Operating Engineers 324 host Biden, praise Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act for creating Michigan jobs
HOWELL, Michigan – Operating Engineers 324 today hosted President Joe Biden during his Michigan visit and praised his Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which would create thousands of skilled trades and constructions jobs in Michigan. President Biden toured Operating Engineers 324’s 560-acre Construction Career Center, which trains and prepares members for careers in advanced construction jobs building roads, bridges, tunnels, pipelines and other critical infrastructure.
“Michigan is proud to host President Biden and shine a spotlight on his Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act because we know that it’s time to build the infrastructure of the future that will create jobs and improve our way of life,” Operating Engineers 324 Business Manager Douglas W. Stockwell said. “President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a once-in-a-generation chance for America and Michigan to modernize our infrastructure so we have safe, reliable and resilient roads, bridges, buildings, pipelines and power plants that can strengthen our economy and meet the needs of our communities. The women and men in Operating Engineers Local 324 stand ready to meet the needs of this blue-collar plan that invests in America, with family wage jobs and a vision for a stronger future for all Americans.”
During his tour of Operating Engineers 324’s training center, President Biden saw firsthand some of the advanced training techniques apprentices and members use to build roads and highways, construct pipelines and tunnels, and build and maintain other infrastructure. President Biden spoke to several Operating Engineers 324 leaders, apprentices and members during his tour to hear from them what his Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would mean for local jobs and their communities.
“Michigan’s highly skilled operating engineers are eager to get working on President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act because we take great pride in our training, our focus on safety and our commitment to ensuring working women and men continue to have a voice in ensuring quality and safety,” said Operating Engineers 324 Journeyman and Apprentice Training Fund Director John Osika. “President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will put thousands of Michiganders to work on projects that pay good, Davis-Bacon protected wages and provide health care and other benefits so they can care for their families and at the same contribute to revitalizing neighborhoods and townships throughout Michigan. These are the safe, effective and efficient tradespeople who will be fixing roads, schools and power infrastructure that help Main Street, Michigan. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is more than a blueprint to create jobs – it’s also a strategy to rebuild communities from the ground up.”
“When we give working families a break, we’re not just raising their quality of life; we’re putting parents in a position to earn a paycheck. We’re also positioning our country to compete in the world. That’s what these bills are all about, “said President of the United States Joe Biden. “If you want proof, just come to this training facility. This is where hardworking folks come to learn how to operate road graders and so much more; where workers use virtual reality to master operating a crane and to learn how to deal with drones to look underneath bridges and so on; where young people in Michigan show up and emerge as expert technicians, engineers, heavy equipment operators.”
“They leave here with a shot at something great: a union job with good wages and benefits that allow them to maintain their dignity and their pride. It’s a ticket to the middle class.”
“To support these investments is to create a rising America, America that’s moving. And to oppose these investments is to be complicit in America’s decline. To support these bills is to pursue a broader vision of our nation. And to oppose them is to accept a very cramped view of our future.”
“Hardworking men and women who put in a hard day’s work for a fair day’s wage are truly honored to have President Biden on our side, someone who understands that America is at our best when we have the opportunity to clock in to a good-paying job doing good work in our communities and building toward a better future,” said Operating Engineers 324 President Ken Dombrow. “For over 100 years, the Operating Engineers 324 and our members have worked hand in glove with our signatory contractors – the largest construction companies in the world – and our local communities to make sure that what we build meets the needs of the people we serve. President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has an eye toward our shared future, from creating good-paying skilled trades careers to rebuilding crumbling roads and bridges to reimagining power and municipal infrastructure that will allow us to adapt to the challenges of the future, such as climate change and rapidly growing populations.”
The members of Operating Engineers 324 have kept Michigan moving onward and upward for a century. With over 14,000 members, Operating Engineers 324 operate the heavy machinery that propels construction on the roads, bridges, buildings, energy plants, pipelines, airports, and nearly every large-scale project in the state. Our highly skilled workers run cranes, dozers, trucks, excavators and countless other equipment that is propelling us into the future. We are also on the forefront technologically, operating next generation tools like robotic and remote-controlled machines and drones. Operating Engineers 324 also represents the highly skilled Stationary Engineers who operate and tend complex boiler and HVAC systems, as well as the trained technicians who fix and repair this equipment and keep downtime to a minimum.
Operating Engineers 324 operates three unique training sites throughout the state. Our main Construction Career Center in Howell comprises 560 acres of hands-on learning at Department of Labor recognized Registered Apprenticeship programs. Operating Engineers 324 apprentices train and study for 6,000-8,000 hours of classroom and on-the-job training.