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‘Jobs Now’ is already creating jobs across Washington state

OLYMPIA (Aug. 17, 2012) — As the national economy continues to emerge — too slowly — from the Great Recession, there’s only one state where unions and business interests came together to push for progressive bipartisan action to create jobs by frontloading state infrastructure investment. That would be right here in Washington.

Earlier this year, the State Legislature approved and Gov. Chris Gregoire signed $1.3 billion Infrastructure Jobs Bonds legislation — dubbed “Jobs Now” — that will create an estimated 20,000 jobs. The Washington State Labor Council, the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council, the Associated General Contractors, and others worked together since December 2011 to push the Jobs Now legislation to boost struggling communities. The coalition argued that now is the time to frontload planned infrastructure projects, particularly those that will stimulate private sector job growth, to take advantage of low interest rates and get the most bang for taxpayers’ bucks.

Hundreds of delegates to last week’s Washington State Labor Council 2012 Convention in Wenatchee celebrated this legislative victory by awarding one of the legislation’s sponsors, Rep. Hans Dunshee (D-Snohomish), with the 2012 Working Class Hero Award. (The bill’s Senate sponsor, Sen. Derek Kilmer, was also honored with the award but couldn’t attend the Wenatchee convention.)

Jobs Now is already creating jobs… now. Last week, the (Longview) Daily World reported that crews have begun clearing the site for the long-awaited new science building at Lower Columbia College. This $38.5 million project, sporting a “green” roof and built to high-energy efficiency standards, will enable the college to consolidate its science programs under one roof, ease overcrowded classrooms and bring state-of-the art laboratories to a campus where existing labs date from the 1960s.

“Students will really benefit from this,” LCC President Chris Bailey told the Daily World, adding that the campus community experienced “absolute joy” upon hearing in April that the project was funded by the Jobs Now legislation.

What other Jobs Now projects are under way? Check out the state’s Maps of Capital Construction Projects, where you can look up projects by county or legislative district. (Seek the “2012 Supplemental” projects to see what was funded by Jobs Now.)

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!