Biden Has Ambitious Infrastructure Plans. But A Worker Shortage Could Hinder Them

September 12, 2021

On NPR Weekend Edition, NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro spoke with Andy Van Kleunen, CEO of the National Skills Coalition, about the shortage of skilled workers needed to fulfill President Biden’s infrastructure plan. 

At the end of the interview, Garcia-Navarro asks Van Kleunen about his concerns on the passing of the infrastructure bill. Van Kleunen shares his thoughts on how the bill’s impact could fall short of what’s promised, simply because there aren’t enough workers to do the job. 

“There is not an available, skilled construction worker out there. They’re all working. They’re working overtime. And if we don’t have a workforce strategy in place now and expect local areas to put that into how it is that they’re putting out bids for these projects, we’re not only going to find that these projects are going to take much longer than we thought to get off the ground, we’re going to have no plan for how it is that we’re going to be maintaining these water utilities and broadband systems and bridges and roads into the future because we will not have a set of folks who are prepared for long-term careers in that sector.”