SKOKIE, Ill.- As the nation struggles to deal with the largest economic crisis in decades, attention is focused on an economic stimulus bill that many believe should contain significant dollars for infrastructure improvements that will create jobs at both the local and state levels.

According to Ed Sullivan, chief economist for the Portland Cement Association, if the government does not act quickly that nation could lose 2 million jobs in 2009.

"Times are tough. We need a government stimulus package that creates jobs throughout the nation," Sullivan said. "Infrastructure funding could create jobs on both an immediate and long-term basis. For every 10 construction jobs created by a project, the community gains 17 additional jobs that stay in the region even after a project's completion."

However, simply building and repairing roads is not enough for our continued economic stability. The projects must be constructed with the highest quality materials.

"If we used concrete instead of asphalt for all new roads built between now and 2015, state governments could save over $100 billion during the life of the roads. Concrete roads require minimal maintenance and can last nearly three times longer than a similar roads paved with asphalt," Sullivan said. "This means more money for local economies that can go to schools, police, and other public services."