BlueGreen Alliance Report Shows Minnesota Stands to Gain, Sustain 114,000 Jobs By Repairing, Upgrading Infrastructure

Duluth Mayor Don Ness joined labor and environmental leaders as they released a new report showing an estimated 114,000 jobs could be created across the state’s economy by making much-needed investments in the basic systems we rely on everyday.

December 11, 2013

DULUTH, MN – Duluth Mayor Don Ness joined labor and environmental leaders today as they released a new report showing an estimated 114,000 jobs could be created across the state’s economy by making much-needed investments in the basic systems we rely on everyday—including roads and bridges, water, wastewater, transit, energy, and communication systems.

The report identifies needed investments that would have both the greatest impact on job creation and protecting communities from the impacts of climate change.

“Repairing Minnesota’s infrastructure creates good jobs and positively affects business productivity, competiveness, and efficiency—saving money, energy, and other resources as well as reducing carbon pollution that leads to climate change,” said Tarryl Clark from the BlueGreen Alliance. “When it comes to our infrastructure, we all have a dog in this fight. From the economic opportunities, to the environmental and public health benefits—we all want these investments to help communities like Duluth.”

The report—Repair Minnesota: Creating Good Jobs While Preparing Our Systems for Climate Change—includes the number of direct jobs from impacted sectors—like construction laborers, equipment operators, and maintenance workers—as well as the number of indirect jobs from industries that service those sectors and the supply chain. In addition, the report estimated the number of induced jobs supported as the workers buy goods and services, including increased demand for retail, housing, and financial services.

“Infrastructure impacts all of us—everyday, in almost every moment of our day. It is the backbone of our society. Whether we’re driving to work, charging our phones, grabbing something from the refrigerator, taking a vacation—there’s infrastructure behind all of it,” said Dan Olson from the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA). “Fixing our infrastructure will create and sustain good jobs needed right now. We need to put pressure on leadership at all levels of government to Repair Minnesota and America to create family-sustaining jobs, reduce the pollution driving climate change, and ensure our communities are safe and healthy.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes a Report Card for America’s Infrastructure every four years, and in 2013, the nation earned a “D+” average. The report card found that 52 percent of the state’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition. The inefficiencies in our systems lead to wasted energy and increased carbon pollution that further drives climate change.

“To respond to the threat of climate change and preparing our communities for its impacts, we need strong and reliable infrastructure systems,” said John Doberstein, from the Sierra Club Northstar Chapter. “We must also expand renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced transportation technologies; developing a robust manufacturing sector; and creating healthy and safe workplaces and communities with strong, family-sustaining jobs. That’s why I support these investments along with President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, introduced this summer. It’s a commonsense and comprehensive solution.”

The release is part of the BlueGreen Alliance’s Repair America effort to fix the basic systems people rely on every day—for power, water, to communicate with each other, and to get people and goods from place to place—which will create family-sustaining jobs, help address climate change, and ensure our communities are safer and healthier.

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ROCHESTER, MN (December 12, 2013) – Labor and environmental leaders today released a new report showing an estimated 114,000 jobs could be created across Minnesota’s economy by making much-needed investments in the basic systems we rely on everyday—including roads and bridges, water,wastewater, transit, energy, and communication systems.

“Communities around the state are struggling to keep up with the needed investments in infrastructure,” said Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede. “This is something that elected officials at every level have to work together tosolve—for our economy, environment and our future.”

The report identifies needed investments that would have both the greatest impact on job creation and protecting communities from the impacts of climate change.

“Repairing Minnesota’s infrastructure creates good jobs and positively affects business productivity, competiveness, and efficiency—saving money, energy, and other resources as well as reducing carbon pollution that leads to climate change,” said Tarryl Clark from the BlueGreen Alliance. “When it comes to our infrastructure, we all have a dog in this fight. From the economic opportunities, to the environmental and public health benefits—we all want these investments to help communities like Rochester.”

The report—Repair Minnesota: Creating Good Jobs While Preparing Our Systems for Climate Change—includes the number of direct jobs from impacted sectors—like construction laborers, equipment operators, and maintenance workers—as well as the number of indirect jobs from industries that service those sectors and the supply chain. In addition, the report estimated the number of induced jobs supported as the workers buy goods and services, including increased demand for retail, housing, and financial services.

