Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

Infrastructure can create jobs, if it's funded.

Highway and transit policy expires in 47 days. That means lawmakers have just over a month to figure out how to fund the Federal Highway Trust Fund – an answer that has evaded Congress since last July.

Everyone agrees that we must invest in our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. And everyone agrees that we need a long-term infrastructure spending bill, not a Band-Aid approach.

But as each day passes, it seems that we’re likely headed for just that.

This Band-Aid approach to infrastructure funding has only made matters worse – harming global competitiveness and forgoing upwards of a million new American jobs. What's more, federal infrastructure investment returns 21,671 jobs per $1 billion, and each dollar spent yields $3.54 in economic impact.

Investment in infrastructure is a win-win. These investments provide the user with a more reliable experience, while providing jobs for thousands of workers across the country.  As National Journal reports:

All this adds up to a more holistic perspective on public-transportation investment. The goal is to give people easy, affordable mobility. But it also can be a big boon to a town's local job market. Why not get two benefits for the price of one?

Just take a look at what’s happening in Lincoln, Nebraska – where Kawasaki Motors is building new subway cars for Washington, D.C.’s Metro system. The railcar company employs hundreds of workers in the Cornhusker state. Or in California, where Proterra, a maker of electric transit buses, is building a second plant after a stream of new orders.

 We need to make long-term investments in our infrastructure. But will Congress take the easy and pothole-ridden road at the end of May, by passing another short-term fix? We hope not.