As we listened to the speakers at the IUB public hearing yesterday, we noted that some members of the opposition pointed out that the jobs created by the Dakota Access Pipeline project were not permanent, and therefore, Iowa workers would not benefit from these jobs. Many of the very people who specialize in, and have made a career out of these so-called temporary projects, have pushed back on that notion and offered their perspective.
George Koetters, a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, pointed out in his recently published letter to The Des Moines Register, that he has worked over 40 years on various projects, and has made a good living by doing so, as have thousands of Iowans and Midwesterners. Thanks to the efforts and hard work of men and women like Mr. Koetters, we have the infrastructure we need to keep our country moving in the right direction.
Many members of the trades industry voiced the same opinion at the hearing yesterday, including Ross Walsh, a resident of Winterset, who said:
I’m a veteran and I’m also an apprentice with the operating engineers out of Local 234. I support the Dakota Access project for a variety of reasons and encourage the utility board to grant a construction permit for the project. The Dakota Access project offers the chance for not just myself, but for thousands of highly skilled workers to build their careers in the construction trade.
The IUB hearings made it clear that the construction jobs generated by investments such as the Dakota Access Pipeline are seen as an incredible opportunity by the craftsmen and women of the region. As the Governor Terry Branstad has pointed out, Iowa needs more opportunity in the skilled trades. We believe that the project will stand on its merits and we encourage the IUB to approve the project in a timely decision.