Tester Presses for Investments in Montana’s Workforce, Transportation & Communications Systems

Senator Advocates for Montana During Commerce Committee Hearing on Infrastructure

(U.S. Senate) – After gathering feedback during his statewide infrastructure listening tour last year, U.S. Senator Jon Tester brought Montanans’ input back to Washington as the Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing on America’s infrastructure needs.

“We are living off our grandparents’ roads, bridges, and communications systems,” Tester said. “If we start investing in improvements today, we can give our kids and our grandkids the foundation they’ll need to thrive in a 21st Century economy.”

During yesterday’s hearing, Tester asked witnesses representing the railroad, cable, and trucking industries what kind of investments they believe are needed to improve America’s transportation and technological infrastructure.

“Has your industry talked about what kinds of investments are needed in roads and bridges in this country over the next 10 years?” Tester asked Chris Spear, President and CEO of the American Trucking Association. “What kind of dollars are we talking about?”

Tester also noted that investing in infrastructure includes investing in a well-trained workforce.

“Do you have any recommendations on what we should be doing to make sure you have the workforce you need?” Tester asked Matthew Polka, President and CEO of the American Cable Association. “Because we can pump all this money in, but if we don’t have the workforce, we’re not going to get things done.”

After President Trump announced his desire to pass a $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill during last year’s State of the Union, Tester embarked on statewide listening tour-with stops in Billings, Laurel, Great Falls, Bozeman, and Big Timber-to hear from local officials about the state’s most pressing infrastructure needs.

Tester has fought hard to invest in America’s aging infrastructure, launching his #ConnectMT Initiative in 2015 to connect Montanans-both in person and online-through 21st Century technology and transportation systems. Since then, he has secured millions of dollars’ worth of investments in Montana’s roads, bridges, airports, broadband and wastewater systems.

Tester continues to solicit input on this issue, establishing a dedicated email address to collect feedback. Montanans can send their infrastructure ideas and priorities directly to Tester at infrastructure@tester.senate.gov