In a particular collection, we’re asking People who work in manufacturing and different industries about how an infrastructure funding package deal may gain advantage their workplaces and communities.

The Biden administration is tough at work selling the American Jobs Plan, the president’s proposal for rebuilding American infrastructure, shifting to a clear vitality economic system, and strengthening essential manufacturing and provide chains.

Whereas many of the chatter across the plan has centered on what’s occurring on Capitol Hill, we needed to seek out out what manufacturing facility staff take into consideration a possible infrastructure funding package deal. In an occasional Q&A collection, we’re asking folks working in manufacturing amenities for his or her ideas on infrastructure, together with how funding might impact their job and what sorts of enhancements are wanted the place they reside.

Learn the primary entry within the collection right here, and the second right here. If you’re a manufacturing facility employee who want to participate, please electronic mail us at data@aamfg.org.


NAME: Vonda McDaniel
HOMETOWN: Nashville, Tenn.
EMPLOYER: Bridgestone American Tire Operation, Inc
UNION MEMBERSHIP: United Steelworkers (USW) Native 1055L

Inform us slightly bit about your job. What kind of merchandise do you assist make, and what’s your function in making them?

Vonda McDaniel

I’ve been a manufacturing operator for 29 years. Labored in Remaining and Inventory Prep. We make TBR passenger tires.

Manufacturing industries have had plenty of ups and downs over the previous a number of years, together with layoffs and plant closures, each short-term and everlasting. Has this impacted you in any respect?

In 2009, the LaVergne Plant discontinued passenger tire manufacturing after a plant in Monterrey, Mexico went on-line. Resulted in layoff of 1,200. The plant now operates with about 800 folks, about half the workforce throughout peak years.

President Biden is proposing a serious funding in U.S. infrastructure, together with all the pieces from fixing roads and bridges to constructing electrical car charging stations. Would an funding like this imply extra enterprise in your plant?

Hopefully. Logically, the elevated manufacturing of electrical automobiles would imply elevated demand for tires.

What types of infrastructure enhancements are wanted in your neighborhood?

In Nashville, fast progress has created huge strain on infrastructure. We’d like funding in improved transit, college enhancements, water and sewage infrastructure, reasonably priced housing.

Do you assume infrastructure funding will assist manufacturing staff general? If not, what would you quite see the federal government doing for staff as a substitute?

Cross the PRO Act to make it simpler for staff to hitch a union. Assist to extend pay for care staff (childcare and eldercare) so that ladies can return to the workforce with confidence.

Debra Ackerman


NAME: Linda Deane
HOMETOWN: Livermore, Maine
EMPLOYER: Not too long ago retired from ND Paper in Rumford, Maine
UNION MEMBERSHIP: USW Native 900

Inform us slightly bit about your job. What kind of merchandise do you assist make, and what’s your function in making them? 

Linda Deane

We made white and brown paper that was used for packaging and printing.

Manufacturing industries have had plenty of ups and downs over the previous a number of years, together with layoffs and plant closures, each short-term and everlasting. Has this impacted you in any respect? 

Sure.  ND Paper Rumford lately reconfigured the manufacturing facility from largely bleached white paper to packaging grades which resulted in shutting down elements of the mill and the lack of 130+ workers.  (I don’t assume closing rely is in.)  They did this to make the corporate extra “viable”. They did make a feeble try at an early retirement package deal, however until you had been planning on retiring quickly anyway, it was not a lot of an incentive.

President Biden is proposing a serious funding in U.S. infrastructure, together with all the pieces from fixing roads and bridges to constructing electrical car charging stations. Would an funding like this imply extra enterprise in your plant?  

I’m certain it’ll assist my plant with getting uncooked supplies and items to and from the plant. The roads, bridges, and rail are all very unhealthy in Maine and we obtained a C- from the American Society of Civil Engineers on our infrastructure. Nevertheless, I’m unsure how a lot it’ll do to persuade ND paper to develop. 

I do really feel it’ll assist to convey new manufacturing alternatives to our state.

