DENVER—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the announcement that the $10 billion Investment and Training for American Infrastructure commitment, made at CGI America 2011 by the AFT, the AFL-CIO, North America's Building Trades Unions, and others, has been met two years ahead of schedule:
"At a time when we have an urgent need to invest in our nation's infrastructure and Congress has been unwilling to act, I am proud to announce that the labor movement and our pension funds have stepped up—we have secured more than $10 billion to invest in America's crumbling infrastructure, creating tens of thousands of good middle-class jobs from the money already deployed. Labor's pension funds can be a powerful economic engine by investing in U.S. infrastructure, creating good jobs and providing sustainable returns for investors. This shows what can happen when creative and innovative thinking is applied to America's most pressing challenges. Not only are union members committed to providing vital public services to communities across the country, we are equally committed to helping create jobs and rebuild America."
"I am proud to partner with President Bill Clinton, Sean McGarvey, Richard Trumka, Lee Saunders and others as we address the nation's soaring infrastructure needs by investing public pension funds in infrastructure projects that deliver solid returns. With the leadership of pension funds like CalSTRS, $3 billion has already been deployed to rebuild roads like the Presidio Parkway in San Francisco, fund new construction like the Long Beach, Calif., courthouse, and seed new investments like Pennsylvania's Duquesne Light power company."
"I want to thank Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers; Scott Stringer, the comptroller of New York City; Sharon Hendricks, investment chair of CalSTRS; and other leaders and trustees who have seen this potential and contributed to this effort."
"Of the total commitment, $7 billion has yet to be invested, which will create an additional 150,000 good jobs and contribute $10.7 billion to our nation's gross domestic product. And with federal infrastructure spending at a 20-year low, we know that this investment is sorely needed."
"Unions represent the backbone of the American workforce and economy—lifting people out of poverty and helping to create a middle class. We are contributing to the resurgence of the middle class. Nurses, teachers and firefighters across the country are creating good jobs by leveraging their pension assets and driving investment in America."
To learn more about how this commitment was met, click here.