The American Jobs Plan and Your Business

The American Jobs Plan and your business.
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If you’re a Business Owner, CFO, or HR Professional that views your employees as assets and investments… 

On April 1st, 2021, President Biden released a massive $2 trillion spending plan to rebuild infrastructure and reshape the economy called the American Jobs Plan. As currently proposed, it would be the largest jobs investment since World War II, allocating billions of dollars to invest in job training, research and development, and manufacturing.

The American Jobs Plan consists of four major spending categories:

  1. Research and Development ($400 billion).
  2. The Care Economy ($650 billion).
  3. At-Home Infrastructure ($580 billion).
  4. Infrastructure ($621 billion).

And while we realize that about half of the American population will be willing to read about this and the other half will not, our suggestion is that you don’t approach this jobs plan from a political perspective but rather through the lens of a business owner. The reason for this is that whether you’re in favor of the plan or not, it may indeed have a massive impact on your company and employees moving forward.

With this in mind, the commentary we offer here has nothing to do with politics. We’re sharing our advice and expertise on what could be some major changes to the businesses and clients that we serve, your role as an executive, and our economy as a whole. In particular, we’ll focus on four main points that will help your company attract and retain the talent necessary to be successful in the year ahead.

1. Attracting Skilled Labor to Your Company

In their overview of the plan, the Biden administration mentions three pillars of our infrastructure that are in desperate need of investment: roads, bridges, and water systems. Take a moment to just visualize what $621 billion worth of investment in these three areas might look like.

For example, let’s consider bridge repair. Most of these jobs are skilled labor positions. So, if you’re in this industry or support this industry in any way, how are you going to attract skilled labor to your company?

…Hourly rate? …Salary?

It’s important to remember that income is rarely the number one reason an employee joins or leaves a company. When devising a plan to attract skilled labor, prioritize factors like culture, mission, leadership style, benefits, and perks. These tend to be much more important to people.

Just imagine for a moment that your competitor offered free health insurance to all employees. Don’t you think that might make them stand out a little more?

Also, imagine that your competitor placed a high value on each employee and trained leadership in effective communication and employee recognition methods. Doesn’t this sound like a culture that would attract top talent?

2. Communicating Your Values to Employees

So, how does manufacturing integrate into the jobs plan? It integrates in the very basic sense that companies will need tools, supplies, and materials to rebuild the roads, bridges, highways, airports, transit systems, water systems, piping systems, and so on.

If you’re in the manufacturing sector, you’re likely to experience an increase in demand if you supply these types of projects. Here again, we’re looking at a skilled labor position. With an increase in demand, you’ll be competing with other manufacturing type jobs. And just as we noted in the last point, pay level won’t likely be the most important thing.

What will end up being a very important element is how well you communicate the values you bring to employees over the course of the next year. Consider how sometimes these jobs are in noisy areas, or how you might have workers rotating in two or three shifts. Getting all your employees together for a group meeting won’t always be feasible.

What communication platform will you then utilize to communicate with your employees over the course of the next year? Devise a strategy using various technologies and methods: text messaging, video messaging, emailing, home mailings, etc. Employers are using new techniques and technologies to boost and improve the communication with their workforce.

3. Improving Women’s Labor Force Participation

Improving the women’s labor force participation is an area of focus explicitly mentioned in the overview of the American Jobs Plan and this is a good thing. Now, as a woman owned company, we may seem biased, but really it’s about the importance of having a diversity of leadership in organizations and companies.

The leadership styles of men and women tend to differ from one another. One is not better than the other—they’re simply different. And it’s always important to have a good balance of approach, perspective, and experience.

If you’re a woman owned business, you might consider how you’ll be affected by this increased focus on women labor force participation going forward. For example, getting certification as a WAM organization might be worthwhile.

4. Maximizing Your Employee Benefits Package

Finally, it’s also noted that 40% of the American Jobs Plan spending will be going to the disadvantaged communities of our nation. While sometimes the concentration of disadvantaged communities occur in major cities, it should be noted that spending is not restricted to these areas.

A tangential industry that we believe will be positively impacted is the nonprofit organizations in our communities. Unfortunately, nonprofits have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. And while they don’t often make the news, or you don’t necessarily drive by empty nonprofit buildings the way you might a local restaurant, the lack of available funding has put a significant clamp on the missions of these organizations.

The nonprofit industry is handicapped financially in a few different ways, but mostly on the amount of pay they can extend workers. So, as a way to offset this, they have been enhancing their employee benefits package, which can work really well if done correctly.

Now, for these organizations it’s important they maximize that spend. Just spending more money is not the answer. The answer is making sure the money is spent in the right way.

American Jobs Plan embracing new ideas.

Closing Advice: Embrace New Ideas

As you continue to learn more about this jobs plan and the ways in which it may affect your organization and employees, now is a great time to begin incorporating new ideas into your approach. The economy and the world are quickly changing around us all the time. Meeting these new challenges often requires embracing a new strategy or technique.

One thing that we pride ourselves on is bringing new ideas, new strategies, and new techniques to the companies that we partner with. We’re always up to meeting a new challenge and always open to an introductory discussion without any obligation.

If you’re a Business Owner, CFO, or HR Professional that views your employees as assets and investments… 


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