Infrastructure Is Critical for Both Rural and Urban Shop Floors

On Wednesday, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced that the administration’s infrastructure proposal would be released in the new year. At the same time, Special Assistant to the President for Infrastructure Policy DJ Gribbin joined a bipartisan infrastructure conversation that featured House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR), manufacturers, farmers, truckers and infrastructure financiers. Making manufacturing more competitive by advancing an infrastructure package that increases certainty was at the center of one panel discussion, titled “Rural America and an Infrastructure Package.”

Shop floors are commonly located in rural areas and rely on the same vital infrastructure needs as manufacturers in urban areas. Manufacturers look forward to a 2018 infrastructure package that advances and invests in energy, water, broadband and transportation infrastructure projects. Regardless of whether it is a rural or urban area, if ports are clogged, trucks are delayed, power is down or the internet has a lapse, productivity and customer service are impacted.

That said, rural infrastructure faces different challenges in funding and delivering projects given low population levels. They are often not suited to public–private partnerships. During the event, Gribbin outlined that President Donald Trump’s plan would include a special rural component or set-aside to ensure that rural infrastructure is not overlooked.

The National Association of Manufacturers continues to build support among diverse stakeholder groups by advancing a comprehensive infrastructure proposal in the House and Senate.

Catie Kawchak

Director, Infrastructure, Innovation, and HR Policy at National Association of Manufacturers
Catie Kawchak is the Director of Infrastructure, Innovation, and HR Policy with the National Association of Manufacturers. Prior to joining the NAM, Catie was Representative Lou Barletta’s Senior Legislative Assistant and was responsible for managing all of his work on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Catie is a graduate of Calvin College and she has her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics.

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