FITCHBURG, Wis. — Mayors from across Wisconsin hope an influx of federal funds from both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act will help improve their communities, while creating jobs for locals.

From Appleton to Eau Claire, and several spots in between, city leaders from across the state gathered at the International Union of Painters (IUPAT) training facility in Fitchburg Wednesday to share how federal funds are helping the places they call home.

What You Need To Know

  • Members of the International Union of Painters (IUPAT), along with Gov. Tony Evers and mayors from around the state, Wisconsin Conservation Voters, Citizen Action of Wisconsin, and the BlueGreen Alliance visited the IUPAT training facility in Fitchburg Wednesday for a tour
  • The event focused on how to get the most impact from federal investments through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and Inflation Reduction Act
  • Local leaders from around Wisconsin discussed why they believe the funds will help create good-paying, union jobs across the state

For Madison, bus rapid transit is possible because of the support from Washington, D.C.

“It will be all-electric, and it will be all-electric because of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and because of the support from the federal government and the Federal Transit Authority,” Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway explained. “We could not have gotten that project done without President Biden’s help.”

Racine Mayor Cory Mason (third from left) listens as local leaders talk about the impact of federal funding. (Spectrum News 1/Mandy Hague)

Meanwhile, Racine’s mayor highlighted how the federal investments will create well-paying jobs in his community.

“Not only is this an opportunity to build labor, not only is this an opportunity to rebuild our community, not only does this help us save the planet and reduce our carbon footprint, this opens up a number of jobs to local residents to get into family supporting wages, to get into those apprenticeships,” Mayor Cory Mason said.

Those are the kind of apprenticeships that Green Bay’s mayor hopes will bolster unions in his city and beyond.

“Green Bay is a very working-class town,” Mayor Eric Genrich said. “Unions built the middle class in Green Bay, and across the state and across the country, but the roots run very deep in the City of Green Bay.”

Gov. Tony Evers shakes hands with Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich. (Spectrum News 1/Mandy Hague)

After touring the training facility, the group held a roundtable discussion with representatives from several state agencies which will oversee the rollout of programs funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.