(Washington, April 18, 2013) –The AFL-CIO officially kicked off an extensive energy efficient retrofitting of its headquarters in Washington, DC at an event today with former President Bill Clinton. The retrofitting project marks a major step in the AFL-CIO's Commitment to Action announced by President Richard Trumka and AFT President Randi Weingarten at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in June 2011.
"The AFL-CIO's high performance energy retrofit of its own headquarters is an important step forward in meeting its entire CGI America commitment to create jobs by making buildings more efficient, and putting communities across the U.S. on the path to a more sustainable future," said President Bill Clinton.
In its Commitment to Action, the AFL-CIO announced a plan to encourage both workers' capital and skilled labor to contribute to large-scale infrastructure investments, valued at $10 billion over 5 years, which will stimulate job-creating projects across the country. As part of this commitment and through a partnership with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the AFL-CIO committed $4.8 million in financing to retrofit its own headquarters.
The retrofit, managed by McKinstry, a nationally recognized energy services corporation, will replace and upgrade the existing windows and deploy a new lighting system, and allow the AFL-CIO to operate the building and its utilities more efficiently. Once completed the federation headquarters efficiency will increase by 20 percent, save more than $125,000 per year in utilities and have created more than 30,000 hours of skilled construction work.
"The labor movement is in the business of solving America's problems," said AFL-CIO President Trumka. "Time will show that this project was one of the beginning ripples of a massive wave that will get working people back to work, get the nation's economy back on track and lead in the stewardship of our environment and resources."
The AFL-CIO has also committed to at least $40 million to stoke the development of a commercial and industrial energy efficiency retrofit market as well as a commitment to upgrade the skills of 100,000 tradespeople and enroll 40,000 new apprentices.
In her role as the chair of the AFL-CIO Finance Committee, AFT President Randi Weingarten has been spearheading the efforts of the Commitment to Action which have already led to major successes.
"This is another powerful example of America's workers making a difference in the lives of the people and communities they serve," said AFT President Randi Weingarten. "Harnessing the strength of the pension funds of teachers, nurses, firefighters and other workers to rebuild our roads, schools and bridges and create the infrastructure America needs is not just a financially sound investment—it creates jobs, accelerates our economic growth and invests in the future of our nation. It's a win, win proposition anyway you look at and I couldn't be prouder of the labor movement for leading this effort and to be doing this with President Clinton and the Clinton Global Initiative. We have the will, we have the need and we have the money—now we need the projects."
About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 400 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion.
CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.
American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations
The AFL-CIO is the umbrella federation for U.S. unions, with 57 unions representing more than 12 million working men and women