At the UA, we believe that an economy built to last must make the most of America’s energy resources. It must be fueled by homegrown and alternative energy sources that strengthen our economy, promote job growth, and make us more secure and less dependent on foreign oil. However, reducing energy imports by bolstering domestic production will require more than just securing a steady supply of energy materials. The U.S. has an abundant supply of energy sources and new technologies have been developed to extract resources once impossible to reach. In order to bring these fuel sources to market we need to expand advanced manufacturing in the energy sector and improve our country’s energy delivery infrastructure systems. Improving our nation’s infrastructure systems and energy products to meet future demand will increase our nation’s competitiveness and help put millions of men and women back to work.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, we have a $3.6 trillion infrastructure deficit. It will not be possible to meet the nation’s future energy and economic needs, achieve desired reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, or diversify our fuel supplies without updating, enhancing, and expanding infrastructure. That is why the UA supports a comprehensive energy policy that encourages reinvestment in current infrastructures, pursues energy efficiency and sustainability, and balances investment across a diverse portfolio of alternative sources—including nuclear, solar and hydro technologies—while tapping critical U.S. assets in coal, natural gas, and oil. We believe that improving waterways, railroads, highways and pipeline systems are all essential to building stronger U.S. energy infrastructure, preventing companies from moving jobs overseas, and improving our nation’s export capabilities by driving innovation and maximizing the use of American-made materials.
American workers have been and will continue to be a crucial factor in driving U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and economic prosperity. In fact, the American workforce is the single most important driver of this new era of innovation and discovery because the next generation of energy manufacturing and infrastructure jobs will require highly skilled workers.
That is why the UA Training Department spends over $250 million annually on cutting-edge training and skills updating—because we know that a well-trained workforce is essential to delivering clean, reliable, and affordable energy to the U.S. economy. Increasing demand will result in numerous job opportunities in both traditional and emerging energy industries, and the UA is committed to continuous training to help our members develop, install, and maintain the energy products to meet these demands.