CINCINNATI — President Joe Biden's first stop after landing in the Tri-State Wednesday took him to a trade worker training center in Westwood to tout the importance of trade and other union jobs, as part of his "Build Back Better" initiative.
IBEW-NECA Electrical Training Center teaches workers how to build solar panels, one of the multiple types of trade professions Biden said his plan — which includes the massive, $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill working its way through Congress — would benefit.
It's a plan that Hamilton County Democratic Party chair Gwen McFarlin said is pivotal to ensuring the Tri-State bounces back from the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's the labor brothers and sisters who are doing the work, making sure the jobs are safe, making sure all of the OSHA standards are met and also just respecting the hard work that they do," McFarlin told WCPO.
Larry Thompson, president of Laborers Union Local 265 said Biden's infrastructure plan is critical to making sure good-paying union jobs stick around after the U.S. has emerged from the pandemic.
"Roads and bridges are our bread and butter," Thompson said. "That’s what keeps us going, and if there’s anything that can cause more construction… people are looking forward to developing. So his infrastructure plan and providing money to help constructors sustain a decent workforce is a plus for us as a labor union."
But Hamilton County GOP chair Alex Triantifilou said it's not Biden's plans or policies that are bringing job security and economic recovery. It's reducing regulations and cutting taxes — corporate taxes, in particular.
"By embracing business, reducing regulations, cutting taxes, cutting corporate taxes, that worked," he said. "That worked for four years. Our economy was humming right along. The Republican plan, the Paul Ryan tax plan signed by President Trump, ultimately created jobs for everyone across the board, across the ideological spectrum."