Washington, D.C. — The Biden administration’s robust infrastructure package will bring millions of jobs to Americans across the country. To improve recruitment, training, and retention for these jobs, a new Center for American Progress report calls on states to utilize these federal funds to address workers’ child care needs.
These historic investments expand the opportunity to bring more women and people of color into industries—from construction to clean energy—where they’ve been underrepresented for years. To expand the pool of workers for these jobs, states must look beyond their traditional talent pipelines. This new report argues that states should explore an underutilized recruitment and retention tool: child care for workers in training.
Some key takeaways from the report include:
- Delivering on infrastructure commitments to communities requires a stable, well-trained, adequately sized, and diverse workforce
- The construction industry has unique features—such as early hours and changing job sites—that make traditional child care for working parents difficult
- Federal funding offers opportunities for states to recruit and retain more workers by supporting them in finding and paying for child care.
“The suite of investment in our infrastructure projects is a once-in-a-generation job opportunity, and we need a robust workforce to deliver on commitments to communities,” said Marina Zhavoronkova, senior fellow at CAP and co-author of the report. “No one should be left out because they are juggling child care. Using eligible funding to ensure prospective workers can find and secure child care is a critical link to growing and diversifying the infrastructure workforce.”
“Child care has been vastly underfunded for years. Working a job outside of traditional 9-to-5 hours makes it even more difficult for workers to find reliable and affordable child care,” said Maureen Coffey, policy analyst for Early Childhood Policy at CAP and co-author of the report. “Investing a portion of these funds to support child care access will allow workers, especially women, to enter the labor force. President Joe Biden’s legislative package offers a historic opportunity to invest in the future of our infrastructure, and states should use this opportunity to strengthen our workforce by helping hard-working families access child care.”
Read the report: “3 Ways States Can Expand and Sustain the Infrastructure Workforce by Meeting Child Care Needs” by Marina Zhavoronkova and Maureen Coffey
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sarah Nadeau at firstname.lastname@example.org.