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Biden plans 'real money' for jobs training, unions, economic adviser says

PoliticsApr 23, 2021 06:35AM ET
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© Reuters. U.S. President Biden holds infrastructure event at Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

By Jarrett Renshaw

(Reuters) - President Joe Biden wants to put "real money" toward helping laid-off workers get new jobs in growth industries like green energy and healthcare as part of his $2.3 trillion jobs and infrastructure package, a top economic adviser said.

Biden is attempting a delicate balancing act as he calls for a reshaping of the nation's energy industry by reducing reliance on fossil fuels and coal-powered electric plants to meet aggressive climate emission goals.

Those industries offer high-paying, union jobs that Biden promised to replace while courting the blue-collar vote on the campaign trail.

"What we're trying to do here is put some real money where our mouths are," Jared Bernstein, who serves on the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told Reuters. "You don't just train somebody for a job that might or might not exist. Instead, you look around the corner and see where labor demand is going to be next year."

A $40 billion job-training plan in the infrastructure proposal would help workers who lost jobs through no fault of their own land a new job in a growth industry, and direct income to help them pay the bills while training and utilize case managers to navigate the system, he said.

The training funding is part of a package of measures included in Biden's plan that seeks to boost unions. The Democratic president has promised to build union jobs in the United States, which he sees as key to building back a stronger middle class.

In 2020, some 35 percent of public-sector employees could collectively bargain for wages and benefits, while just 6.3 percent of the private sector was unionized. But roughly half of U.S. states block public employees from collective bargaining.

That "is by far the biggest barrier," said a senior White House official.

The White House wants to guarantee public workers across the country the right to collective bargaining, expand apprentice programs and ensure that all federally funded construction projects use union labor.

Biden is seeking a further $38 billion in funding to expand union apprentice programs, a gateway to a union job, which the White House says will create 1 million to 2 million registered apprenticeship slots, to fill the demand created by the spending on new construction projects.

Biden and Democrats delivered on a high-priority item for unions when they included an $83 billion pension bailout in the COVID relief bill passed in March. Labor leaders, facing declining enrollment that is crushing their self-funded retirement systems, say the money will shore up to 200 plans.

Biden plans 'real money' for jobs training, unions, economic adviser says
 

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Comments (8)
carol ruszin
carol ruszin Apr 23, 2021 10:28AM ET
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Unions are the backbone of middle class. Good pay, vacations, Good safe working conditions and good wages. When USS was locked out of the plant they paid for grocery they took care of the union workers. Union is for the people. Right to work States like Florida can fire you for no reason.
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Apr 23, 2021 10:28AM ET
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LOL, that is a hilarious pile of doo-doo.
Steve Lora
Steve Lora Apr 23, 2021 10:01AM ET
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I saw what unions did for laid off steel workers in the 90s at Inland Steel. The trai ing was a joke to say the least. The teachers were union and rarely showed up. Unions are worthless
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Apr 23, 2021 9:57AM ET
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unions are cancer
Michael Angelo
Michael Angelo Apr 23, 2021 8:42AM ET
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Ok. suppose is bad. Now why a genius, any, who critized come with a plan to move this country out of this monetary adiction that only makes rich richer and keeps inequality growing. Pls be creative and forget the ridiculous last 4 years chaos.
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Apr 23, 2021 8:42AM ET
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Why would we forget the last four years, when we had record unemployment and the the gap was closing?
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Apr 23, 2021 8:27AM ET
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There goes 1$ per kWh price.
Tony Coll
Tony Coll Apr 23, 2021 7:06AM ET
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"Delicate balancing act" lol well thought out wording after the whole stair climbing debacle
Tony Coll
Tony Coll Apr 23, 2021 7:06AM ET
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Thumbs down lol you libs have zero tolerance for humor.
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Apr 23, 2021 7:02AM ET
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Biden will bankrupt this country
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Apr 23, 2021 7:02AM ET
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just Biden is it?  guys before him like Reagan or W or Obama or Trump (I excluded Bill Clinton because he actually had a balanced budget) didn't spent tax money like drunken sailors?
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Apr 23, 2021 7:02AM ET
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Tre Hsi  Newt Gingrich was responsible for that balanced budget. billy-bob was busy with oral in the oval.
Joel Hauser
Joel Hauser Apr 23, 2021 6:18AM ET
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President Joe Biden is a good man and anti-american regoonlicans are doing petty politics and behaving like 12 year olds and offering us a meager amount.
Gene Kret
Gene Kret Apr 23, 2021 6:18AM ET
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Joel, go back to economics class or at least watch a Youtube about it. Taxes go up and the unemployment goes up. Very simple. I have never seen an individual that sat in the back of a classroom give a man a job. Get it. Btw just ask yourself what has Sleepy Joe been doing for the past 47 years in public office? He hasnt fixed anything nor will he. And he has been a bad father to boot.
Michael Angelo
Michael Angelo Apr 23, 2021 6:18AM ET
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taxes aren't related to unemployment. Disposable income is what counts. You hire when demand ramps up. And think who are paying the taxes every year.
 
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