STATEMENT: CAP’s Karla Walter Praises Sen. Gillibrand’s Build Local, Hire Local Act

Washington, D.C. — Today, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) released her Build Local, Hire Local Act, which would attach job quality, equity, and training standards to any infrastructure deal enacted by Congress. Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA) also introduced companion legislation in the House.

The Center for American Progress has called for Congress to pass a comprehensive infrastructure package to create good jobs, raise wages, tackle the climate crisis, improve access to opportunity, and increase social equity. Karla Walter, director of Employment Policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement endorsing the legislation:

Major investment is urgently needed to rebuild America’s physical infrastructure, expand access to broadband, invest in clean energy, and create middle-class jobs. Yet, previous federal infrastructure investment has often excluded and even displaced communities of color and low-income and otherwise disadvantaged communities. Moreover, conservative and corporate interest groups are increasingly attacking standards that help ensure that jobs funded through federal spending pay good wages, include protections to prevent discrimination, and ensure workers are able to exercise their right to form unions.

Sen. Gillibrand’s bill will help ensure that future infrastructure investment lifts up communities of color, low-income communities, and those that are otherwise struggling. It will also help guarantee that working Americans from all walks of life—no matter their race, gender, disability status, or the ZIP code they come from—can access good jobs that pay decent wages, afford them with respect on the job, and provide pathways to the middle class.

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at or 202-478-6331.