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ATSSA joins groups petitioning Bhatt to rescind IIJA policy memo

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ATSSA joined 17 organizations today in asking Federal Highway Administration Administrator Shailen Bhatt to rescind the “Policy on Using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Resources to Build a Better America” memorandum that was issued Dec. 16, 2021.

The groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, noted they supported the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) passed in November 2021 and that it was a “carefully negotiated and balanced package of policy reforms and targeted national investments” to make the lives of Americans better.

The issue leading to the request for the policy to be rescinded was that the Dec. 16 memo “elicited significant confusion within the transportation community.” Further, the letter states that the memo was “intended to serve as an overarching policy framework that prioritizes IIJA resources towards certain projects, which was inconsistent with what was laid out under the legislation President Biden signed into law the month before.”

NLC report quantifies workforce challenges in roadway industry

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A new report from the National League of Cities (NLC) quantifies what ATSSA members know all too well: It’s tough to fill industry positions.

“Hard to Fill Infrastructure Jobs: A Challenge to Building Our Future” looked at the time to hire people for infrastructure jobs compared to other jobs and the share of infrastructure jobs taking longer to fill than in other industries.

NLC found the median time to fill an infrastructure job was 23.3 days compared to 19.5 days for other industries. It also found that 30% of the jobs were hard to fill for infrastructure versus 24% in non-infrastructure fields.

“As this report so clearly shows, infrastructure jobs are harder to fill than jobs in other industries, across all regions and all city sizes,” NLC CEO & Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony states in the report. “As municipalities prepare to put infrastructure dollars to work, we must ensure that our worker supply meets business demand.”