Since coming to the U.S. Senate, Joe has worked on his Opportunity Agenda, which is a blueprint of common sense policies designed to expand economic opportunities for Hoosier workers, businesses, and their families in four critical areas: Energy, Workforce Development & Training, Infrastructure, and Exports and Innovations.
Going All-In: ENERGY
Joe thinks a strong domestic energy economy is at the foundation of our potential for economic success. Affordable, reliable energy allows families to heat their homes and travel to work and school. Affordable, reliable energy ensures businesses can manufacture products efficiently, on time, and can compete in the global economy. And affordable, reliable American energy ensures that we are investing our money here at home rather than, each year, sending hundreds of billions of dollars overseas to buy energy that’s already here in the United States. The production of affordable, reliable American energy here at home creates jobs here at home—not overseas.
Hitting the Ground Running: WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT & TRAINING
Joe thinks it is very important that we help our workforce hit the ground running by improving workforce development and training. Estimates by the Manufacturing Institute indicate there are as many as 600,000 job openings in our country that remain unfilled because employers are not able to find workers with the necessary skills to do that job. Joe thinks we must make a better effort to close this “skills gap,” as he often hears from Hoosier business owners, educators, and workers about the pressing need to have training available to match the needs of employers and help workers more quickly find good jobs.
Investing in the Crossroads of America: INFRASTRUCTURE
In order to live up to Indiana’s “Crossroads of America” name, Joe thinks we need the best roads, the best rail, the best airports, and the best waterways—so we can continue to expand our logistics and other transportation industries.
Highway Trust Fund
Read about Joe’s legislative efforts to extend federal highway and transit funding, as well as support for a long-term solution, here.
Asian Carp and the Great Lakes
Introduced to American waters more than 30 years ago, Asian carp have devastated rivers and lakes by out-competing native fish for food and disrupting natural ecosystems. Joe has joined his Great Lakes colleagues in efforts to find practical, immediate solutions to the threat of Asian carp and other invasive species to the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basin. Read about his work with Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) here.
The Army Corps announced in November 2014 that they intend to evaluate structural and nonstructural options and technologies near the Brandon Road Lock and Dam site as a control point to reduce the risk of upstream transfers of invasive species, while minimizing adverse impacts to waterway users and resources.
Keystone XL Pipeline and Cross-Border Pipeline Permitting
Joe thinks it is important that we keep Hoosier—and all American—businesses and industries competitive through the promotion of exports and innovation. Indiana produces some of the best quality products in the world—from automobiles to agricultural products to medical devices—and we should continue to look for opportunities to sell these products to the world.
Manufacturing accounts for more than 98% of Indiana’s exports, and manufactured goods exports support nearly 23% of Indiana’s manufacturing jobs, which is higher than the national average. Small businesses account for nearly 17% of Indiana’s exports. Joe thinks we need to do more to promote the good work of these Hoosier businesses, which includes promoting a global economy that is built on responsible and fair trade policies.
Recognizing the importance of the Export-Import Bank to Indiana manufacturers, Joe is a supporter of reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank. Read more here.
International Threats to Domestic Steel Industry
Throughout 2014, Joe advocated on behalf of the domestic steel industry to the U.S. Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission regarding unfair trade. The domestic steel industry sought duties on unfairly traded imports of oil country tubular goods from several countries, including South Korea. Read about Joe’s efforts here.
Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) today welcomed the introduction of the Skills Gap Strategy Act of 2014 in the House by Representatives Matt Cartwright (D-PA) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA). Read More
Senator Joe Donnelly met with three representatives from the Indiana Skills2Compete Coalition, a bipartisan group of state legislators, education policymakers, and business, labor, and community leaders. Read More