WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin announced that Randy Lorge from Shawano, Wisconsin, will be her “virtual” guest for President Biden’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. Randy is a native of Wisconsin, lifelong member of UA Local 400, and 3rd generation plumber with over 30 years of experience. As the Director of Workforce Training and Development at the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), Randy has trained hundreds of apprentice plumbers throughout Wisconsin and through IAPMO’s philanthropic efforts, he works to bring clean water to underserved and disadvantaged communities.
Senator Baldwin voted for the bipartisan infrastructure legislation that President Biden signed into law in November. The bipartisan legislation will create good paying jobs and put Wisconsin to work fixing our roads and bridges, rebuilding our water infrastructure, and expanding access to affordable and reliable high-speed broadband for Wisconsin families, students, small businesses, and farmers. It also makes a major federal investment to help local communities replace dangerous lead service lines and address PFAS chemicals so that we provide safe and clean drinking water to people across our state. Wisconsin has more than 170,000 dangerous lead services lines that need to be replaced. This year alone, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will invest $142.7 million in Wisconsin for drinking water and clean water infrastructure, with nearly $50 million of the resources going to replace dangerous lead pipes. Senator Baldwin also worked across party lines to include stronger Buy America standards in the bipartisan infrastructure legislation.
“President Biden and Senator Baldwin worked to deliver results for Wisconsin, creating good paying union jobs across the state rebuilding our infrastructure, including our water infrastructure,” said Lorge. “I’m honored that Senator Baldwin has selected me as a way to highlight the hardworking men and women across Wisconsin who are fueling America’s recovery. I am also grateful for her leadership in the Senate on Buy America reforms and working for more federal investments in our technical schools, worker training, apprenticeships, and workforce readiness programs.”
“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will create good paying, family supporting jobs and put Wisconsin to work rebuilding our infrastructure. It will help make sure America is buying what Wisconsin makes, and I am proud to stand on the side of delivering results for our manufacturers and workers,” said Senator Baldwin. “Now, we need more federal investment in apprenticeship programs, community colleges and technical schools so we have a trained workforce for the good jobs we are creating. We are making a major investment to replace dangerous lead pipes so we can provide everyone safe and clean drinking water, now we need to scale up federal support for public-private, workforce development partnerships at the local level so we have more trained and skilled workers like Randy to do it. In a state like Wisconsin with such a strong manufacturing economy, a federal-state partnership to invest in two years of tuition-free community college can both strengthen the workforce for businesses and strengthen the career outcomes for workers.”
Members of Congress often invite constituents to join them as guests to such speeches, but with ongoing precautions being taken because of the pandemic, some members of Congress have named virtual guests is an important way to highlight people in their state doing important work to move the country forward.