For Immediate Release: March 31, 2021
Contact: Renee Alves, 559-916-5939
Pittsburgh, PA – Today, March 31, President Biden came to Pittsburgh, PA, to deliver an address laying out his American Jobs Plan, a large-scale federal investment in American workers and infrastructure. ReImagine Appalachia, a broad coalition of organizations dedicated to bringing about a 21st century economy that works for all Appalachians, applauds the President’s proposal as well as his decision to recognize the past and future importance of Appalachia to the American economy by choosing to launch the American Jobs Plan from Pittsburgh.
Stephen Herzenberg, executive director of the Keystone Research Center in Pennsylvania and co-chair of ReImagine Appalachia, said the following in response to President Biden’s visit: “The President’s decision to launch the American Jobs Plan in Pittsburgh shows that he has heard what we have been saying for years. The workers and industries of Appalachia have powered this country for over a century, too often without fair reward. Public investment in a 21st century economy should make our region a priority.”
“We’re encouraged to see that President Biden shares our view that ‘this is the moment to reimagine and rebuild a new economy,’ and that his American Jobs Plan contains so many of the priorities laid out in the ReImagine Appalachia Blueprint,” said Amanda Woodrum, senior analyst for Policy Matters Ohio and co-chair of ReImagine Appalachia. “From expanding broadband access, to modernizing the grid, growing clean, efficient manufacturing, and ensuring that the jobs created are unionized or open to unionization, we want to work to make sure the policies in this plan become a reality.”
West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy executive director Kelly Allen said, “President Biden’s plan to put people to work reclaiming abandoned mine lands, ensuring clean water, and building the industries of the future will bring about one of the biggest economic booms in West Virginia’s history and create quality, good-paying jobs for the West Virginians who’ve been most impacted by the decline of the coal industry.”
The American Jobs Plan is a significant marker in the debate over how to invest in an economic future that will bring prosperity for all Appalachians. ReImagine Appalachia will continue to work with federal officials in Congress and with the Biden Administration to ensure that our policy priorities for growing Appalachian industries are included in the infrastructure package that passes Congress later this year. Those priorities include promoting unionization and family-wage jobs and creating economic opportunity for everyone, including coal miners and coal plant workers, as well as centering a focus on Black Appalachians and other people of color.
About ReImagine Appalachia
ReImagine Appalachia is a broad and inclusive coalition of individuals and organizations spanning the Ohio River Valley in north central Appalachia. ReImagine Appalachia was born out of a broad recognition that the economy has not been working for most Appalachians, and a recognition that aggressive public investment is necessary to rebuild the middle class and create economic prosperity in a region that has contributed to much to the industrial and economic growth of the country. ReImagine Appalachia has released a policy blueprint for accomplishing these goals, as well as an Appalachian Climate Infrastructure Plan for federal spending in the region that is pro-worker, pro-union, accounts for equity in economic opportunity, and reduces carbon emissions while building the infrastructure for a 21st century economy.