The goal is local for Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
“Infrastructure also offers a major opportunity to revitalize manufacturing jobs across the country, but using American-made products,” Gillibrand said Thursday to a crowd in Menands.
Gillibrand returned home to the Capital Region to help further a bill called the "Build Local, Hire Local Act."
"When you revitalize infrastructure, you want to make sure to plan the projects well and make sure the local community gets the benefit of the jobs," Gillibrand said.
The bill was introduced to the Senate floor back in July. If passed, it would raise wages and strengthen unions.
“That would make such a difference for so many in the community. And what unions allow is higher pay, and better benefits,” Gillibrand said.
Something Albany County District Council 9, Painter's Local 201 is happy to hear. They say they’re in major need of skilled workers.
“There’s a shortage of skilled workers and everyone's talking about student debt. We’re one of the few industries that we can get into the middle class and have a career path without accumulating student debt,” said Political Director Darvon Lomax.
The bill would encourage apprenticeships for veterans, women, and those in need, according to Gillibrand. It would also encourage local union contracting.
“We provide the best of the best and that’s why our workers are so dedicated,” Lomax said.
Giving the community the chance to live and work at home.
“A lot of areas around the state where folks can’t afford to live. So good wages and good benefits affords families to stay here locally and support their families,” Lomax said.
Gillibrand said she hopes this bill will pass and become the blueprints for other infrastructure programs down the road.