Guest blog by John Pocari
The changes that the coronavirus has wrought across the United States are reshaping our ideas about resiliency and recovery. In the public dialogue about how we can sustain and restore our local economies — especially for the marginalized communities and small businesses that have been hit hardest — the value of investing in public infrastructure continues to grow.
We know each $1 billion of investment in infrastructure creates more than 22,000 jobs that can provide long-lasting careers and support local economic growth. For stimulus efforts to be most effective and for economic and social recovery to be quick and long-lasting, we know that it’s not enough to focus exclusively on macroeconomic goals — we must also attend to local community and workforce needs.
Done right, infrastructure stimulus presents opportunities to build stronger, fairer, and more resilient communities. We must rethink our workforce development programs, public contracting rules, and small business growth systems around the idea of public goods for the most public good. By empowering local governments to incentivize the creation of high-road jobs, and by better supporting the growth of small and historically marginalized businesses — which are most in danger during this crisis — we can make sure that recovery is inclusive and serves our communities, particularly those hit hardest by the effects of COVID-19.
To achieve these outcomes, Accelerator for America has launched the New Partnership on Infrastructure, an initiative focused on ensuring that local leaders — who know their communities the best — can help shape economic recovery across the country. The New Partnership is doubling down on using the power of stimulus spending to create infrastructure jobs pipelines, expanded workforce development programs, and more opportunities for workers from all backgrounds to access jobs with real career potential and family-sustaining wages.
The New Partnership on Infrastructure has been working closely with Jobs to Move America and others to ensure that good jobs, investments in training, local and targeted hire, and small and historically underutilized business growth are a core part of recovery efforts.
Collectively, these approaches strengthen the foundations of our local economies, supporting recovery from the ground up — while at the same time ensuring that we get the most out of every public dollar we invest in stimulus. We encourage you to learn more by reading the Partnership’s policy brief on maximizing investment in high-road jobs and small business growth.
Please join Accelerator for America on June 23rd at 11:00 am PST / 2:00 pm EST for the release of “America’s New Playbook for Infrastructure” at the New Partnership on Infrastructure Forum that will feature Waterloo, IA Mayor Quentin Hart, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. RSVP for this online event here.
John Davis Porcari served as deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation.
More information about the New Partnership on Infrastructure is also available here. We are looking to grow our coalition and campaign. If you are interested in learning more, or would like to be involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.