Durbin: Infrastructure Bill Puts Illinois on Path to Lead Nation in EV Manufacturing

CHICAGO – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined workers from International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 134 to discuss how the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will help Illinois become a leader in electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing and the importance of passing the Build Back Better Act to bring even more opportunities to Illinois.

“Illinois has the workforce, institutions, and leadership to play an important role in the EV revolution and with the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, we are poised to lead the nation,” Durbin said. “IBEW is leading the effort to train the next-generation of skilled workers to build and install new electric infrastructure and throughout the state, companies and Illinoisans are stepping up to ensure our transition to a cleaner, stronger economy. I will continue doing all I can to ensure that Illinois has the federal support needed to become a hub of EV manufacturing, including working to pass the Build Back Better Act.

"I want to thank President Biden, Senator Durbin, and all the legislators that came together to pass the infrastructure bill,” said IBEW Local 134’s Business Manager, Don Finn. “Local 134 IBEW has and will continue to prepare our membership with the knowledge to be the leader in installing all types of renewables, including electric vehicle charging stations. Local 134 IBEW has committed to training our members. We are grateful that Senator Durbin has been a true partner of the IBEW and all Organized Labor."

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Biden earlier this week, includes more than $7.5 billion for the construction of a national EV charging network. The legislation also includes more than $17 billion in funding for Illinois in addition to several billions available through competitive grant processes.  Illinois will receive $149 million for EV infrastructure and be eligible for a further $2.5 billion in competitive funds.

The Build Back Better Act is a complement to the infrastructure bill and among its many provisions, includes an extension and expansion of the federal EV tax credit to support union-made vehicles. 

IBEW is preparing its members for the infrastructure jobs of the future by expanding a high school solar installation and maintenance program to include EV training.  The program includes three Chicago high schools and one Springfield high school, with plans to expand to other areas of the state in the next few years. Graduates of the training program will be provided opportunities to enter the IBEW Local 134’s trainee and apprenticeship programs.