Houlahan: Investing in Infrastructure Will Bring Good Paying Jobs to PA
Washington, April 15, 2021
Tags: Jobs and Economy
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Representative Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) called for robust infrastructure funding for her community and the Commonwealth of PA to be included in this year’s surface transportation spending package. In a letter to Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Houlahan made a clear case for why her community needs this federal support to repair its infrastructure, particularly its roads, bridges and rail.
“Every Pennsylvanian deserves access to efficient and reliable transportation options to commute to work, get to school and remain connected. In my community, highways, roads, rail and busses provide access to job markets and opportunities within my district, in Philadelphia and across Southeastern Pennsylvania,” said Houlahan. “Working families and small businesses in my district rely on our transportation network to support their livelihoods and operations. Unfortunately, the Commonwealth and our nation have fallen behind in terms of needed transportation and infrastructure investments, which negatively impacts my community. Recently, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) graded the United States a C- on its 2021 Infrastructure Report Card. The Commonwealth also received a grade of C- on ASCE’s most recent statewide report in 2018. This is unacceptable, and reflects how our roads, bridges, and infrastructure systems are far beyond their intended lifespans.”
In her letter, Representative Houlahan also expressed how this federal support can and will lead to more jobs in her community.
“It is critical that we address the massive backlog of our nation’s roads, highways and bridges in need of repair or upgrades,” wrote Houlahan. “In doing so, I ask that the Committee prioritize Buy America provisions to ensure that American businesses, big and small, play a key role in manufacturing and construction. This will provide opportunities for workers in the Commonwealth to gain access to good paying jobs and workforce development training, which is crucial as we recover from the pandemic.”
Houlahan’s effort has drawn praise and support from stakeholders in Pennsylvania.
“Surface transportation reauthorization and ongoing discussions about a national infrastructure program could not be timed better, and we appreciate Representative Houlahan bringing the region’s transportation needs to the attention of Committee leadership,” said SEPTA General Manager Leslie S. Richards. “SEPTA is at a crossroads. To help support the region’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and ensure the system is viable for future generations, we need to make significant investments now. This will enable SEPTA to meet pressing state of good repair needs and move forward on our Projects of Regional Significance, such as King of Prussia Rail, the modernization of our trolley system, replacing one of the nation’s oldest rail fleets and implementing Comprehensive Bus Network Redesign.”
“The infrastructure systems that connect and serve Chester County have been an integral part of our past and present, and we must step up the investment in our roads, rails and bridges to ensure the future safety of our residents and economic growth of our county and the region,” said Marian Moskowitz, Chair of the Chester County Board of Commissioners and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Chester County Economic Development Council. “Chester County is poised to grow by 30 percent in 30 years. Our Comprehensive Plan addresses the importance of an evolving, safe and efficient infrastructure to meet the needs of our county as we accommodate that growth, and I welcome the call by Representative Houlahan for this robust infrastructure funding. It is crucial to Chester County's future.”
Full text of Rep. Houlahan’s letter can be found here.
Houlahan is an Air Force veteran, an engineer, a serial entrepreneur, an educator and a nonprofit leader. She represents Pennsylvania’s 6th Congressional District, which encompasses Chester County and southern Berks County. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Small Business Committee.