Associated General Contractors of America Vice President of Public Affairs and Strategic Initiatives Brian Turmail discussed funding for infrastructure construction and how we can put people back to work on the Sept. 28 episode of America’s Work Force Union Podcast.
Rebuilding our infrastructure
He started by talking about a surface transportation law called the FAST Act. This is the bill that provides funding for new highways and repairs, rail systems and more.
The FAST Act is set to expire on Sept. 30, leaving infrastructure construction without federal funding. Turmail said the loss of funding could cost thousands of infrastructure construction workers their jobs, adding to the massive level of unemployment the United States is already facing.
The House of Representatives passed a one-year extension of the legislation but doubts senators will be focused on the FAST Act in the middle of a supreme court battle.
Turmail stressed the importance of the funding, saying that much of the United States infrastructure was built to last 50 to 70 years ago. With the increase in traffic flow, it is far beyond the time to replace old, crumbling infrastructure.
He suggested we fund infrastructure now as a way to jump-start the economy. With the massive level of unemployed people who can be enticed to go work in the construction industry, now is a perfect time.
Supply chain is resilient
Turmail then spoke about the supply chain and the assumptions made about it as the COVID-19 pandemic set in. He said it has been fairly resilient with the exception of wood.
He credited homeowners completing home renovations and projects with the increased amount of time on their hands due to the pandemic.