Beyond The American Jobs Plan Towards Community Prosperity

The Biden Administration recently released a $2 trillion The American Jobs Plan, an infrastructure proposal which focuses on job creation, centers the climate crisis, and confronts systemic racial inequities.

In addition to addressing traditional infrastructure measures such as reparations to bridges, roads, and pipelines, the plan mandates a Civilian Climate Corps. This $10 billion initiative plans to train and employ between 10,000 and 20,000 youth to fight climate change. A promising objective, but when compared to FDR’s similar Civilian Conservation Corps, the impact pales in comparison. The 1940’s Corps employed 300,000 Americans and the nation’s population was 40% smaller, according to the Sunrise Movement.

The plan comes at a vital time. Even as the effects of the pandemic ease up, CNBC reports a decrease in employment of 9 million Americans since last February. GDP shrank by 3.5% in 2020, the worst growth rate since the end of World War II.

The American Jobs Plan focuses on electrification and emerging technologies like battery storage and biotechnology. These are promising measures on a federal level, however we must do more workforce planning within local jurisdictions if we want to see sustained community growth.

One way businesses can promote a flourishing job market is by providing local opportunities within the green economy. Ample funding exists for the construction of urban farms and green design builds. However, oftentimes organizations fail to account for the maintenance of these projects. Employing youth, migrant workers, individuals coming from the non renewable energy sector, and other disenfranchised groups will be a vital step in building a sustainable economy that works for everyone.

Job opportunities in cannabis are another noteworthy workforce opportunity that could flourish at local levels. Democrat majorities in both chambers of Congress as well as the White House means the cannabis market is growing. With more progressives in control, the possibility that federal marijuana regulations could be loosened is driving rapid expansions in the cannabis industry. Practical business opportunities to support cannabis growth, including HVACs, irrigation systems, and lighting installation exist alongside this market growth. With so much money to be made, it is imperative that these companies make equitable hiring decisions. Recruiting locally is the best way to do this.

PLANT Group values job creation at the local level. We prioritize hiring labor in the neighborhoods we work in and plan to expand that mission moving forward. We have experience working on affordable housing projects in Philadelphia and Newark, ensuring that we employ the communities that we work with. Project maintenance is the key to the long-term success and sustainability of green design-build projects. We are currently expanding our affordable housing portfolio.

Biden’s plan is only the beginning. It is positive that green jobs are central to conversations of infrastructure investments, but we can’t rely solely on the federal government to create an economy that works for everyone. We must leverage community efforts and local partnerships to ensure an inclusive and robust economy of the future. Reach out to to get working.

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