(310) 432-0000
Real Trial Attorneys for Employee Rights

The Historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Will Create and Expand Workforce Development

November 18, 2021 | Employment Law

President Biden signed a $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law Monday, enacting a key piece of his domestic spending agenda that will funnel billions to states and local governments to upgrade outdated roads, bridges, transit systems and more. The bill is designed to improve the lives of all Americans.  It will impact how we travel, the cars we buy, the water and electricity that we use in our homes. A portion of this funding may be used to support workforce recruitment and preparation.

Recently released state-level data demonstrates that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will deliver for California. For decades, infrastructure in California has suffered from a systemic lack of investment. Over the next five years California will receive billions of dollars of this investment and portions of the billions set aside for EV charging, weatherization and more. 

Federally funded training will be available in vocational schools and community colleges.

This is an opportunity to grow the workforce required in the industries that are critical to keeping our nation’s public works systems running.  Baby Boomers have been retiring; the pressures of the pandemic causing many to retire earlier than planned.  Not enough young people are entering the trades, a concern for construction, carpentry and plumbing companies. 

The historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will create or expand workforce development programs at the Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The bill allows DOT-funded training to be provided by vocational schools in addition to community colleges. Moreover, the existing DOT transportation workforce development curriculum program will be expanded to include hands-on training opportunities.

The bill directs the DOE to create three new competitive grant programs: 

  • grants to states to train individuals to conduct energy audits or surveys of commercial and residential buildings; 
  • grants to colleges and universities to create training and assessment centers focused on energy-efficient construction; 
  • and grants to nonprofit organizations that collaborate with employers to deliver training in energy efficiency and renewable energy industry skills.  

The EPA will expand training opportunities for individuals in the water utility sector and support upskilling the existing workforce. 

In accordance with the Davis-Bacon Act, workers employed by contractors or subcontractors in construction, alteration or repair work on projects receiving funding under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will be paid the same wages as similar projects in their region.

The historic Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will make life better for millions of California residents while creating a generation of good-paying union jobs and economic growth.