This is Infrastructure Week and unlike the previous Presidential Administration, there are real projects to brag about as Arizona leaders celebrated the second anniversary of the Bipartisan Law signed by President Joe Biden on November 15, 2021.
A law that no Arizona Republican in Congress voted for.
Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs has been crisscrossing the state this week hailing many of the law’s components like the expansion of broadband internet access across the Grand Canyon State.
She is also highlighting Apprenticeship Week and the many career opportunities these vocational building positions will create in the infrastructure arena.
On November 13, the Governor announced that she is investing an additional $1.25 million in the BuilditAZ Initiative. The original funding had been set at $500,000. This funding will go towards expanding construction apprenticeship positions in Arizona.
The goal will be to double the amount of construction and trade-related apprenticeships by 2026.
Commenting in an official press release, Governor Hobbs stated:
“The hands-on learning experience provided through apprenticeships, while earning a salary and gaining invaluable on-the-job experience, is one of the best tools we have to grow and retain our workforce. Demand is higher than ever, and as Governor, I will work tirelessly to make sure Arizonans have the skills they need to take full advantage of everything Arizona has to offer.”
Her team also posted on social media:
On November 14, 2023, the Governor journeyed to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office to highlight the “construction of high-speed, gigabit broadband Internet to serve 13,600 rural homes and businesses in Mohave and La Paz counties, as well as 400 homes on the Hualapai Reservation.”
The number of residents positively impacted by this expansion is about 32,500.
Commenting on this infrastructure investment, the Governor offered:
“We are on track to bridge Arizona’s deep digital divide with this historic investment, connecting unserved and under-served Arizonans, especially in tribal and rural communities. As the reliance on digital services increases, it’s critical that we ensure our people, businesses, and community services are capable of handling the demand, and I am laser-focused on getting that done.”
She later posted on social media:
The Governor spent today inaugurating a new apprenticeship program to help increase the number of semiconductor specialists in the State Capital.
The Governor’s team posted on social media:
Afterward, the Governor traveled to Florence to participate in the ground opening of the Box Canyon Solar Project.
Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, a staunch supporter of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and its features, especially those concerning sustainability, posted on social media:
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Arizona Democratic Party Chair Yolanda Bejarano held a press event earlier this afternoon, called Building Bridges: Celebrating the 2nd Anniversary of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill to discuss the positive impact of the law on Phoenix and the whole Grand Canyon state.
Yolanda Bejarano started the event by commenting that “Bidenomomics is making a difference in people’s pocketbooks.”
Among the ways she touted the positive impact of the law were the provisions that invested in clean water infrastructure and clean energy.
She also mocked Republicans, including those in Arizona’s House Delegation like David Schweikert and Juan Ciscomani who both opposed the bipartisan landmark bill while spending time, while Democrats went to work to move the country forward, denying the severity of climate change and engaging in 2020 election denialism.
Mayor Gallego picked up from Chairperson Bejarano, calling the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law a “really a magnificent piece of legislation where there is something for everyone in all (Arizona) communities” including urban, rural, and tribal with a multitude of clean energy and climate assisting projects ranging from the creation of electric vehicles (and charging stations to power them) refurbishing sidewalks, road pavements to help combat extreme heat, making public busing reliant on clean energy, modernizing the electric grid, and expanding broadband.
She also congratulated President Biden for doing what Donald Trump promised but could not deliver.
When asked how the law has positively impacted Phoenix, the fifth-largest city in the nation, the Mayor cited:
- Improvements at Sky Harbor that will make traveling quicker and easier.
- The expansion of the Green Bus Fleet to achieve net zero tailpipe emissions.
- The Rio Imagined Project which includes $22 million for modernizing paths and bridges along the Salt Lake River bordering Tempe. According to Mayor Gallego, this will make that area a wonderful corridor for recreation and transportation.
When asked about how expanding broadband access in Phoenix and across the state will benefit the people, Gallego noted accessing “the Internet is a necessity…It’s going to make a huge difference for our families. It is going to be a game changer.”
According to the Mayor, Arizona is slated to receive $933 million to connect people to the net. That will help 489,000 people across Arizona.
Chairperson Bejarano added that this expansion will greatly assist residents in both their schooling and seeking medical care through expanded telehealth services.
The Chairperson and Mayor concluded by hoping others would attend similar events that tout the positive achievements of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Mayor Gallego called for Phoenicians to contact her office and share how the Infrastructure measure has impacted them.
You can watch the whole event by accessing the YouTube link below.
Like the Governor, the Mayor also acknowledged the importance of quality apprenticeship programs that will help carry out these revolutionary infrastructure measures, posting on Instagram.
Author: David Gordon