May 2024 Update: State Legislative Activity

SMACNA staff has been busy supporting economic development efforts for state and local communities around the country.  

President Biden Announces New Workforce Hubs to Train and Connect American Workers to Jobs 


President Biden Announcing New Workforce Hubs in Syracuse, NY, SMACNA was an invited guest at this event. 

Recently, President Biden announced four new Workforce Hubs to ensure access the good jobs created by the President’s Investing in America agenda, which includes the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act. President Biden made the announcement during his visit to Syracuse, New York, to highlight a CHIPS and Science Act preliminary agreement with Micron to dramatically expand semiconductor manufacturing in the United States. The Upstate New York region will be one of the four new Workforce Hubs, in addition to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the state of Michigan.

Since the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration, private companies have announced over $845 billion in manufacturing and clean energy investments, on top of $478 billion already announced by the Administration for clean energy and infrastructure projects funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act. These investments are projected to create hundreds of thousands of good jobs—many of which do not require a college degree. The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to ensuring that all workers—including women, people of color, veterans, and those that have been historically left behind–have equitable access to those job opportunities and the training and skills needed to fill them.

The Syracuse announcement also built on the inaugural five Investing in America Workforce Hubs in Columbus, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Augusta, and Phoenix announced last May. Over the last year, the inaugural Hubs have generated dozens of significant commitments to create pipelines to good jobs, including an initiative to train 10,000 skilled construction workers in Columbus, Ohio, the first-ever registered apprenticeship program in semiconductor manufacturing at TSMC in Phoenix, and project labor agreements on $9 billion worth of infrastructure projects across Maryland. In each of the four new Hubs, the Administration will expand the successful models developed in the first round of Workforce Hubs and will continue to collaborate with state and local elected officials and community leaders to drive effective place-based workforce development efforts that are essential to the President’s vision of building an economy from the bottom up and the middle out.
The next four Investing in America Workforce Hubs are:  

  • Upstate New York: Upstate New York has emerged as a growing hub for semiconductor manufacturing, with record-breaking investments throughout the region. To date, companies have announced hundreds of billions of dollars in private-sector investments to regain American leadership in chips manufacturing since President Biden signed his CHIPS and Science Act. And today, President Biden is announcing a $6.1 billion preliminary agreement of terms with Micron to invest in semiconductor manufacturing in New York and Idaho, which will create over 70,000 jobs. The Department of Commerce, with support from the Departments of Education and Labor, will stand up a Workforce Hub to help meet the training needs of this nascent industry and related investments in the region by fostering collaborations with partners such as labor unions, employers, and education and training providers.
  • Michigan: The state of Michigan has long been the engine of the American auto industry — and the good-paying union jobs that built the American middle class. As the country accelerates into an electric vehicle (EV) future, President Biden is committed to ensuring that the workers, unions, and businesses that have historically powered the auto industry lead the next generation of clean vehicles. President Biden strongly believes that auto companies transitioning to new technology should retool, reboot, and rehire in the same factories and in the same communities with comparable wages. Building on significant efforts underway – including President Biden’s $15.5 billion investment in the retooling of existing auto plants and rehiring of existing workers for the EV transition –  the Department of Energy and Department of Labor will partner with the State of Michigan to launch an Electric Vehicle Workforce Hub.
  • Milwaukee: Last December, the City of Milwaukee announced that—thanks to funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and in response to proposed rulemaking from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)— the City would reduce its timeline for replacing 100% of its lead pipes from 60 years to the 10 years outlined in the proposed rule. This announcement aligns with President Biden’s broader goal to remove all lead pipes across the nation within a decade. The EPA, with support from the Department of Transportation (DOT), will stand up a Workforce Hub to ensure the city has the skilled workers needed to accomplish this ambitious lead pipes replacement project and invest in clean water infrastructure in Milwaukee.
  • Philadelphia: The City of Philadelphia has received billions of dollars in funding for public infrastructure—including clean water infrastructure and improved roadway safety. DOT and EPA will co-lead this Hub to ensure the city has strong workforce pipelines for all residents to access good jobs replacing lead pipes and investing in construction and infrastructure.

Oklahoma Working to Lure Aerospace Industry 

Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Matt Pinnell, speaking from an industry conference in Colorado Springs last week, said he had 10 meetings over two days with aerospace companies he’s courting to move to his home state or invest there.

“And in all 10 meetings,” the lieutenant governor said, “we have told them about the new appropriations chair from the state of Oklahoma, if that tells you anything.”

"Aerospace is the fasting growing sector in Oklahoma currently. Love to see that Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell out courting more aerospace companies to Oklahoma, said David Hames - Executive Director SMACNA of Western Oklahoma.

AFL-CIO Releases Report Outlining Dangerous Working Conditions

In a new report released by the AFL-CIO on Thursday found that workers face increasingly dangerous work conditions, especially those from underrepresented communities.

The union found that 344 workers died each day from hazardous work conditions in 2022 and 5,486 people lost their lives on the job during the same year. That was up from 343 and 5,190 in 2021.

Roughly 3.7 workers for every 100,000 died at work in 2022, while Black and Latino workers died at higher rates.

You can find the AFL-CIO report here

Indiana Attracts $2B Google Data Center

Following an $11 billion announcement from Amazon recently, the Hoosier State is quickly racking up a slew of new computing facility wins.

Providing more evidence that the data center boom is alive and well, Google broke ground on a $2 billion data centercampus in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on April 26, according to the office of Gov. Eric J. Holcomb. No contractor has been announced.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. promised the Mountain View, California-based tech giant sweeteners in the form of tax credits to locate its facility in the northeast corner of the state. IEDC will give Google a 35-year data center sales tax exemption for the first $800 million invested, with options for a longer tax holiday, in five-year increments, for each additional $800 million invested, up to 50 years.   

In its own announcement, Google said it would bring its Skilled Trades and Readiness program to the area. The STAR program offers paid training and networking opportunities to help participants move directly into Google data center construction jobs.