Modernizing America’s Infrastructure and How Companies Can Begin to Prepare

Why is this important?

Quick facts:

  • The Infrastructure Law contains $550 billion in new spending. The $1.2 trillion figure comes from including additional funding normally allocated each year for highways and other infrastructure projects.
  • Government spending will begin this year through existing federal program grants and other funding. However, a large portion of the funding will be distributed through states, local governments and tribal communities over the next several years, with contracts being awarded via formulas and competitive grants.
  • State and local elected leaders are expected to band together, as governors and mayors are responsible for 90% of the expenditures in the law, while the federal government accounts for only 10% of the direct spending.
  • On May 13, the Biden administration made $45 billion in broadband funding available to the states to ensure high-speed internet service is available in rural areas and affordable to not only those with low incomes but to the middle class as well.
  • On Monday, May 16, the White House announced there are 4,300 infrastructure projects underway.

What other priority initiatives will the Infrastructure Law address?

  • Modernizing drinking water and wastewater systems, including lead pipe removal in underserviced communities.
  • Building a network of 500,000 EV (electric vehicle) charging stations across the nation to accelerate the transition from gasoline and electric vehicles.
  • Updating the nation’s electric grid to transition to renewable energy sourcing and improve performance.
  • Investing in sustainable transportation solutions (e.g., public transit, airports, ports and waterways, low emissions buses and ferries, and railways — including funding for Amtrak.)
  • Developing climate resilient solutions (e.g., electric charging stations, environmental remediation).

What should companies do now to prepare?

  • Set up cross-functional teams to assess business opportunities around the $1.2 trillion spending bill — both directly and indirectly.
  • Prioritize funding opportunities to pursue and develop a campaign to secure the funding.
  • Assess how state and local government infrastructure funding might impact business operations and future investment decision-making.
  • Determine how the company’s geographic footprint overlaps with the law’s funding priorities.
  • Develop internal communications to educate the workforce and supply chains on the business impact of this law, including with respect to wages, local labor laws, domestic content provisions — while emphasizing recruitment of new hires and training of the workforce.
  • Design a marketing and communications campaign to achieve your company’s business and communications objectives, which may include a targeted marketing and comms plan for federal and/or state decision-makers, an updated narrative with the government audience in mind, executive visibility and thought leadership.

This article is co-authored by Steve Bassermann and Madeline Skahill.

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