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McKinley Vote Matters for W.Va.

Editor, News-Register:

As a Communications Workers of America (CWA) union member and a resident of West Virginia, improving our infrastructure and creating good-paying union jobs in our state is a very important issue for me and many other workers in our state. It’s especially important that we use our tax dollars to protect workers and reward employers with high labor standards. The recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act does just that. The law delivers plenty of needed investment to West Virginia. It includes money for roads and bridges, clean drinking water, cleanup of abandoned mine lands, and remediation of orphaned oil and gas wells. Thanks to the activism of our union members and community allies in West Virginia and the rest of the country, our state is expected to receive over $200 million to expand broadband service.

We are living in the age where internet connectivity has become a basic necessity. However, millions of Americans still struggle with access to affordable reliable high-speed internet service. According to the federal government, almost 15% of West Virginians live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure. Even where infrastructure is available, broadband may be too expensive to be within reach. Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, almost 550,000 low-income residents in West Virginia will be eligible for a program that will help them afford internet access. The $200 million for buildout will bring our telecommunications infrastructure into the 21st century and create new jobs in the process. The legislation prioritizes broadband funding for projects from responsible employers with high labor standards.

It is critical that broadband is built out by skilled union members who know how to do the job correctly and safely and this is the very first time that labor protections have ever been attached to federal broadband funds.

CWA members are ready to get started bringing high quality broadband to our communities.

None of this would have been possible without the 13 Republican members of Congress, including our very own Representative David McKinley, who voted for the infrastructure bill to become law. By supporting this crucial legislation, Rep. McKinley prioritized the needs and concerns of his constituents over partisan politics. His courageous leadership will directly benefit all West Virginians. We thank Rep. McKinley for supporting working families by creating good-paying union jobs, updating our infrastructure and improving the state’s overall economic competitiveness.

Jeff Anderson

Clarksburg

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