MILWAUKEE, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaking at a press conference following an invitation-only meeting of key U.S. senators, Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), forcibly relayed the direct connection between infrastructure investment and job creation for the construction industry and entire manufacturing sector.
The meeting and conference were held to highlight the importance of infrastructure investment to putting Americans back to work.
Slater was selected to attend as the sole representative of the manufacturing sector, in recognition of AEM's leadership role in support of critical infrastructure investment and the Start Us Up USA campaign, which advocates timely passage of multi-year transportation legislation. AEM is also active in advocating for adequate water infrastructure investment.
"The single best way to bring back hundreds of thousands of good-paying, sustainable manufacturing jobs in the U.S. is to pass major long-term investments in our critical national infrastructure," Slater noted.
Senators at the meeting are working on a new "jobs creation" package of legislation, and they recognize that a central piece of that effort will be rebuilding America's infrastructure to create jobs, grow the economy and maintain and improve our nation's safety, environment and international competitiveness, Slater noted.
Slater stated, "We know many thorny policy issues have to be resolved before the House and Senate can come to agreement on a new multi-year highway bill, and that in the meantime -- right now -- Congress needs to pass some measures that can help to create jobs for Americans in the nearer term. We respect and support this. But as soon as that work is done, we hope that our lawmakers will turn to our nation's long-term infrastructure investment needs. We must have a multi-year funding commitment to provide market certainty, so planners can plan, and business can invest. This is how the private sector creates jobs."
The meeting was co-chaired by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV); Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee; and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), chair of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee.
In addition, 19 Senators attended, including -- in addition to Reid, Stabenow and Murray -- Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, which has jurisdiction over the federal surface transportation and water infrastructure programs.
Also attending were leaders of business and labor organizations, local and state government officials, and representatives of the rural, education and minority business communities.
At the press conference, Slater spoke alongside Senators Boxer and Bob Casey (D-PA) and two representatives of national labor organizations.
SOURCE Association of Equipment Manufacturers