Q&A’s on Infrastructure: “More work, more workers.”

May 04 2021 |
New York State Thruway Authority

More interviews from the factory floor.

The Biden administration’s big infrastructure proposal is running into the customary opposition from Senate Republicans in Washington, D.C.

But while there will be plenty of coverage of the debate over the contours of this legislation, it’s just as important to hear what factory workers think about a potential infrastructure investment package. In an occasional Q&A series, we’re asking people working in manufacturing facilities for their thoughts on infrastructure, including how investment may effect their job and what kinds of improvements are needed where they live.

Read the first entry in the series here, the second here and the third here. If you are a factory worker who would like to take part, please email us at info@aamfg.org.


NAME: Jesús Quiroga
HOMETOWN: Chicago
EMPLOYER: H. Kramer And Co.
UNION MEMBERSHIP: USW

Tell us a little bit about your job. What sort of products do you help make, and what is your role in making them?

My company makes brass and copper ingots. I work in the shipping department.

Jesús Quiroga

Manufacturing industries have had a number of ups and downs over the past several years, including layoffs and plant closures, both temporary and permanent. Has this impacted you at all?

Yes, my plant was impacted during the COVID-19 crisis. 

President Biden is proposing a major investment in U.S. infrastructure, including everything from fixing roads and bridges to building electric vehicle charging stations. Would an investment like this mean more business for your plant?

Yes it will.

What sorts of infrastructure improvements are needed in your community?

Road improvement and old bridges in need of repair. 

Do you think infrastructure investment will help manufacturing workers overall? If not, what would you rather see the government doing for workers instead?

It will definitely help create a lot of jobs. Jobs that are needed to put a lot of workers back to work.

—Mike Millsap, Jr.


NAME: Joe L. Williams, Jr.
HOMETOWN: Phoenix, Illinois
EMPLOYER: Allied Tube and Conduit (Atkore)

Tell us a little bit about your job. What sort of products do you help make, and what is your role in making them? 

Joe L. Williams, Jr.

We manufacture electrical conduit, ranging in size from ½” to 6”. We make strut pipe used to make shelving and sign posts. We make pipe used on conveyor lines. I inspect and stack pipe.

Manufacturing industries have had a number of ups and downs over the past several years, including layoffs and plant closures, both temporary and permanent. Has this impacted you at all? 

We have had a few temporary layoffs due to lack of orders or lack of steel supply.

President Biden is proposing a major investment in U.S. infrastructure, including everything from fixing roads and bridges to building electric vehicle charging stations. Would an investment like this mean more business for your plant?  

Yes. Rebuilding the power grid, investing in solar power, re-piping water lines would greatly benefit us.

What sorts of infrastructure improvements are needed in your community? 

New water lines, road repair.

Do you think infrastructure investment will help manufacturing workers overall? If not, what would you rather see the government doing for workers instead? 

Yes. More work, more workers. More vocational training.  

—M.M


NAME: Jeff Tuinstra
HOMETOWN: Munster, Indiana
EMPLOYER: Maruichi Leavitt Pipe and Tube

Tell us a little bit about your job. What sort of products do you help make, and what is your role in making them?  

We make quality steel tubing all sizes. Steel tubs of all sizes for structure to furniture to automobile to American pipe line supplies. I run the largest tube mill at the present time. 

Jeff Tuinstra

Manufacturing industries have had a number of ups and downs over the past several years, including layoffs and plant closures, both temporary and permanent. Has this impacted you at all?  

Not in the last several years due to seniority in the plant. The plant is running very lean in regards to the employees. 

President Biden is proposing a major investment in U.S. infrastructure, including everything from fixing roads and bridges to building electric vehicle charging stations. Would an investment like this mean more business for your plant?   

Yes definitely. Anything that’s in use of tubing would increase production.

What sorts of infrastructure improvements are needed in your community?  

Roads, bridges, underground drainage and water supply lines getting outdated. 

Do you think infrastructure investment will help manufacturing workers overall? If not, what would you rather see the government doing for workers instead?  

Yes. infrastructure investment would help manufacturing workers.

M.M.