PLEASANT PRAIRIE — Vice President Kamala Harris visited southeast Wisconsin Thursday to tout the administration’s investments in high-speed internet and the additional jobs that were the result.
Harris’ visit to the Sanmina facility coincided with Nokia’s announcement they would be expanding and hiring 200 additional workers. The telecom corporation based in Finland manufactures broadband network electronic products for the BEAD (Broadband, Equity, Access, Deployment) program, which is investing $65 billion to increase access to high-speed internet.
“They will build the parts that are needed to connect people with high-speed internet,” she said.
Harris argued access to high-speed internet was no longer a luxury but a necessity in the modern world.
Baldwin fights for American jobs
With a plan on the table for historic investments in access to high-speed internet, Harris said they knew they would need products to support the plan.
And Senator Tammy Baldwin knew who she wanted to manufacture those products: American workers.
“Let me just tell you, so much of this project is due to the advocacy of Senator Baldwin,” Harris said. As a direct result of Baldwin’s leadership, a “made in America” requirement was added to the deal.
“She made it a priority,” Harris said. “When she’s got a priority, you will hear about it until you do something about it.”
Baldwin addressed the audience and said the matter seemed pretty simple: if the government was going to be investing American tax dollars, those tax dollars should go toward supporting the American worker.
Harris: It’s time to fix this
Harris revisited a time when manufacturing jobs were the bedrock of the American economy. She noted “short-sighted economic policy” resulted in communities who “saw the anchor of their community packed up and shipped offshore.”
She said between 1990 and 2010, six million manufacturing jobs were lost. While politicians promised to bring those jobs back, she continued, they failed to deliver on that promise.
“President Joe Biden and I ran for office because we decided it was time to fix this,” she said.
“For far too long, our economy has not worked for working people,” Harris said. “Entire communities have been left out and left behind.”
The Biden/Harris administration “decided to invest in the working people of America, to create millions of jobs, to rebuild American manufacturing, to repair our roads and bridges, to expand clean energy products, to replace every lead pipe in our nation, to connect every home to high-speed internet.”
She added, “And to ensure every person in America, no matter where they start, has access to opportunity, and the tools they need to climb.
“And that is called ‘Bidenomics,’” she said.
Racine leadership in attendance
Community leaders from Racine traveled to Pleasant Prairie to learn more about the administration’s goals.
One of the people in the audience was Jamario Farr Sr., a Racine Unified School District Community Connector, who had the opportunity to meet with Harris prior to her speech.
He reported she spoke about social services and bringing resources, opportunities and awareness to trauma-informed care to communities.
“We do have a broken community, we have broken communities, and it’s time for us to not only heal the land but to heal people,” Farr said. “We want to make sure the people we put into positions are not only educated but they are whole holistically.”
He said he appreciated that Vice President Harris brought awareness to these issues and understood the need for resources, services and opportunities, which she did address in her speech.
Local businesses and nonprofits make up the backbone of our community. The Racine County Eye, which includes the Kenosha Lens, is your local news source that serves our diverse communities. Become a subscriber to stay up-to-date with local news.
Racine County Eye and Kenosha Lens – Journalism that serves.