying union jobs, spur a clean energy economy, and prevent the worst consequences of the climate crisis.

Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes recognizes this opportunity: “Here in Wisconsin we know that confronting this climate crisis and creating green jobs and economic opportunities for all of us is something that has been top of mind for me personally as the Lieutenant Governor. We want to come out of this [pandemic] stronger than we went into it.”

“The climate crisis is already affecting Wisconsin and we can’t wait any longer to take bold climate action,”  State Senator Chris Larson remarked. We cannot stress enough how urgent is the need to act boldly to tackle the crisis. This is affecting all of us. We owe it to ourselves, our neighbors, our kids and the next generation, and of course the most vulnerable communities to build back better our country. We can create a more equitable future for all.”

Noting that Biden’s investments will build upon the progress his community has made in building more resilient infrastructure, Mayor Eric Genrich of Green Bay said, “President Biden has also proposed $50 billion in dedicated funding to improve infrastructure resilience and to restore nature-based infrastructure to protect communities like ours from the damages of climate-driven disasters.”

Building a more resilient and modern infrastructure will create thousands of good-paying union jobs across Wisconsin at a time when many folks are still struggling to find work amid the fallout of the pandemic. Kevin Gundlach, President of South Central Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, noted that, “we’re at a crossroads — working people are facing a crisis beyond anything we’ve weathered in our lifetime.  We can’t afford to wait. We just can’t afford to settle for timid half measures […] If progress is delayed or denied yet again, the suffering of this past year is only going to get worse. But if our leaders can step up to the plate and deliver this generational change we can emerge from this crisis even stronger than before.”

Wisconsin’s already robust renewable energy sector stands to benefit significantly from Biden’s plan. The state already has nearly 77,000 clean energy jobs and it ranks 17th among all states for clean energy employment, as of 2019

For a copy of the call’s recording email, Meghan Schneider at [email protected]