Infrastructure Week 2017 reached record high levels of participation by doubling both the number of events that occurred in 2016 as well as the number of affiliate members that joined in calling on policymakers to invest in infrastructure now. According to first reports, more than 1,500 people contacted their Representatives or Senators last week alone. Since May 1, Infrastructure made 175 million social media impressions. Our collective voice was loud and it was heard.
To ensure manufacturers hold the President to his commitment to make U.S. infrastructure “second to none,” the call to action must continue from diverse, united stakeholders who recognize that infrastructure is the backbone of a strong, manufacturing economy. We need every manufacturing employee and company to engage in this call for infrastructure, because our work is not done.
Kathryn Karol is the Vice President of Global Government & Corporate Affairs for Caterpillar Inc. She stated,
“At Caterpillar, we believe that every week should be Infrastructure Week. We are pleased that the President and Congress agree that wise investments in infrastructure must be a national priority. Caterpillar and our customers stand ready to deliver on those investments and make infrastructure an engine for economic growth and job creation in the U.S.”
Please keep the momentum of Infrastructure Week going by using the NAM’s infrastructure toolkit to contact members of Congress with emails, phone calls and meetings. The NAM will continue to push for a comprehensive plan to revitalize the nation’s transportation, energy, water and broadband infrastructure. This week, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons furthered the NAM call that now is the time to build with a piece published in the Cincinnati Inquirer entitled Time to act on Brent Spence Bridge and nation’s crumbling infrastructure.
During the fifth annual Infrastructure Week, the NAM, as a steering committee member, led efforts to unite varied voices behind a broad call for infrastructure investment. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao gave the keynote address at the launch event on Monday, followed by a discussion between NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and Laborers’ International Union of North America General President Terry O’Sullivan on how manufacturers depend on infrastructure. C-SPAN covered the event.
Ingersoll-Rand Chairman and CEO and NAM Executive Committee member Michael Lamach represented the NAM in an interview on CNBC. Manitowoc Company President and CEO Barry Pennypacker authored a Shopfloor blog on local infrastructure needs and represented the NAM in a roundtable discussion with congressional leaders, business executives and Department of Transportation special advisors. Also on the NAM Shopfloor blog, Fluor Corporation Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Vice Chair David Seaton explored the benefits of public–private partnerships and NAM Vice President of Energy and Environment Policy outlined manufacturers’ dependence on robust energy infrastructure. The NAM co-hosted an official Infrastructure Week Congressional Reception on Wednesday, May 17, featuring Congressional Co-Chairs Representatives Garret Graves (R-LA) and Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY).
The Ports of Indiana and American Association of Port Authorities hosted an infrastructure roundtable in Indianapolis that included participation from NAM members Subaru of Indiana, ArcelorMittal and the Indiana Manufacturers Association. The meeting also included federal officials from the Army Corps of Engineers and USDOT as well as the Indiana DOT Commissioner. The discussion was about advocating for major infrastructure improvements, including the Soo Locks and specifically the Poe Lock in Upper Peninsula Michigan which every Midwest steel manufacturer relies on. A Shopfloor blog can be found here.
The NAM’s efforts in combination with the efforts of thousands of other Infrastructure Week participants were extraordinary but we must stay engaged. A comprehensive, pro-manufacturing infrastructure package faces political and philosophical challenges. Despite differences, we must stand united in support of overdue infrastructure revitalization to bolster economic competiveness here in the United States.