“Commercial buildings account for 13 percent of drinking water usage and they make up over a third of our energy consumption—of which they waste, on average, 30 percent of that energy,” said Greg Andrist, Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 10. “That wasted energy contributes to 18 percent of U.S. carbon emissions. Investments in our building stock—from schools to public buildings to other large buildings—saves more energy and water.  It is a smart choice that will help create family-sustaining jobs in manufacturing, construction and other sectors.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes a Report Card for America’s Infrastructure every four years, and in 2013, the nation earned a “D+” average. The report card found that 52 percent of Minnesota’s  roads are in poor or mediocre condition and Minnesota has reported $6 billion in drinking water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years. The inefficiencies in our systems lead to wasted energy and increased carbon pollution that further drives climate change.

“Making our infrastructure safer and more efficient, when combined with efforts like the President Obama’s Climate Action Plan that includes limits on carbon pollution from power plants not yet built that will spur innovation in our energy sector, will help reduce carbon pollution that’s driving climate change, create family-sustaining jobs, and protect our natural resources,” said Clark. “We’re wasting far too much energy and water due to the inefficiencies in theses systems. We need action now.”

The release is part of the BlueGreen Alliance’s Repair America effort to fix the basic systems people rely on every day—for power, for water, to communicate with each other, and to get people and goods from place to place—which will create family-sustaining jobs, help address climate change, and ensure our communities are safer and healthier.

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ST. PAUL, MN (December 12, 2013)  – Labor and environmental leaders today released a new report showing an estimated 114,000 jobs could be created across Minnesota’s economy by making much-needed investments in the basic systems we rely on everyday—including roads and bridges, water, wastewater, transit, energy, and communication systems.

“When we build great infrastructure and repair decrepit public facilities, we set the state for a strong economy. We need to make smart investments to ensure our prosperity,” said State Senator Scott Dibble (DFL – Minneapolis), Chair of the Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee. “Minnesotans need more access to jobs and other opportunities via transit, safe and efficient roadways, safe bikeways, and walkable neighborhoods. We all benefit if we succeed at slowing climate change and creating jobs that support families in every part of our state.”

The report identifies needed investments that would have both the greatest impact on job creation and protecting communities from the impacts of climate change.

“Repairing Minnesota’s infrastructure creates good jobs and positively affects business productivity, competiveness, and efficiency—saving money, energy, and other resources as well as reducing carbon pollution that leads to climate change,” said Tarryl Clark from the BlueGreen Alliance. “When it comes to our infrastructure, we all have a dog in this fight. From the economic opportunities, to the environmental and public health benefits—we all want these investments to help communities around the state.”

The report—Repair Minnesota: Creating Good Jobs While Preparing Our Systems for Climate Change—includes the number of direct jobs from impacted sectors—like construction laborers, equipment operators, and maintenance workers—as well as the number of indirect jobs from industries that service those sectors and the supply chain. In addition, the report estimated the number of induced jobs supported as the workers buy goods and services, including increased demand for retail, housing, and financial services.

“Commercial buildings make up over a third of our energy consumption and 13 percent of drinking water use. They waste, on average, about 30 percent of that energy—contributing 18 percent of U.S. carbon emissions—and they are a part of our infrastructure,” said Pete Parris, Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 10. “By making investments to make our building stock more energy and water efficient, we can reduce carbon pollution and energy waste, while creating family-sustaining jobs in manufacturing, construction and other sectors.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes a Report Card for America’s Infrastructure every four years, and in 2013, the nation earned a “D+” average. The report card found that 52 percent of Minnesota’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition and Minnesota has reported $6 billion in drinking water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years. The inefficiencies in our systems lead to wasted energy and increased carbon pollution that further drives climate change.

“If we combine infrastructure improvements to make our systems more efficient and President Obama’s Climate Action Plan—that includes limits on carbon pollution from power plants not yet built that will spur innovation in our energy sector—we’ll have a common sense approach that reduces the carbon pollution that’s driving climate change, creates family-sustaining jobs, and protects our natural resources,” said John Hottinger, Executive Committee Member of the Northstar Chapter of the Sierra Club. “But, we need to start now. We cannot afford to wait any longer.”

The release is part of the BlueGreen Alliance’s Repair America effort to fix the basic systems people rely on every day—for power, for water, to communicate with each other, and to get people and goods from place to place—which will create family-sustaining jobs, help address climate change, and ensure our communities are safer and healthier.

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