January 28, 2014
In an effort to promote the domestic production of critical min...
“Let’s make this a year of action,” President Obama encouraged Congress in Tuesday’s State of the Union address.
Obama spent much of his speech discussing jobs, the manufacturing revival and updating our infrastructure, all of which are initiatives that we at the National Mining Association can get behind.
The minerals mining industry currently supports more the 1.2 million American jobs, from mining engineers to geologists and accountants to mechanics. These are well-paying jobs that help to provide a stable living and contribute to the community.
A job in U.S. metal ore mining is one of the highest paying in the private sector, with an average salary registering $85,504 a year and often climbing above $100,000 for more experienced workers.
And more mining jobs mean a healthier economy for everyone. For every job in metals mining, an estimated 2.5 additional jobs are generated, and for every nonmetals mining job, an additional 1.8 jobs are created.
Specifically President Obama touted the manufacturing hubs being created to encourage reshoring—the practice of bringing domestic production back to the United States.
Hi-tech products, from computer chips to smart phones to hybrid cars, require minerals and metals; high-end electronics require copper; platinum is essential for the catalytic converters for cleaner emissions; smart phones and tablets require gold, platinum, lithium and zinc; solar energy technology relies on a variety of minerals, including copper, gallium, tellurium, silver and rare earth minerals.
Further, President Obama highlighted job creation through updates to our infrastructure. Again, modernizing America’s roads, bridges, tunnels and railroads will require minerals and metals that are at the front-end of the supply chain. So why not use domestic minerals, instead of importing the resources necessary.
So we agree, Mr. President. Now is, indeed, the time for meaningful action that will create jobs here at home and provide the fundamental supply chain necessary to jump start our manufacturing sector and rebuild our infrastructure.