In 2021, Congress passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the bipartisan infrastructure bill, to rebuild and restore the nation’s critical infrastructure assets, including high-speed broadband networks. Focused on job creation, the Biden administration hopes to leverage the bipartisan infrastructure bill to create more high-wage jobs for employees without college degrees. With $65 billion allocated to broadband, the tech sector is primed for the entry of new workers. What roles will be available to workers, especially those without college or highly technical certification? How will the workforce be made aware of existing and new jobs? Will these jobs be sustained and protected beyond the IIJA?
On March 23, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings hosted a webinar with leading workforce experts to explore the identification, training, and placement of marginalized workers in occupations directly and indirectly created by the deployment of high-speed broadband networks. Panelists also discussed the work of the Markle Foundation’s Research Consortium on Technology Policy and Good Jobs.