Dakota Access Pipeline, LLC, the company constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline announced in a press release that construction contracts have been awarded to two Midwestern firms, based in Brownsville and Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Both firms have committed to using 100% union labor and half of those positions will be filled using local union halls in the states along the project’s route.
Michels Pipeline and Precision, the construction companies tapped for the project also made further commitments to benefit workers along the route, pledging to use equipment made by Midwestern companies:
In anticipation for the project and 2016 demand, it has been estimated that Michels Pipeline and Precision have made commitments exceeding $200 million to Caterpillar, John Deere, and Vermeer for heavy construction and related equipment, with positive manufacturing impacts to Iowa, Illinois, and the surrounding region. Caterpillar, John Deere, and Vermeer have individually filed letters supporting the project with the respective state utility board or commissions.
The president of the Iowa-based Vermeer Corporation explained the significance of working on the Dakota Access Pipeline:
As an Iowa-based manufacturer of the equipment to be used in the Dakota Access Pipeline Project, Vermeer depends on such projects in order to give back to its team members and the communities where they live. (…) Together, we have opportunity to add and secure more jobs within our businesses, and support a progressive economy throughout the Midwest.
Tom Pellette, a group president of the Illinois-based Catepillar Inc. echoed the sentiment and emphasized the importance of the project for the region’s energy security:
Caterpillar is proud to support the Dakota Access Pipeline project. Energy sources must be developed and used in an environmentally sustainable manner and also delivered in a responsible way, and this pipeline is a prime example of that. From a Caterpillar perspective, we and our eight Cat® dealers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois – who will help support this project – employ nearly 25,000 people at about 80 locations. Access to affordable and dependable energy resources is critical for energy security and economic prosperity, and we look forward to helping our customers succeed in the completion of this project by delivering world-class construction equipment to these areas in which we live and work.
By working with Midwestern businesses and labor, the Dakota Access Pipeline has shown its commitment to ensuring that the communities in our region reap the economic benefits from energy infrastructure expansion and guarantees that the money invested into the project will end up directly and indirectly in the pocketbooks of families from North Dakota to Illinois. That is certainly a cause for celebration.