The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will have a significant effect on the federal workforce system at large and there are a few key items that present new opportunities for States.
by Jack Porter, Rachael Stephens, and Loren Shimanek
On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law. As a result, states will receive substantial federal aid for crucial and long-overdue infrastructure initiatives such as increasing access to high-speed internet, making improvements to public transit, and protecting systems from cyberattacks. Critically, the IIJA also includes multiple provisions to invest in preparing the workforces required to undertake these initiatives. These resources will impact federally-funded workforce systems by prioritizing direct and indirect employment in critical industries and occupations, requiring states to coordinate a digital equity imperative, and providing Governors, state workforce development boards, and state workforce agencies opportunities for grant-funded activities and strategic alignment.
While the IIJA will have a significant effect on the federal workforce system at large, there are a few key items that present new opportunities for states. These include new allowable uses for transportation funds, investments in digital equity and inclusion, and planning to strengthen the transportation workforce.
This $1.2 trillion investment in infrastructure offers a meaningful opportunity for Governors, workforce development boards, and state workforce agencies to strengthen and create new partnerships in the transportation industry and collaborate with transportation stakeholders. Download NGA’s policy brief on the provisions in the IIJA that are especially pertinent for workforce policymakers to learn more.