Statement on Manufacturing Showcase and Subcommittee Hearing
Washington, DC (February 14, 2013) – Rep. Jan Schakowsky released the following statement on today's Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade's Manufacturing Showcase and hearing:
"Today Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Chairman Lee Terry and I hosted a Manufacturing Showcase, which featured products manufactured in our districts and those of other subcommittee members. I was honored to have Joe Block of Block Steel Corporation attend the showcase and testify at the Subcommittee's first hearing, 'Our Nation of Builders: Manufacturing in America.'
"Manufacturing has changed dramatically from the images that many of us may still have of giant factories with long assembly lines. We are seeing major leaps in the area of advanced manufacturing, where a skilled and educated workforce and groundbreaking technology play a key role. The growth of the industry is good news for building the middle class.
"In my state of Illinois, 40,000 new manufacturing jobs have been created since December 2009 – we are one of the top five states in the country for growth in manufacturing jobs. The manufacturing industry requires a few basic things to expand, including federal investments in innovation, good and reliable infrastructure, and an educated and skilled workforce that will fill the millions of good jobs that manufacturing can produce."
"Block Steel is a great American success story. As the country's largest aluminized steel distributor, it is a critical supplier to the automotive, appliance, and HVAC industries. The company was started in 1948 and is run today – 65 years later – by the descendants of the founders. They have about 60 employees and are a union shop with good wages and health benefits. Joe Block gave important testimony about the industry's need for skilled workers and how "race-to-the-bottom" efforts by competing jurisdictions can be damaging to businesses, consumers, and the economy. I will continue to work with Block Steel, other manufacturers in my district, and my colleagues in Congress to identify how to solve the challenges and expand the successes in this critical sector of the economy."