Construction Jobs Strengthen Michigan’s Economy
Monday, February 14, 2005
Posted by: Nancy Brown
Lansing, Mich. — Governor Granholm’s call to speed up $1 billion in construction funding will strengthen the economy, create a plethora of good-paying jobs, and spur the kind of development necessary to help eliminate four years of budget deficits, Michigan’s largest construction association said.
“Our members do more than build roads, bridges and sewer systems, they provide the kind of sustained economic stability and growth Michigan so desperately needs,” said Michael Nystrom, vice president of government and public relations at the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association (MITA). “Speeding up more than $1 billion in approved construction funding will translate into good-paying jobs at a time when Michigan needs them more than ever. Our members are ready to start turning the dirt to help build a stronger Michigan.”
Granholm announced her plan to speed up construction funding during her State of the State Address delivered tonight before the Michigan Legislature. In 2002, Michigan voters authorized the state to sell bonds to fund a revolving loan program designed to help communities improve and replace aging sewer systems. The governor’s plan, in part, would make available funding from the sale of those bonds in the hope more communities will participate in the program. In addition, Nystrom said the governor’s plan would help speed up much needed road projects, many of which have been delayed because of Michigan’s sluggish economy.
“Speeding up funding will make it easier for communities to finance new and replace their aging sewer systems, and it will the allow Michigan to start road projects critical to creating and maintaining a strong economy,” Nystrom said. “This proposal is good for the environment because it also allows communities to fix failing sewer systems and it’s good for the economy because it will create good-paying, middle-class jobs.”
Nystrom added every $1 of public road and infrastructure investment generates $6 in local economic impact. Nystrom said that for every $100 million in public infrastructure spending, 4,750 engineering, design and construction jobs are created.
MITA is Michigan’s largest construction association, representing nearly 800 road, bridge, underground and heavy construction companies. MITA was formed through the recent merger of AUC - Michigan's Heavy Construction Association and the Michigan Road Builders Association .