Alan Jones, Business Manager
Presidential Visit To IBEW Work Site
President Biden traveled to Portland, Ore., on April 21 to visit the site of a massive project to upgrade the Portland International Airport and discuss the infrastructure law’s role in transforming the economy of the Pacific Northwest.
“Through the bipartisan infrastructure bill, we’re investing $25 billion this year to modernize American airports all across this country and across this state, not just here,” Biden said. “Best of all, this project will support more than 1,250 good- paying jobs constructing the terminal. Over 95 percent of the construction is being done by union workers. Union.”
President Biden was introduced by Portland Local 48 member Lauren Heitzman, a fourth-year inside wireman apprentice working on Portland International Airport. She said she was grateful for the chance to hone her craft alongside the best workers in the world.
“I see this airport as the firm foundation for families to grow and flourish,” she said. “To me, not only is this project a symbol of modern advancement and ingenuity, it is the vehicle for the promise of a better life.”
Less than a month later, on his visit to Chicago for the IBEW Convention, President Biden referenced Heizman’s background as the child of a single mom, struggling to find a solid career – until she joined the IBEW.
“She’s putting in her years and the thousands of hours that she needs to put in to become a journeyman electrician,” Biden said in his May 11 remarks to the IBEW delegation. “Lauren told me that the airport will symbolize the crown jewel of the Pacific Northwest but it will also symbolize something else: a better life — a better life for an IBEW member. That means fairness and dignity in the workplace.”
“And it’ll be a symbol for a better America because the IBEW is just getting started,” Biden said.