Heavy Equipment Leader Says Bipartisan Water Infrastructure Bill Is Great for Industry

President Obama has signed into law a $12.3 billion water resources bill that will improve U.S. infrastructure; the bipartisan effort will contribute to economic growth and bolster international trade. He signed the historic legislation on June 10, 2014, and Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis Slater was thrilled by the news.

obamasignswaterbill“I’m pleased that President Obama was able to sign the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) into law,” Slater said in a statement following the bill’s signing. “I want to thank members of Congress from both parties for working together to advance this important legislation, which will spur opportunities for equipment manufacturers to help ready America’s ports and waterways for the 21st century. WRRDA offers an example to Congress on how to come together and advance critical investments in infrastructure to help create jobs and support manufacturers. Lawmakers should act similarly to quickly pass a federal highway bill that secures the solvency of America’s transportation infrastructure for the next generation.”

For us here at North America Heavy Equipment Training Services (NAHETS), anytime we hear about new opportunities for heavy equipment manufacturers, we know that a byproduct of that will be additional opportunities for heavy equipment operators. As always, we stand ready to provide top-level and state-of-the-art heavy equipment training for new operators and also training for existing operators who may be asked to help prepare others to operate at the highest and safest levels possible.

Obama praised the work of Democrats and Republicans and said he hoped it set a pattern for agreement for more spending on capital works projects across the country. “Right now we should be putting a lot more Americans back to work rebuilding our infrastructure,” he said at the signing ceremony. “There are a lot of guys with hardhats sitting at home.”

The new law will pay for 34 new projects over the next 10 years. Its price tag is half the amount of the last water projects bill seven years ago. Congressional leaders have praised the bill for containing no pet projects from lawmakers, the kind of targeted, congressionally directed spending that had angered the public and helped fuel the tea party movement.

WRRDA reforms how the federal government funds and selects critical water infrastructure projects throughout the nation and streamlines the environmental review and permitting process to greatly diminish wait times when undertaking water infrastructure construction projects. The House voted 412-4 and the Senate voted 91-7 to approve the legislation and send it to the White House for President Obama’s signature.

AEM is a trade association that provides services on a global basis for companies that manufacture equipment, products and services used worldwide in the following industries: Agriculture, Construction, Forestry, Mining and Utility. AEM’s membership is made up of more than 850 companies and represents 200+ product lines.

NAHETS is a specialized resource organization dedicated to the training and certification of heavy equipment and crane operators to ensure that your construction site is productive and your crew is skilled. Our mission is to provide industry, government agencies, member schools, and operators innovative and flexible heavy equipment training and certification solutions that exceed industry standards and ensure that certified operators are safe and effective.


Image courtesy of whitehouse.gov.

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