On this Labor Day holiday weekend I want to let readers know how proud DOT is to have helped create jobs--directly and indirectly-- across America.
Work is a critical part of how Americans see and value themselves. Many of us derive dignity from being of use and pride from the products and services we provide. So, the Recovery Act is not just about generating economic activity. It's also about restoring dignity and pride to the nation's workers.
Listen, for example, to two different workers talking about their jobs and their colleagues...
Interviewer #1: What do you like most about your job?
Keith Miller: Just the sight of seeing something come out of the ground. All it is is a piece of paper when it's handed to me, and then when we get done, you've got a fairly large structure coming out of the ground that's working the way it was supposed to be.
Interviewer #2: What's it like out there right now?
Brandon Nesler: I know 40 or so equipment operators personally that have been displaced by the economic downturn. We need these projects to roll because they just want to put on their boots, grab a lunch-pail, and get to work.
Putting people back to work is important for many reasons. That's why the ripple effects of our Recovery Act spending--creating even more jobs for each dollar--are so important.
Our friends at New Hampshire's Pike Industries know first-hand how stimulus spending spreads through the economy. A recent video shows the benefits of their ARRA work being shared by many--from Pike employees to sub-contractors, from suppliers to those whose business benefit from tourists who can now travel on smooth, safe, and scenic New Hampshire roads:
This Labor Day, as signs of the Administration's efforts to rebuild the economy pepper our roadways, I am proud of the DOT and its role in job-creation. For generating economic recovery, yes. But also for helping restore America in other important ways.