DORCHESTER, MA – Today, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5) hosted the U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, Governor Maura Healey, Mayor Michelle Wu, and Representatives Ayanna Pressley and Stephen Lynch for a tour and roundtable at the Greater Boston Joint Apprenticeship Training Center. The elected leaders met with members and apprentices to discuss the Biden administration’s job-creating investments and the central role of accessible, affordable child care in building a robust economy. Below are highlights from their conversation:

Whip Clark on Democrats' Continued Progress for Working Families: 

“We made sure that as Democrats, we passed the American Rescue Plan that kept 200,000 child care centers open for business during and immediately after the pandemic. We passed a federal budget that invested another $20 billion in childcare so that we can continue to bring down the costs for families. And, now we are using the leverage of the federal government to make sure that employers do their part. This is really the brainchild of our Secretary of Commerce, working with the Biden administration to add a child care component to the application for funding from the CHIPS & Science Act to really leverage that private investment in our workforce and make sure that people have access to affordable childcare so they can get to the job site and know that their family is secure. So this is a major victory for hardworking families here at the IBEW, throughout the building trades, and across our country.”

Secretary Raimondo on Commitment to Helping Women Re-Enter the Workforce with Accessible, Affordable Child Care: 

“President Biden's Investing in America agenda is truly transformative. The investments we are making will create millions of jobs: Union jobs. Construction jobs. Manufacturing jobs.

“I'm also investing CHIPS and Science Act money. We’ll create over 100,000 manufacturing jobs building semiconductor facilities all over the country. So the good news is for the next 5 to 10 years, this country will see massive job creation in high paying jobs for Americans. We have to make sure that we train folks to do these jobs –  and that includes women.

“I know, as a working mother and having been the governor, it is so hard to do a job if you don't have reliable child care. You could be the best trained electrician in the world, but if you can’t drop your child off and know with confidence and peace of mind that your child will be cared for … then you can’t hold your job down. And so, one of the things that I’m doing is making sure that child care is provided.” 

Governor Healey on Massachusetts' Plan for CHIPS & Science Act Child Care Funding: 

“I, too, subscribe to this notion that child care is economics. It is really the backbone of our ability to move forward as a state – or inability to move forward. So,what are we doing to address that? One, we're making sure that as we compete hard for federal dollars … that we are taking advantage of the very funding opportunities and the requirements of the program. It is right, what Secretary Raimondo has done, in making sure that child care is included because we don't have a workforce unless we have child care. And, we don't have development and growth unless we have a workforce.”  

IBEW Local 103 Apprentices and Journeywomen on the Struggle to Balance Work and Child Care: 

LisaMarie Scales: “My oldest daughter is 24 … I have a 15 year old girl. I have a 3 year old little boy. And yes, I work almost 7 days a week since January outside of holidays. I would say it is extremely hard. You have to sacrifice … With my baby, my husband had to retire from the MBTA [and] we had to make a decision: Was I going to work days or  nights with the baby? So obviously I took the days and he’s working at night. I do not get to see my husband, hardly ever. And it has gotten to the point where I have to turn down the overtime because I cannot afford child care.” 

Jillian Higgins: “When I found out I was pregnant, my biggest fear was child care. My partner is a Local 7 ironworker and we both get up out the door by 5 am. I have family close but asking them to show up at my door at 5 am everyday is not feasible.” 

Tisha Tippayporn: “I have a four year old boy, so I would say it is very important to be able to access child care. My husband works at night, so he needs a lot of time to sleep in the morning. But I work early morning … If you don't have child care, it's so hard to go to work without worrying about what's going on at home.” 

Suzy Depina-Corriea: “I am actually the only one who is not a mom of the apprentices, but Local 103 has been equally life changing for me. Before the trades I was making about 16 bucks an hour and providing full time care for a mentally disabled mother. So thinking about starting a family of my own was completely unheard of. I'm now on the road from making $16 an hour to $60. That  jump in income is absolutely insane and it just means that now looking forward and thinking about a future is actually possible for me.” 

For event photos, click HERE. To watch the full press conference, click HERE.

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