2021 Infrastructure Plan Forecasts Jobs Growth

Transportation, material moving, & construction lead to projected job gains.

The nation’s aging infrastructure is back under a beaming spotlight due to the proposed plan outlined presented by the current administration. The $2 trillion, 10-year American Jobs Plan aims to revive the transportation infrastructure, restore the electric grid and high-speed broadband, produce new jobs, and clean up the quality of our drinking water.

Over the last year, the Coronavirus pandemic shrouded the country with uncertainty, questions, and darkness. A Moody’s Analytics report noted more than 8 million jobs lost in 2020. This trillion-dollar plan brings hope to many industries, especially those in the trucking and construction industries.

Millions of New Jobs by 2030

Construction workers, truck drivers, and others will see new job opportunities emerge with the package. Transportation and material moving jobs make up 60% of the infrastructure-related occupations either created or saved by the American Jobs Plan, according to a report by Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW). It is all good news as new job growth for heavy truck commercial drivers, laborers, and delivery drivers would equal 1.9 million or 901,300 jobs — roughly 2.81 million jobs total — close to 20% of the 15 million jobs estimated in the CEW report.

Electricians will see new jobs available to build transmission lines. Skilled workers will be in demand to produce thousands of charging stations, and others will get paid to manage paving and surfacing equipment.

All kinds of skill levels will be needed over the next couple of years as jobs replenish. Investing in the U.S. workforce is a key action plan in the strategy to rebuilding America and its economy. The current administration is urging Congress to invest a combined $48 billion in American workforce development infrastructure and worker protection. An additional $100 billion will be invested in job development programs for underserved groups and setting students on a career path.

Transportation/material-moving jobs dominate jobs gained or saved.

Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce forecast

A Look Inside the Plan

One focal point, electric vehicles, is a significant part of the plan. The current administration is putting aside $174 billion investment for the electric vehicle market in the hopes of attaining net-zero carbon emissions of the federal vehicle fleet by 2050.

Also, the plan offers special discounts and tax incentives to those seeking to purchase U.S. manufactured electric vehicles. The outline provides grant and incentive programs to create an extensive and reliable network of 500,000 charging stations by 2030. The plan also will eliminate 50,000 diesel transit vehicles, and school kids may one day get a ride in an electric school bus.

Even though the pandemic has been a principal focus during the past year, the nation’s infrastructure requires attention and care, assessed and given a low report score (C-) by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The refinements in the grand plan are desperately needed and overdue.

If approved by Congress, the new proposal will include a long laundry list, but here are some of the top highlights.

  • $621 billion to rebuild old and worn roads, bridges, public transit, rail, ports, waterways, airports, and electric vehicles, resulting in better air quality and eliminating greenhouse gas emissions.
  • $115 billion to fix 20,000 miles of highways, roads, main streets.
  • $85 billion to upgrade existing transit and help agencies expand their systems to meet high demand.
  • $80 billion to help Amtrak repair an overdue backlog and upgrade the Northeast Corridor line between Boston and Washington D.C.

According to the White House, the American Jobs Plan will repair most of the economically significant large bridges in the U.S. in need of reconstruction. “It will fix the worst 10,000 smaller bridges, including bridges that provide critical connections to rural and tribal communities.”

Road safety enhancements are also on the list with a $20 billion price tag. A new Safe Streets for All program will fund state and local ‘vision zero’ plans to decrease crashes and fatalities, focusing on increased safety for cyclists and pedestrians.

The new plan will need to move through Congress, where bipartisan support will be necessary for its passage. More moderate plans are simultaneously being prosed as well, giving trucking, transportation, construction, maintenance, and repair industries confidence that infrastructure investments are on the horizon and job recovery is ahead.

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