Yesterday, local leaders gathered at the Minnesota State Capitol urging Congress to sign American Jobs Act. The President’s plan is simple: Put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans.
The American Jobs Act would allocate $30 billion to updating and modernizing 35,000 public schools and community colleges across America, which would bring $275 million to Minnesota for updating K-12 schools and would also allocate almost $88 million for modernizing the state’s community colleges. Such investments are expected to create 3,600 jobs in Minnesota.
Supporters from the BlueGreen Alliance, Education Minnesota, the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the Minnesota Conservation Federation, and the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association (SMWIA) spoke about the ways the American Jobs Act would benefit Minnesotans (pdf).
“The American Jobs Act includes critical investments in modernizing and renovating our schools, and repairing our crumbling transportation systems, and it will create the jobs we need to maintain a competitive U.S. economy,” said Tarryl Clark, the National Co-Chair of the BlueGreen Alliance’s Jobs21! campaign. “People across the country all understand why this is important. Now we just need Congress to understand and pass the bill. It will get thousands of Minnesotans to work creating safer, healthier, more energy-efficient schools – schools that will be better for our students. And the bill will also create better roads, bridges, transit and other transportation systems for all of us.”
“Modernizing and greening our public schools will create a better learning environment for children and it will put people to work,” said Jeanne Scarr, a teacher at Rice Lake Elementary School in the Centennial School District who serves as the President of the Centennial Education Association. “Minnesota is filled with great teachers and great students who all deserve great schools.”
“It is critical that Congress pass the American Jobs Act immediately. Modern, green schools are healthy schools for students and all school personnel, including teachers, custodians, clerical employees, paraprofessionals, and other school support staff,” said Carol Nieters, Executive Director of SEIU Local 284, which represents about 8,000 public school support employees in the state. “Every day our members keep schools running, and every day they see the need to invest in our schools.”
“The critical repairs and needed construction projects included in the American Jobs Act would put people back to work—whether construction workers, engineers, maintenance staff, boiler repairmen or electrical workers,” said Marty Strub, Business Manager for SWMIA Local 10. “This is exactly what we need to create jobs and build a cleaner, more efficient and more competitive 21st century economy.”
“Too many workers have been idle for too long, and the American Jobs Act will help get them off the bench and back to work doing the work Minnesota needs done,” said Josh Bassais, a field organizer for the Laborers’ District Council. “Investments in school renovation alone will create thousands of construction jobs in this state. Transportation infrastructure investments included in this bill will create many thousands more.”
“Less waste means a healthier environment, reduced dependence on foreign oil, and savings for taxpayers,” said Gary Botzek, Executive Director of the Minnesota Conservation Federation. “We need to do what’s right for our economy, our communities, our environment and our future by passing the American Jobs Act now.”
Find out more about the American Jobs Act in your state.
Jon Carson is Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Public Engagement.