AKRON, OH -U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today visited Akron and the United Auto Workers Local 856, whose members work at Meggitt Aircraft Braking Systems and Lockheed Martin. Last year, Brown played a critical role in saving defense-related manufacturing jobs at Meggitt. When Meggitt announced plans to ship these jobs to Mexico, Brown began working with the company and the UAW to encourage Meggitt to reverse the decision.
"The men and women at the UAW Local 856 play a critical role in America's military readiness and the safety of our troops abroad. Manufacturing jobs, like the ones at Meggitt and Lockheed Martin, are a reliable ticket to the middle class. They provide Ohioans with the resources they need to make a good life for themselves and for their families," said Brown. "That's why it's so important to do everything we can do to keep these jobs in Ohio, and I'm glad that Meggitt ultimately decided to keep their defense manufacturing operations right here in Akron."
Brown introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with Sen. Evan in Bayh (D-IN) in September. 2008. The senators' amendment was aimed at studying the role of foreign imports in the U.S. defense industrial base to prevent defense-related jobs from being shifted to foreign countries.
In alerting Brown that the company would keep the defense manufacturing jobs in Akron, company officials at Meggitt cited their work with Sen. Brown and his office.
"Our conversations and correspondence with you and your staff prompted us to closely reexamine this proposed plan," James J. (Tank) Williams, executive vice president & general manager of global operations at MABS wrote in a letter to Brown dated April 21, 2009. "As a result of that reassessment, MABS has decided to maintain our defense manufacturing presence in Akron. In addition, we are pursuing opportunities to expand these operations and will keep you informed of the progress."
Brown's visit to Akron is part of his "Made in Ohio Tour," which kicked off several weeks ago. With the top priority of creating Ohio jobs, Brown is fighting for a multi-pronged effort to promote economic development - from working to position Ohio as the Silicon Valley of Clean Energy Manufacturing, to establishing the state as a hub for high-growth industries.
The key components of Brown's jobs strategy are:
- Promoting the expansion of Ohio businesses by strengthening small business lending programs and aiding President Obama's goal to significantly boost U.S. exports.
- Transitioning away from our dependence on foreign oil to a clean energy future in which jobs are centered in the small businesses, manufacturing facilities, and universities of Ohio.
- Developing Ohio's workforce so that Ohioans are prepared to fill the jobs of the 21st century and revitalizing the state's infrastructure to attract those global industries.
- Making sure that Ohio industry isn't undermined due to unfair trade by pursuing remedies to counteract China's currency manipulation and subsidization of domestic industries.