Ironworkers Local 5

Upper Marlboro, Maryland

2:06 P.M. EST

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Have a seat.  Thank you all.  Thank you, Secretary Walsh.  Thank you.  It is always good — (applause) — have a seat.  Thank you.  It’s always good to be in the house of Labor. 

I want to thank you all for the work you do everyday that inspires us.  And, Secretary Walsh, thank you.  You are a great partner in this effort and a great leader in our administration.

So, good afternoon, everyone.  Before we get started, I just want to say a word about the jobs report that came out today. 

I do believe — I think we all know that it really shows that Americans are getting back to work.  And what we are seeing is that it is happening at a record-setting pace.  As a result of the diligence and the determination of the American people and the policies of our administration, our nation’s economic recovery continues to be — let there be no doubt — the strongest in the world.  (Applause.) 

And again, I want to thank Marty Walsh for his introduction and the work you do every day. 

So, it is good to be back also in Prince George’s County.  (Applause.)

Senator Cardin, Senator Van Hollen, it’s good to be back with you, as always, my former colleagues.  And of course to be here at Ironworkers Local 5 with all of you.  (Applause.)

And I know we’re all waiting to hear in a moment from one of the greatest friends of union labor workers, President Joe Biden.

So, I just have a few comments to make.  All of the workers gathered here know that our administration will always stand in solidarity with you and with organized labor.  It comes from our heart; it comes from our soul.  We are unequivocal and clear about the importance of that relationship not only to us and our administration, but to our country and the working men and women of America.  Because we know union workers built our nation.  (Applause.) 

You know, I — I think about a place like San Francisco: Union workers built the Golden Gate Bridge.  In Chicago, union workers built the Willis Tower.  In St. Louis, union workers built the Gateway Arch.  And in New York City, on hallowed ground, in the years after 9/11, workers from dozens of different unions built One World Trade Center.  (Applause.) 

And so, the point there being: When our nation needs something to be built right — and those things that, by the way, are recognized throughout the world as the epitome of carpentry, of building, of what we do in terms of the skills that those workers apply — we receive worldwide recognition.

So when the United States needs something to be built right, we turn to union workers.  And the reason for that is also clear: Union workers are committed workers, productive workers, efficient workers, skilled workers.  They are well-trained and well-prepared to get the big jobs done and to do them right, not to mention on time and on budget.  (Applause.)

And over the past year, I have visited, as I have for many years in my career, union job sites and worker training centers across our nation.

Last month, for example, I visited a training facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  And there I spoke with job seekers, apprentices, union members, workers who spent hundreds of hours learning to remove and replace lead pipes and service lines in a city that is sadly replete with them.

And the officials there, they told me: By the time these union workers finish their training, they are the best in the business.  And so that’s why — one of the reasons why we are here today.

The President and I made a promise that our administration will do everything we can to build a better future for all; that we will build stronger communities, a more skilled and productive workforce, and a more prosperous nation.

As he will soon outline, we take another important step forward today to fulfill that promise.

And so, now it is my honor to welcome Cranita Jordan, an apprentice here at Ironworkers Local 5 and a living example, a role model of what is possible when we invest in our workers.  Thank you all.  (Applause.)  

                                    END                     2:12 P.M. EST

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