WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) issued the following statement on Pres. Obama's decision to name Ron Bloom as Senior Counselor on Manufacturing Policy:
“For many Ohioans, manufacturing is a ticket to the middle class. But our manufacturing base is in crisis. In August, we lost 63,000 more manufacturing jobs, adding to more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs we have lost this year. Nothing is more important than putting Americans back to work, and the long-term health of our economy is dependent upon a strong, competitive manufacturing base.
"That is why I have urged President Obama to focus on rebuilding our manufacturing base and to create a high-level position to ensure federal policy-making supports job creation in Ohio’s manufacturing sector. I am encouraged by President Obama’s choice of Ron Bloom. Ron knows his way around the corporate board room and the shop floor. He understands labor-management relations. He understands manufacturing and its importance to the middle class. He has helped lead the president’s Auto Task Force with integrity. I look forward to continuing to work with Ron and President Obama in developing a national manufacturing strategy and in rebuilding our middle class.”
Manufacturing accounts for $1.6 trillion of U.S. GDP (12%), and for nearly three-fourths of the nation’s industrial research and development. Manufacturing also pays 20 percent more on average than service jobs. More than 40,000 factories have closed nationwide in the past ten years.
Brown is chairman of the U.S. Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy and has held hearings examining best practices for building a national manufacturing policy.
Brown introduced the “Strengthening Employment Clusters to Organize Regional Success (SECTORS) Act of 2009." This bipartisan legislation would support the development of specialized workforce training programs to meet regional workforce needs of emerging industries. In addition, Brown successfully passed an amendment to the Senate Fiscal YEAR 2010 budget that invests in sector-specific workforce training strategies.
Earlier this summer, Brown introduced the Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology (IMPACT) Act of 2009, which would help manufacturers retool for the clean energy industry. The IMPACT Act was included in the House-passed clean energy bill. The bill would create a $30 billion Manufacturing Revolving Loan Fund to provide small and mid-sized manufacturers with much-needed access to credit. The fund, distributed by each state, would allow small and medium-sized manufacturers to improve energy efficiency, retool for the clean energy industry, and expand our nation’s clean energy manufacturing operations. He is also the author of the Green Energy Production Act of 2009, which would expand clean energy research and development to help build a clean energy manufacturing base in Ohio.