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AEM Hosts Milwaukee Officials for Infrastructure Discussion

Wed July 06, 2022 - Midwest Edition #14
Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), in collaboration with Brookings Metro, convened public and private stakeholders for a discussion about how to leverage the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to make generational investments in our nation's infrastructure and create economic opportunity for every American.

The event, titled Rethinking Milwaukee's Infrastructure: The Challenges and Opportunities, is the second in a series of events that AEM will host across the country to highlight policy recommendations outlined in the Rebuild With Purpose: An Affirmative Vision for 21st Century American Infrastructure, a Brookings Institution report released in collaboration with AEM last year.

The event featured a fireside chat with Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson and Amy Liu of Brookings Metro, who discussed how the city is leveraging newly created federal grant programs to design infrastructure projects that will create greater economic opportunity in the area.

"Infrastructure investment has lagged across America, and in cities like Milwaukee there are pressing needs," Johnson said. "We now have new resources at hand to start the work that's needed. In my city, we are prioritizing the replacement of lead pipes that carry drinking water to individual residences. And with aging roadways, sewers and streetlighting, we have goals that new resources will help us meet. I appreciate the insight on this topic offered to us by our friends at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers."

The fireside chat was followed by a panel discussion that featured Lafayette Crump, Milwaukee Department of City Development commissioner; Kathryn J. Dunn, Greater Milwaukee Foundation senior vice president and chief strategy officer; Kevin Shafer, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District executive director; and Tim Sheehy, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce president; and was moderated by Adie Tomer, Brookings Metro senior fellow. The group examined the challenges and opportunities facing communities such as Milwaukee and how the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will help create a modern, sustainable and equitable infrastructure for all Americans.

"For years, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers has been leading the charge for a generational investment in our nation's infrastructure. With the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law, we are partnering with state and local leaders to ensure that we leverage this historic legislation to rebuild roads and bridges, invest in water and wastewater systems, upgrade ports and inland waterways and expand broadband networks," said Megan Tanel, AEM president.

"The United States is well-positioned to rebuild our nation's infrastructure, but this cannot be accomplished without leaders who are committed to shepherding federal funds to the right infrastructure projects," said Austin Ramirez, chief executive officer of Husco and chair of AEM's Infrastructure Vision 2050 Task Force. "The Rebuild with Purpose report can serve as a road map for policymakers for how to leverage federal funding in ways that expand opportunities and improve the quality of life for Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin."

"We value AEM's support of our Rebuild with Purpose report and the ensuing collaboration to bring a forward vision of infrastructure to communities across the country, including greater Milwaukee," said Liu. "The important conversation with Mayor Johnson and local stakeholders revealed that leaders in greater Milwaukee are in vigorous agreement that clean water, infrastructure jobs and equitable investments are key to the region's future economy and quality of life. Further, this is a region eager to partner with the state to realize this shared purpose."

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