WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the day before his visit to Ohio, Dr. Ed Montgomery, President Obama’s Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers, joined U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to discuss federal assistance for Ohio auto communities.
“The auto industry is critical to Ohio’s manufacturing base and the strength of our state’s middle class,” Brown said. “Auto communities have been hit hard by the economic crisis, and we need to ensure coordinated and timely federal assistance. A major plant closing is an economic disaster and the federal government needs to treat it with the same level of response we give to natural disasters. That’s why Dr. Montgomery’s work is so important.”
In March, President Obama tapped Dr. Montgomery to coordinate the administration’s efforts to support workers and communities that rely on the auto industry.
“The President is committed to standing with America’s auto workers and revitalizing our autos communities in Ohio,” Dr. Montgomery said. “This week’s trip is focused on continuing the dialogue with workers, local officials and community leaders and identifying red tape that the federal government can eliminate to ensure Ohio communities have access to all available economic resources. I am looking forward to meeting face to face with Ohioans to discuss how we can get them the resources they need quickly and efficiently.”
Dr. Montgomery today discussed his upcoming visit to Ohio auto communities, which will include visits to Toledo and Dayton on Thursday, May 21 and a visit to Twinsburg on Friday, May 22. He will travel with representatives from key government agencies and hold meetings with workers, local officials, and community leaders to discuss ways the federal government can cut through red tape to get resources to the communities hardest hit by the economic crisis and job loss in the auto industry.
More than 440,000 Ohio jobs directly or indirectly depend on the auto industry. Auto suppliers directly account for nearly 100,000 Ohio jobs.
Brown is the author of legislation that would streamline and accelerate federal assistance to communities undergoing extreme economic distress. Many communities struggle to identify and successfully secure federal assistance. The problem is compounded when local officials must focus on immediate rapid response needs, such as unemployment insurance and retraining. Brown’s legislation would send a specialist or project manager from the federal government to quickly educate and inform local leaders in economically distressed communities about the existing federal assistance available to them.