Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-IL) welcomed House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer to Illinois’ 2nd Congressional district on Wednesday. The day started in Flossmoor at The Flavor Restaurant, which Rep. Kelly called “one of her favorite breakfast places.” A group of community leaders and business people joined Kelly and Hoyer, enjoying an interactive interchange about the problems facing business. The day started at The Flavor, moved to Bimba Manufacturing and ended the day at the Ford Assembly plant in Chicago.
Rep. Hoyer took the opportunity to promote his pet project, “Make it in America,” which the 113th Congress has focused on four key priorities that can bring about the changes needed to help businesses grow and create jobs here. Hoyer points out that it is most likely to draw bipartisan support, despite the partisanship in the Congress, particularly the House of Representatives.
The priorities are central to creating jobs, helping manufacturers produce more goods here, maintaining America’s innovation edge, and preparing a highly skilled workforce.
“When more products are made in America, there will be greater opportunity for our people to Make It In America. House Democrats’ Make It In America plan focuses on creating the best conditions for American businesses to manufacture their products, innovate, and create jobs right here in the U.S,” said Democratic Leader Hoyer to the gathering at The Flavor.
After the working breakfast meeting at The Flavor in Flossmor, Kelly and Hoyer headed to Bimba Manufacturing in Monee. The company makes valves, coils and cylinders used on items such as conveyor belts, bus doors and toys. Roughly half of Bimba’s employees are from the district, pointed out Rep. Robin Kelly. Bimba Manufacturing is a business that is a “shining example of the best the 2nd District has to offer,” said Rep. Kelly.
The Chicago Tribune reported that U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, a Democrat from Matteson who also was on the tour of Bimba Manufacturing, said she is working with Rep. Hoyer on a bill that calls for the creation of a pilot program to train and educate workers in advanced manufacturing.
“We can’t stop the money, we just need to make sure that it is used in a productive manner through our community colleges and the agencies that train workers, because I’ve heard it over and over that people can’t find enough skilled workers,” Kelly said.
The last stop on the manufacturing tour was the Chicago Ford Assembly Plant on Torrence Avenue. Kelly and Hoyer talked with company officials and employees about the company’s growth opportunities. The Ford plant is one of many that benefitted from a stronger economy, as Americans continue buying automobiles. Although Ford was not the recipient of the “auto bailout,” it was a beneficiary of the stimulus program.
It was the “auto bailout” that kept the manufacture of automobiles in America.
For more information on Rep. Steny Hoyer’s “Making it in America,” visit the following website. The following are the four priorities needed to create more manufacturing jobs in America and the 2nd Illinois Congressional district:
Adopt and pursue a national manufacturing strategy
Right now, American manufacturers are facing international competitors that benefit from other nations’ carefully crafted manufacturing strategies. Such comprehensive strategies include tax incentives, investments in research, skills development initiatives, and support for infrastructure projects in order to help their manufacturers get ahead. A sustained national focus is necessary to ensure our policies are appropriately targeted and flexible to help our manufacturers compete. To do so, we must begin with a well-developed national strategy of our own.
Promote the export of U.S. goods
Manufacturers need access to markets, both domestic and international, in order to sell their products. That requires reliable physical and telecommunications infrastructure, enforcement of fair trading rules, and targeted assistance to compete successfully in global markets. Businesses that Make It In America ought to be able to sell their products not just at home but easily do so throughout the world.
Encourage businesses to bring jobs and innovation back to the U.S.
In order to maintain a strong economy and remain the world’s leader in innovation, we must encourage businesses to move jobs and innovation back to the U.S. where possible, and keep them here. When manufacturing moves overseas, innovation follows. As businesses face challenges including rising global shipping costs and times, and supply chain concerns, we have an opportunity to create an environment that capitalizes on the advantages the U.S. has to offer to get businesses to stay and invest here.
Train and secure a twenty-first century workforce
American businesses can only remain competitive when they have the trained and educated workers they need. We must strengthen our education and skills-training programs to make sure our workers are getting the preparation and certifications they need, and we ought to ensure that all those we train in high-demand skills have an opportunity to find work and contribute to our economy.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African American studies, published by The Elevator Group, Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books. John has volunteered for many political campaigns.