With word that the U.S. gained 248,000 jobs during September, dropping the unemployment rate to 5.9 percent, a coalition of environmental groups and unions is calling for the government to boost spending on roads and other construction projects.

“This month’s jobs numbers show continued progress toward lowering the unemployment rate,” said Kim Glas, the group’s executive director. “However, we are reminded everyday about the need for greater infrastructure investments that prepare communities to be resilient to the impacts of a changing climate. Repairing America’s infrastructure will create quality jobs. These investments are vital to our economic and environmental future, but, as importantly, we must also modernize it to ensure it is ready to protect our communities and families for years to come.

“With just over a month until Election Day, it’s critical that upgrade and modernization of our infrastructure is top priority issue,” she added.

Among the alliance’s HVAC construction members is the former Sheet Metal Workers union, now called the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers. It goes the acronym SMART.