What types of infrastructure enhancements are wanted in your neighborhood? 

We have now had a number of sink holes seem on our streets within the final yr, which was extraordinary earlier than.  These have been related to leaks within the water and sewer programs.  The city desperately must replace these programs.

Do you assume infrastructure funding will assist manufacturing staff general? If not, what would you quite see the federal government doing for staff as a substitute? 

I positively assume this may assist manufacturing staff—corporations want protected dependable methods to get their merchandise to and from enterprise.  It’ll additionally create good paying I hope union jobs.

Debra Ackerman


NAME: Nick Reed
HOMETOWN: Grand Island, N.Y.
MPLOYER: Civil Service Workers Affiliation, AFSCME Native 1000
UNION: CSEA, AFSCME Native 1000

Inform us slightly bit about your job.  What kind of merchandise do you assist make, and what’s your function in making them?

My occupation is within the Security and Well being of Unionized staff throughout New York State who’re part of native municipalities, New York counties, New York State and personal entities. The work straddles all facets of public work, from Division of Public Works to street and bridge restore to workplace administration to water/wastewater remedy to colleges and universities to nursing and healthcare to non-public industries. The one work our members don’t do is manufacturing.

Manufacturing industries have had plenty of ups and downs over the previous a number of years, together with layoffs and plant closures, each short-term and everlasting.  Has this impacted you in any respect?

In a secondary method. Our workforce depends on the products and companies supplied by these staff. When closures occur and uncooked materials pricing will increase, localities and state workforce are culled by way of attrition. This leaves much less staff to do the identical quantity of labor. Whereas this isn’t a direct outcome, the ripples of those closures leaves cities and cities with a smaller tax base and fewer sources to offer city and metropolis staff. Personally, this situation has not affected my employment but.

President Biden is proposing a serious funding in U.S. infrastructure, together with all the pieces from fixing roads and bridges to constructing electrical car charging stations.  Would an funding like this imply extra enterprise in your plant?

Much like the above, the funding into infrastructure restore can have each a major and secondary influence on our workforce. A few of the restore of roads and bridges can be achieved by localities, nevertheless, a majority of this work can be contracted out. There might even be a extra direct influence to the municipalities across the nation if cash was put aside to improve gear on the small city and village ranges. These locations are nonetheless utilizing machines which might be liable to breakdowns and disrepair, lowering effectiveness. Secondarily, these jobs might enhance native taxes or a tax base if a contractor takes up residence in one of many coated municipalities, thus rising revenues, and hoping for extra sources to permit staff to do their jobs.

What types of infrastructure enhancements are wanted in your neighborhood?

Residing in a continuing freeze-thaw cycle space, street repairs are a continuing want. Potholes that seem endlessly, bridges that lose their protecting shells resulting in structual members uncovered to climate, and water and sewer mains breaking from infrasturucte that’s over 100 years previous. 

There are proactive repairs that may be accomplished at a fraction of the price of the emergency repairs. Native funding to municipal growth of mass transit, together with gentle rail, to offer entry to these in want. Roadways usually are not the reply to all the pieces. Additionally, an improve of the railway system to permit the transport of products and other people. 

Do you assume infrastructure funding will assist manufacturing staff general?  If not, what would you quite see the federal government doing for staff as a substitute?

Sure.  It has been confirmed, repeatedly, that these payments assist get some infrastructure full.

There are extra behind-the-scenes upgrades than tasks seen by the general public. Particular cash ought to be allotted to training of the neighborhood of the place the cash goes. This might assist lower confusion over how the cash is used.

On account of infrastructure work, there can be wanted manufacturing that won’t have the ability to be fulfilled at present capacities. All staff will want primary gear, like laborious hats, security vests, work boots, gloves, hand instruments, and different issues. Indicators and markers will should be manufactured to maintain with demand. Heavy equipment will should be constructed and ordered to carry out main infrastructure repairs. Lighting can be essential to carry out work throughout nighttime hours. All of those consumables will should be manufactured. Metal and tires will should be made stateside to satisfy demand. There’s a large ripple impact from an infrastructure invoice that reaches each nook of this nation. 

