At a National Press Club luncheon today, I described the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as a program focused on results; it puts wages in people’s pockets; and it gives hope to struggling families and communities. It is a lifeline for construction workers who have been especially hard hit by the downturn.
I also spoke about Willie Fort.
Mr. Fort is a 32-year-old family man, with a wife and four young children. He's been doing construction work for about 12 years. Recently, he was about to get laid off from his current job near his home in central Mississippi. A layoff was not something he was used to dealing with. Then he learned about the $31 million highway project being built by Austin Bridge & Road just north of Shreveport, Louisiana. Mr. Fort put in for that job and was hired to oversee the concrete work. That is stimulus.
Now, this particular job is about four hours from home. But, Mr. Fort says it’s worth relocating temporarily, because this could mean two years of steady work. He'll return home every two weeks or so to visit his family. It will be difficult, he knows, but it eases his concern about supporting his young family. Moreover, Mr. Fort says that, thanks to this job, he and his wife can move ahead with plans to buy a house back in Mississippi. That is stimulus.
This is what it’s all about. The thousands of men and women like Mr. Fort. The hundreds of companies like Austin Bridge & Road.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is working for Willie Fort; it's working for America.