Local Politicians Push For Stronger Manufacturing Workforce

By Brett Martin | bmartin@kolr10.com

Published 03/19 2014 06:37AM

Updated 03/19 2014 08:51AM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Congressman Billy Long toured three manufacturing companies in Springfield and Senator Claire McCaskill held town hall meetings across the state. Both elected officials talked about  creating more jobs for Missourians.

"Those are hard jobs, they’re physically hard and mentally hard to keep up the equipment and make sure the lines are in correctly," says Representative Long.

Darrell Washam is the plant manager for Hiland Dairy and says their 6 acre facility offers hundreds of jobs to people in the Ozarks.

"That includes our corporate office staff and around 180 employees actually working in the facility."

Congressman Billy Long toured the plant along with SWI Industrial Solutions and Multi-Craft Contractors to meet the workers first hand.

"We also like to go on these tours where we can talk to the business owners, talk to the employees and see what we can do in Washington to make it a better place so they can hire more people."

According to the National Association of Manufacturers, 8.9% of the state's workforce is made up of manufacturing jobs, 30,000 of those are in Southwest Missouri.

"The more we can do to shout out the manufacturing and grow the manufacturing base in the 7th district, the better it is for everybody."

Senator Claire McCaskill says our location is a prime spot for manufacturing companies.

"Especially for products that are going to get truck distribution, we are along major interstates and we have both of the major rivers that flow through our state," says Senator McCaskill.

Both Congressman Long and Senator McCaskill say they are working hard to bring more jobs right here at home.

"If we can get the taxes reworked for everyone in Washington, I think that is going to make it better for hiring people right here in the cities," says Long.

"I'm doing my best to sell this part of the state to as many companies as we can in terms of location," explains McCaskill.

Darrell says more attention from the nation's capital can only be a positive for the industry.

"Its an opportunity to have the politicians come into the facility and understand the work environment that all of us work in on a daily basis."

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