Manufacturers Host Candidates PDF Print E-mail

The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register
by Joselyn King
October 16, 2010

Future of areas industrial base is focus of gathering

WHEELING - America has led the world in manufacturing for the past 110 years, but could lose that title to China within the next two years unless governmental policies are quickly changed, say officials with the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Republicans and Democrats, labor and industry leaders, and residents of both Ohio and West Virginia comprised a diverse crowd as the group hosted a town hall meeting Friday at Wheeling Park's White Palace to discuss the future of manufacturing.

Candidates for federal office in both West Virginia and Ohio were invited to give their remarks on how we should best "keep it made in America."

The politicians and their thoughts follow: West Virginia U.S. Senate

Democrat Gov. Joe Manchin said West Virginia has always mined the coal and made the steel "that go for the products needed in the defense of our country."
"But I'm not so sure that we can say that today - that all the things we need for defense are made in America," he said. "That should be our No. 1 policy - that if we are defending this country, the armaments we use should be made in America."

 

Mountain Party Candidate Jesse Johnson said many voters believe he is opposed to coal mining, but that is not the case.
"I'm opposed to mountain top removal mining," he said. "I want to see miners back in the mines - union mines," he said. "I've earned my union trade card. ... Let's take that coal from the ground. We don't want to import coal or buy our steel from China."

 

Republican John Raese and Constitution Party candidate Jeff Becker were not present.

West Virginia 1st District U.S. House

Democrat Mike Oliverio said he supports legislation to prohibit the outsourcing of jobs from America, as well as laws that help small business to grow. He also spoke of the Energy Jobs and Veterans Retraining Act that could help to employ veterans in the energy industries.
"We need to put folks back to work in the energy field," he said. "Energy jobs in the state are critical. The best way to welcome back a veteran is with a job."

 

Republican David B. McKinley said there were once 30,000 steelworkers in the Ohio Valley, but there are now less than 2,000.
"Today if we were to put all those employed in manufacturing jobs in the state, we couldn't fill Mountaineer Field," he said. "Only 52,000 jobs are left in the manufacturing industry."
To those who have expressed concern that they have too much uncertainty about future costs to invest in growth, he advocates the freezing of tax rates to create stability in business and industry.