“Made in America” is more than just a slogan. Behind those words are millions of high-paying jobs for hard-working families. For years I’ve said that the best social programs are high-paying jobs.For generations, a simple idea has defined the American dream. If you work hard and play by the rules, you can succeed in America. Too many working families today feel they have forgotten that dream. But with an American-made agenda, we can refocus on that dream.
Over the last few years, we have faced serious challenges. The pandemic has severely hit the global supply chain, causing shortages of critical products such as semiconductors used in cars, phones and consumer electronics. Decades of tax policy had rewarded companies to outsource their manufacturing operations, leaving too many goods in short supply. These shortages, in turn, have created an affordability crisis for our families here.
America’s workers are stranded on stagnant wages even as companies make record profits, with the CEO’s earnings ratio compared to the average employee ballooning to 324 to 1. This huge CEO pay gap is unprecedented in American history. From the 1940s through his 1970s, the pay gap stayed at his 30-to-1. From 1970 to 1989, the CEO pay gap surged to 58 to 1 for him. It was a big gap back then, but compared to today’s numbers, it looks pretty small.
I’m leading the fight to advance an American-originated agenda because I refuse to continue to outsource work for the CEO’s excessive profit. I hope our new normal is better than ever during this time when we are all eager to get back to normal. It’s where hard-working men and women in Southern Jersey and across the country work hard for the American Dream.
For many years, as an electrician and trade union representative, I fought for better wages, health care, and retirement security for workers. We know that when we invest in America’s workers, we invest in America’s future and grow the economy in a way that benefits everyone. It’s all about the agenda. And by putting workers at the center of federal policy, we’ve begun to make great strides in moving this agenda forward.
In April, as one of the negotiators in the U.S. House of Representatives, I began working on a bipartisan bill that would invest in America’s manufacturing and job creation. Our efforts resulted in his CHIPS and Science Act, his $280 billion package to strengthen America’s competitiveness in the global economy. President Biden signed the bill into law last week.
For years, New Jersey’s manufacturing sector shrunk and the good jobs dwindled. But we’re starting to reverse this trend by investing in new industries that are made in America and even made in New Jersey. The growing offshore wind industry in South Jersey is one example.
i recently Visited the Paulsboro Marine Terminal Here, local workers are building a manufacturing site for the steel monopiles that form the basis of offshore wind turbines. Soon thousands of workers will be manufacturing these monopiles in South Jersey. Investing in local manufacturing will not only create good jobs that will grow the local economy, but will also increase energy independence. It also lays the foundation for long-term clean energy production that will secure and increase the resilience of the power grid.
That’s why I teamed up with fellow New Jersey legislator Bill Pasquell to introduce the Offshore Wind Manufacturing Act that flips the script on corporate outsourcing of American jobs. Our proposal rewards the companies that create jobs here in New Jersey. We are proud to report that these incentives have been included in the Inflation Reduction Act.
Of course, every job created has a worker to fill it. That’s why he set aside $500,000 for a clean energy-related vocational training program at Rowan University. Investing in today’s workforce is critical to building the economy of the 21st century. That’s why I backed manufacturing with the “Buy American” standard and secured a provision in the annual National Defense Bill that guaranteed a minimum wage of $15 an hour to federal contractors.
Investing in American workers is good for families and good for our economy. It fixes supply chains and increases the availability of everyday items like washing machines, cars and smartphones. can do. It creates well-paid jobs that offer dignity in work and retirement. Ultimately, America’s agenda is to invest in American workers. Bring the American Dream to life by making and buying in America.
Congressman Donald Norcross represents the First Congressional District, which includes Camden, most of Camden County, and parts of Burlington and Gloucester Counties.
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