By John Bland, Business Manager
Boilermakers Local 13

Labor Day is more than just another day off. It’s time for reflection about the value of hard work. So as you gather around your grill with family this holiday weekend, think about this: Investments in natural gas production, processing and commercialization have changed the face of Pennsylvania energy and brought a renewed appreciation of the skilled laborers who build its infrastructure. Look no further than the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex and the vast Mariner East pipeline network that supplies it.

In 2011, employment at the former Delaware County refinery hovered around 50 people. Now, thanks to a multibillion-dollar investment by Energy Transfer, more than 5,000 people have worked construction jobs there over the last few years. About 300 people work at the site now, with more hires coming because of a $200 million Project Labor Agreement covering additional construction projects at the state-of-the-art facility. Total investments across Energy Transfer’s projects are expected to generate $9.1 billion in economic activity throughout the state. This work has been a godsend for Boilermakers Local 13, a diverse union representing more than 50,000 workers nationwide in construction, repair, maintenance and manufacturing.

Energy investments like these benefit more than just the union members doing the work. Everyone benefits. Consumer costs decline. Businesses gain access to cheaper energy resources to remain competitive. Natural gas-related tax revenues come into local coffers and enable municipalities to shore up budgets, enhance community parks, purchase equipment for playgrounds, build trails and boost spending on roads and bridges. All of these improvements directly benefit local residents, and none of them would have been possible without the revenue derived from energy and the workers who develop these resources responsibly and deliver it safely — something that gives all us reason to celebrate this Labor Day.