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The official unemployment number for construction still hovers around 20%, even though many of the unemployed have left the industry and taken their skills with them. This devastation in the construction industry continues despite the fact that the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that we have over $2 trillion of infrastructure work going unfunded. This number does not even reflect the amount of additional work needed for 21st century energy solutions. Ignoring our aging infrastructure will only cause more problems. America needs Congress to focus on our infrastructure for us to create jobs and remain competitive in a new global economy.

America needs Congress to focus on our infrastructure. Click here to read more about legislation in Congress, like the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Davis-Bacon Act, affecting the strength of our infrastructure and the creation of jobs.

IUPAT in conjunction with America’s Building and Construction Trade Unions have industry partnerships spanning all sectors of our economy. We work with industry partners who recognize the value of a highly trained, skilled and productive workforce. With over 2,000 union training centers, 500,000 users of these facilities in 50 states, and over $700 million of private capital spent annually on training, America’s Building Trades Unions cannot be matched.

Read more about our Partnerships and help promote a national discussion on the investments America needs to create long-term economic growth.

Now is the time for leaders in both chambers of Congress to work together and enact a Budget that does not make massive cuts to essential programs. A wide variety of economists – from those at Goldman Sachs and Moody’s Analytics, to those at the Federal Reserve and the Economic Policy institute – agree that the House Republican budget proposal will result in at least hundreds of thousands of lost jobs.

We need to invest in job creation!

We must push back on any efforts by politicians in Congress and State Legislatures across the country to prohibit the use of Project Labor Agreements or PLAs. These are proven and effective for owners and contractors cognizant of efficiency, safety and workforce development.

Let’s keep the record straight – PLAs work! They are praised by many companies such as Boeing, Walmart and Toyota and they do not exclude non-union workers. Click here and learn more about the benefits to both companies and workers.

Congress must support and strengthen job safety and health laws, as well as programs to protect workers from injuries, illness and death. Now is not the time to limit OSHA’s budget. House Republicans have proposed cutting $99 million from the OSHA budget for the rest of FY 2011. These cuts will have a devastating impact on worker safety.

OSHA enforcement needs to be strengthened, with serious consequences for serious and willful violations that put the lives of workers in danger.

Over the past 15 years, the U.S. global trade deficit has skyrocketed from $70 billion in 1993 to an unacceptable $497.8 billion. Over that period, the U.S. shed more than 5 million manufacturing jobs, many of them lost to off-shoring or import competition.

Congress must take the lead in reforming our flawed trade policies to support the creation and retention of good jobs at home and sustainable development abroad.

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