Press Release

Statement by AFT President Randi Weingarten On Democratic Governors Association Jobs Report

For Release: 

Friday, January 20, 2012


Tom Lansworth

"This report presents a new vision for how we can work together to create jobs and expand economic opportunities for America's working families." 

At its Labor Policy Summit today, the Democratic Governors Association released a report, "Creating Jobs, Putting People to Work and Turning Around Our Economy," that sets out an ambitious agenda of state and federal initiatives targeted to create jobs and put millions of Americans back to work.

WASHINGTON—This report presents a new vision for how we can work together to create jobs and expand economic opportunities for America's working families.

Sadly, too much of the debate in Washington has been driven by those who oppose investments in a jobs recovery for American workers. This is a report about how we can create a better future by, among other things, making more and smarter investments in the nation's critical infrastructure needs—including school modernization and renovation.

A crucial element of economic recovery is to stop job cuts in the public sector, where more than 600,000 state and local government positions have been eliminated since the start of the Great Recession. As the report notes, the work of public employees—who provide education, public safety, transportation, health and other needed services—is vital to building a foundation for job creation in the private sector.

The governors' call for increased investment in infrastructure needs fits well with the initiative launched last fall by the AFL-CIO, the American Federation of Teachers, a coalition of public sector unions, and the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO to invest in infrastructure and training to create jobs.

We hope that this report will lead to a national dialogue on how best to take these initiatives from ideas to actions that produce real jobs and help revitalize local communities.

We welcome the governors' support for increased attention to technical and vocational education that will help states prepare the next generation of highly skilled workers. Improved and expanded workforce training—and overall investment in public education—will be essential to creating jobs and sustaining economic recovery.

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.