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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg talks jobs and opportunity in Wisconsin

State expected to get $5.4 billion for roads and bridges
Posted at 9:03 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 22:03:32-04

The Biden Administration says Wisconsin is expected to get more than five billion dollars over the next five years, just for roads and bridges.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says to get the job done, more skilled workers will be needed.

The secretary showed some skills while using an excavator at the Operating Engineers Local 139 training facility in Coloma during a visit with Governor Tony Evers.

Buttigieg knows the machines on display will be needed to build and repair roads and bridges across Wisconsin.

He calls it a once in a generation opportunity to build America's future with a workforce that reflects all of America.

"We have a chance to level the playing field right now," said Sec. Buttigieg. "Because we're creating so many jobs, that we need everybody's help, talent and participation, not just because it's the right thing to do from an equity and justice perspective, but also because that's what it's going to take to actually deliver all of these projects."

Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) students Antonio Wright and Samantha Bonner-Russ had a brief chat with the secretary.

They were among hundreds of high school students from around the state learning about the opportunity and need for more skilled workers that can earn a starting wage of $25 to $30 an hour.

Wright says he was here for the "the experience and using the big machines."

"I liked the experience," said Bonner-Russ. "I was scared to use the machines, other than that it was pretty good."

The $1.3 trillion infrastructure program isn't just about fixing bad roads and bridges, there's also money for electric vehicle infrastructure. Wisconsin will get about $80 million for more E-V chargers.

WEB EXTRA: TMJ4's Charles Benson asks Secretary Pete Buttigieg about mask mandates on planes and public transit.

Secretary Buttigieg talks masks and public transportation

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