We applaud the President’s commitment to job creation—especially in the area of infrastructure and transportation improvements. Although it was not mentioned directly, we believe that the initiatives outlined in the President’s words can and should embrace the concepts behind the American Marine Highway because the President and his Administration, along with congressional leaders from both parties have already endorsed the concept; because the federal investment requirements are relatively miniscule while the job creation potential is enormous; because the time is right; because the need is great; because the conditions are favorable; and because it will mean continued and expanded employment in shipbuilding and maritime occupations nationwide; because it could also result in sustaining a critical national asset—the Avondale shipyard in New Orleans.

Moving forward aggressively on the American Marine Highway will immediately inject new energy and resources into our economy and immediately result in new hiring in good paying middle class jobs.

The unions of the Metal Trades Department look forward to working with the President and his Transportation Department to bring this concept to fruition.

One of the most immediate results of that initiative can and should be a new and brighter outlook for employment security for the skilled men and women who can and who should build the ships to ply that American Marine Highway employed at Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans. When the White House and Congress begin fleshing out this jobs bill we urge that they make certain to include the American Marine Highway as an integral part of the plan.