What the money coming from $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan means for Texas projects and jobs

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Monday, November 15, 2021
$1.2 trillion infrastructure plan's impact on Texas projects and jobs
The infrastructure bill signed in Washington D.C. won't just send billions to Texas, but it gives job seekers the way to find new employment.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The infrastructure bill signed in Washington D.C. won't just send billions to Texas, but it gives job seekers the way to find new employment.


On Tuesday, President Joe Biden signed the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill. The White House released fact sheets breaking down money coming in to Texas.

In all, it's about $35 billion. There's $26.9 billion for freeways; $537 for bridges; and $3.3 billion for public transportation.

If you own an electric vehicle or are thinking of buying one, there's a lot of money for a new charging station. In all, Texas will receive $408 million for EV charging stations.

It's more than traditional infrastructure as well. There's $100 to help improve Texans' access to the internet. There's $42 million to improve cyber security, and $2.9 billion to improve water infrastructure.

Legislation Construction Career Collaborative, executive director, Angela Robbins-Taylor said the bill won't just bring new projects to Houston, but help with aging structures.

"We all have to hire a contractor to fix our houses, maintain our houses," Robbins-Taylor explained. "Same thing is true for all forms of construction. There's a maintenance piece of it the same as the construction piece, and there's a maintenance piece coming in right now that's vital for us to be individual citizens of the state."

When ABC13 asked the Texas Department of Transportation where the money will be spent, they sent the following statement:

"The infrastructure bill passed by Congress will help address transportation needs in Texas as the state could receive nearly $1 billion per year of additional funding for project development, construction and improvements to our roads and bridges over the next 5 years. The bill also includes additional funding for public transit, aviation, and passenger rail. While we do not specifically know which projects will get the additional funding yet, it's likely we could move forward with projects already in various phases of development in our ten-year planning document (Unified Transportation Program). With our state's population booming, funding for transportation is as vital as ever."


Construction companies are already gearing up for work. They'll have plenty available, but they face a problem in finding qualified workers. Job seekers can get involved with plenty of free training options, including at the Houston Gulf Coast Building and Construction Trades Council, which offers a free three-week pre-apprenticeship program.

Students will be placed with employers, and make $15 or more an hour while they learn.

"Once you graduate a three, four, or five years apprenticeship program, depending on the trade that you choose, you're making $25 to $35 an hour," executive secretary, Paul Puente said.

With the money arriving in Texas soon, construction companies are already looking for help.

"We're going to be the downstream of this," Day & Zimmermann, site manager, James Mcdonald said. "As projects come up, with large scale projects and improvements with existing infrastructure come up I expect that us and others will see an influx in projects."

The White House said the majority of the money will be distributed over the next five years. Even when it ends, construction experts say you'll most likely find a lifelong career.

"You learn a skill," Mcdonald said. "You learn a life skill. A skill you can take and have a successful career."

If you're interested in the pre-apprenticeship program, visit the apprenticeship readiness program, and learn more.

You can also call the ABC13 viewer hotline with Workforce Solutions to learn about other options at 713-243-6663.

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