BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) is in town on Thursday, hosting a roundtable discussion with the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce at General Extrusions on Lake Park Road in Boardman. Portman also toured the plant Thursday morning.
About a dozen local business owners and university leaders shared their concerns with Senator Portman at that roundtable. Claudia Kovach from City machine Technologies in Youngstown says training remains an issue. “We’ve done a lot for welding. We’ve had a lot of students go through the welding programs. Right now, we’re really in dire need of machinists. All over. Even the quick lube stops need good machinists. And the auto body shops need good machinists.”
Portman had encouraging news for those in the steel and steel pipe business. He said, “Here’s another bill that I’m the co-author of called The Enforce Act. That avoids countries from going around those anti-dumping or anti-subsidy rules by selling from a third country. I want to get that passed now. It’s in a House-Senate process right now. We passed it in the Senate. I’m gonna use some of the material I got today to go back and push for that.”
The visit is part of Portman’s Jobs Tour across Ohio during which he will visit 13 counties in 5 days, covering over 1,500 miles. Portman is touring factories, visiting a military base, and meeting with workers across Ohio to listen to their concerns about the economy and talk about his solutions to make it better.
The Ohio Democratic Party has been on Portman’s trail around the state. They say he has a dismal record on trade. Former Governor and 6th District Congressman Ted Strickland is one Democrat challenging him.