New infrastructure bill could bring more jobs to southern Illinois

(WSIL)—The bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure package is the largest of its kind in American history.

"To put that into perspective, it’s going to be bigger than when they built the interstate system back in the 60s. Bigger than anything they did back in the Eisenhower days. It’s a generational type bill that’s going to be transformative for our region and the country," said business manager of the Laborers’ Local 773, Jerry Womick.


The bill would donate billions to road and bridge construction, water and sewer projects, broadband installation, port construction and so much more.


The federal bill would be added on top of the already established Rebuild Illinois plan, investing close to $18 billion on Illinois largest infrastructure bill of $45 billion.


With these plans, comes room for opportunity.


"With the boom we’ve seen in jobs so far, the need for folks skilled in a myriad of trades and positions, it’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before," said Womick.


Supporters of the bill say the investment was needed, after the US infrastructure system earned a C- score from the American Society of Civil Engineers earlier this year.


In order to prepare for the proposed massive projects, local unions have advice for those interested in trades.


"Right now is a good time for anybody that would be interested in any kind of construction work, or any kind of skilled labor, now would be the time to be getting those skills and building your resume and work experience because there’s going to be a lot of jobs. And we want to make sure these southern Illinois jobs are filled by southern Illinois workers," said Womick. 


It’s too early to say, but anticipated projects with the new funding could include bridges and highways throughout the area and the Cairo Port.



November 11, 2021 at 06:56AM

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