In June, the Biden-Harris Administration launched the Infrastructure Talent Pipeline Challenge - a nationwide call-to-action for employers to make tangible commitments that support equitable workforce development in the broadband, construction, and electrification sectors. The initiative captured the White House’s agenda to create jobs with good pay for a diverse pool of people, also increasing the quality of work by encouraging programs for skills training.

On November 2nd, President Biden held a celebratory event to honor the commitments made by over 350 organisations in 50 states and territories as a part of The Challenge. During the event, tradespeople from various unions demonstrated their support of critical skills through worker training procedures. Pushing innovation, among this group were representatives from the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT) displaying how to use a VR simulator for professional painting techniques and representatives from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) displaying their training in installing and maintaining EV chargers.

Under The Challenge, AT&T has also emphasised skills training by partnering with the Communication Workers of America. The company launched an innovative program with Corning to provide workers with support for the broadband sector.

Another tangent of The Challenge is the Catalyze Registry, a more than $70 million investment that performs matchmaking between local initiatives (including those with no federal funds) and foundations/nonprofits that can fund these projects. This also empowers a diverse, qualified talent pool for infrastructure jobs, especially with regards to  underrepresented workers

Biden’s extensive efforts, as fuelled by businesses and organisations around the United States, present compelling opportunities for the skills economy. Highlighting grassroot-level employers and underlining the significance of critical skills reveals the importance of mastery and technique, as well as intentional specialisation. Lower echelons of society are being given their due respect and aid, boosting the economy and permeating upwards. A rising tide lifts all boats, and a rising standard lifts the need for a highly skilled workforce.

Visit our Skills Glossary to explore critical frontline skills