On a private observe, there MUST be a nationwide effort to advise and educate the American public on the hazards of rushing by way of work zones and texting whereas driving. Since 1983, CSEA has misplaced 60 members in roadways that we’re conscious of, half of which occurred with a piece zone intrusion. That’s of the 167 fatalities that we’re conscious of.  Engaged on a roadway is an especially harmful job, and I hope that there are investments on this invoice that may educate the employees on short-term work zone necessities, driver training and nationwide “don’t zone out” campaigns.

Jennifer Drudge


NAME: Ron Rodgers
HOMETOWN: Candy House, Ore.
EMPLOYER: United Steelworkers (USW)
UNION MEMBERSHIP: USW

Inform us slightly bit about your job. What kind of merchandise do you assist make, and what’s your function in making them?

Ron Rodgers

I don’t make any merchandise. I’m a Workers Consultant for the USW and I’m additionally the Director of Sub-District 3 of District 12, overlaying Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Manufacturing industries have had plenty of ups and downs over the previous a number of years, together with layoffs and plant closures, each short-term and everlasting. Has this impacted you in any respect?

This has impacted me within the sense that I’ve engaged in results bargaining at a number of places, together with one full plant closure and a number of other workforce reductions.

President Biden is proposing a serious funding in U.S. infrastructure, together with all the pieces from fixing roads and bridges to constructing electrical car charging stations. Would an funding like this imply extra enterprise in your plant?

The proposed funding in infrastructure would positively have potential to imply extra enterprise for a number of of the places I service immediately, in addition to many different places inside my sub-district.

What types of infrastructure enhancements are wanted in your neighborhood?

Upgraded storm water assortment programs and water remedy amenities, street upkeep and bridge growth and/or set up, notably between Oregon and Washington between the Portland and Vancouver metro areas.

Do you assume infrastructure funding will assist manufacturing staff general? If not, what would you quite see the federal government doing for staff as a substitute?

A strong infrastructure funding would positively be helpful to staff as an entire; not simply manufacturing staff. The provision of fine jobs in infrastructure would result in higher paying jobs with higher advantages in different sectors because the demand of staff will increase. The higher general wages would additionally result in extra client spending, thus resulting in a rise of jobs within the service sector.

Meghan Hasse


NAME: William E. Jones
HOMETOWN: Newport Information, Va.
EMPLOYER: United Steelworkers
UNION MEMBERSHIP: YES

Inform us slightly bit about your job. What kind of merchandise do you assist make, and what’s your function in making them?

William Jones

I’m at present the workers consultant for the United Steelworkers union representing a wide range of industries, together with over 12,000 hourly ship builders on behalf of the US Navy; a chemical firm the place they produce items that go into fertilizer, ammonia and nylon; an aerospace firm that makes elements for the airline business; and a paper mill.  

Manufacturing industries have had plenty of ups and downs over the previous a number of years, together with layoffs and plant closures, each short-term and everlasting. Has this impacted you in any respect?

Thankfully, every of those industries had been deemed important and so they have held their very own because it pertains to manufacturing. A few them even have achieved very properly through the pandemic.

President Biden is proposing a serious funding in U.S. infrastructure, together with all the pieces from fixing roads and bridges to constructing electrical car charging stations. Would an funding like this imply extra enterprise in your plant?

Sure, it actually would. Every of my locals I’ve touched bases with regarding supporting the USW’s “WE SUPPLY AMERICA” initiative.

What types of infrastructure enhancements are wanted in your neighborhood?

Undoubtedly roads and bridges.

Do you assume infrastructure funding will assist manufacturing staff general? If not, what would you quite see the federal government doing for staff as a substitute?

I do know that it might as a result of it’ll assist create extra jobs and even assist get sure corporations again to workers working 40 hours or enable workers to be returned again from layoff. Job funding in a neighborhood could possibly be virtually be one of the best ways to construct up and/or restore a neighborhood. Once we do higher, so do our communities, socially and economically.

Jennifer Drudge

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