When all is said and done, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will be responsible for the creation of over 17,000 jobs during construction alone, which doesn’t even cover the thousands more that will result from the economic ripple effect it will bring to our local communities and municipalities for years to come. Those opposed to the project will often retort that these jobs are “temporary” – but that argument misses the point: all construction jobs are temporary.Thomas A. Betts of the Rocky Mount Chamber of Commerce wrote in an opinion piece for the Rocky Mount Telegram, “Yes, these [ACP] specific jobs are temporary. But all construction jobs are temporary. Have you ever heard of a 30-year-long construction job on the same project? A career in construction, by design, is made up of dozens of different projects.” Besides acting as one of these key construction job-creating projects, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline team is also empowering a new generation of workers with the skills to succeed. Partnering with several community colleges along the route, the ACP will sponsor ongoing apprenticeship programs designed not only to train the current and perspective workforce, but to prepare and equip workers to sustain long-term careers in the construction industry. Neither the host community colleges nor enrolled students will pay for this training.That training is just one kind of opportunity the ACP extends to the hard-working men and women living along the route. The ACP is proud to partner with the local workforce, including North Carolina-based Heaton Construction, Glover Construction and MJ Price Construction, along with various unions such as LiUNA, protecting the rights and interests of our local workers. For many, a job with the ACP offers a stable living and means for providing for a family, but for others, like West Virginia native Jason Knicely, it means even more. Plagued with health problems as a child, the extensive benefits package provided by the ACP gives Jason the security he needs, as “something could always happen” even today at the age of 24. Beyond that, “it also provides experience and long-term opportunities for a new career,” Knicely said to the Exponent Telegram.Projected to create over $2.7 billion in economic activity during construction and the capacity to generate $28 million annually in property tax revenue for local governments along the route, plus millions of dollars in savings for consumers and businesses on energy costs once in operation, the benefits of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline are clear. The ACP is more than a construction project, it’s also a transformative opportunity for families and communities in the form of jobs, lasting careers, and restored hope for our region.