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U.S. Senate Candidate Arkoosh Talks Union Jobs, Infrastructure With KML Carpenters In Pittsburgh

U.S. Senate candidate Val Arkoosh stands with Rich Paganie, training director of the Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center, Friday, July 16, 2021.
Kiley Koscinski
90.5 WESA
U.S. Senate candidate Val Arkoosh talks with Rich Paganie, training director of the Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center, Friday, July 16, 2021.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Val Arkoosh came to Pittsburgh Friday to talk with staff members at the Carpenters Pittsburgh Training Center. Arkoosh is touring several parts of the Commonwealth this weekend to talk about infrastructure and health care.

After a tour of the trade school, Arkoosh voiced her support of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure package in the same room where he announced it.

“The carpenters are doing amazing work here, and the infrastructure bills would bring enormous resources into our region,” Arkoosh said.

The visit was the candidate’s second to Pittsburgh in recent months to talk about infrastructure challenges. She visited Hazelwood Green in June.

“I’ve had the opportunity to meet folks and see what opportunities are in front of us with what President Biden has proposed,” she said. “People here on the ground are ready to take full advantage of those opportunities and build back better here in Pittsburgh.”

Arkoosh, who chairs the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, said she would work to make sure Pennsylvania’s skilled laborers benefit from Biden’s infrastructure package.

“I think Pennsylvania is at the center of the Build Back Better plan,” she said. “All we need is that little bit of investment here to create so many good-paying jobs.”

Arkoosh toured the training center to learn about the school’s apprenticeship programs. The center offers courses on commercial carpentry, floor covering, dock building, heavy highway construction, cabinet making and millwrighting. She said trades learned at the center can be applied to a massive infrastructure overhaul in the United States.

“We should be manufacturing all of the things that we need for our future economies in this country and in this Commonwealth — not sending it somewhere else,” she said.

Arkoosh will visit Erie Saturday. “[I will deliver] a very similar message — the importance of infrastructure investment. We’re meeting with a number of small business owners up there to talk about what the American Recovery Plan could mean for them,” she said.

She’ll also ask Pennsylvanians what they need from a senator in D.C., she added.

“We’re at a really interesting place here in our Commonwealth," she said. "We’ve gotten through this pandemic, but we want to make sure that we go forward stronger than ever."

Kiley Koscinski covers city government, policy and how Pittsburghers engage with city services. She also works as a fill-in host for All Things Considered. Kiley has previously served as a producer on The Confluence and Morning Edition.