Mayors from around the state joined labor, environmental, and civic leaders for a tour focused on maximizing the impact of investments in two new federal laws—the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act for all Minnesotans. The tour of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) Training Center in Little Canada highlighted how the union is helping workers gain the skills they need for jobs rebuilding and modernizing infrastructure and improving the energy efficiency of homes and businesses.
“There’s a tremendous opportunity to do great things in our communities with these historic investments in our infrastructure, clean energy, and energy efficiency,” said Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes. “This will be great for cities large and small, rural and metro, and I’m grateful Congress acted to protect our health and climate and to make sure we can keep our cities thriving—no matter where they are in Minnesota.”
“The Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are historic investments in a clean, prosperous, and equitable future,” said Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. “These laws will reduce the emissions driving climate change, while creating the good, union jobs we need to have strong communities and provide opportunities for workers of color and low-income workers to join the middle class.”
“Federal funding investments like the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will allow our cities to remain resilient for generations to come,” said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. “Partnerships at the state, local, and community level are critical in getting equitable infrastructure and climate projects off the ground and returning tangible results for our communities—not to mention these investments will create solid union jobs for our workforce.”
At the event, the mayors and leaders discussed budget proposals from the Walz-Flanagan administration to harness federal investments across the state and put forward a number of specific ideas that the legislature can act on to support cities and community groups in implementing these massive federal investments in the state.
“Today we saw how we can train workers to get the skills they need to build a better life for themselves and their families,” said Thief River Falls Mayor Brian Holmer. “And we talked to state officials about the real ways we can partner to create good-paying jobs in our own communities using the resources coming our way from the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.”
“This was a great conversation, with mayors from around the state talking about the challenges and opportunities the investments from the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will create in their cities,” said Edina Mayor Jim Hovland. “There are simple—but important—things we can all do to make sure this funding flows smoothly, that projects get done quickly, and that taxpayer money is used the right way—all while creating good jobs and dramatically reducing our climate emissions.”
The event was sponsored by IUPAT, Fresh Energy, the League of Minnesota Cities, the BlueGreen Alliance, and Community Stabilization Project.