Congressman Dan Kildee Tours York's Tech Center

Wednesday, January 22 2014

Congressmen Dan Kildee visited York Repair along with The Bay Area Chambers Manufacturing Council.  The Congressmen, a freshmen Democrat, toured the facility with Frank York and family, management, Michael Seward, president and chief executive officer of the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, and local media members.  Jeff York, the Council Chair, led the group through the tour.  Kildee spoke to several technicians before taking questions from the press, followed by a luncheon, and a Q & A with the Manufacturing Council.

The press conference was held before lunch with reporters from M-Live, WSGW, and WNEM TV5.  The following are Rep. Kildee’s answers to the press questions:

On Our Manufacturing Legacy

“We’ve seen with globalization, much of the manufacturing taking place offshore and what we’re trying to do with the ‘Make it in America’ agenda is to reclaim what really made this region for sure, but also this country great, is getting back to our manufacturing legacy, so to be able to tour a facility like this, that obviously supports, is an important part of supporting that manufacturing legacy.  If we don’t preserve and support companies like this one, our ability to grow our manufacturing base is going to be severely limited.”

On Skilled Training

“I think there was a tendency particularly in higher education, but even K-12 system to think about liberal arts or a tech approach to education and not realize there are a whole spectrum of skills that industry relies upon and to be able to support those companies that use technology, and this is what they are doing here is amazing, but also continue to support the kind of skills that are foundational to our manufacturing base.  We’ve got to get back to that, and you know, think about this company that supports 70 some folks, they were able to do that because they were able to find or develop skills and the kind of skills that this company relies upon are skills that we really need to invest in.”

Manufacturing Unifies

“If there is anything that ought to be able to unify, democrats and republicans, rural and urban, east and west, we ought to be able to organize ourselves around manufacturing.  Hopefully, we can see that and get some momentum.”

On York Supporting Manufacturing

“We have a diverse range of companies here that are involved in support of manufacturing, this company is a good example, in order for manufacturing to invest in this region we’ve got to have the support that they need to be sustainable, and we see a company like this that has a long history, solid workforce, good leadership, for a company that would need this kind of support York provides, it’s an incentive for them to locate here when they see a company like this.”

The Next Step:  How ‘Make it in America’ will help

“The next step is to push the package of bills that we have introduced in Congress, the ‘Make it in America’ agenda, which is about 40 bills that cover the spectrum from education and training, workforce development, trade policy, support for research and development, simplifying our tax code so that manufacturers don’t feel like they are being penalized for the kind of investments that they are making.  If we do all of that, we are going to create an environment which is much friendlier to business expansion, particularly in manufacturing, which I think is something that we’ve lost in the last couple of decades.”

Kildee, who is co-sponsoring ‘Make it in America’, aimed to encourage more manufacturing in the state and nation, took questions from local businessmen and business women after lunch.  The questions ranged from Washington gridlock to skilled-training for area youth.  One attendee stated, “It is time to put skilled-trades back in our schools, such as wood shop, metal working and others.”

Mr. Kildee also praised the family business and Frank’s ability to be a long-standing fixture in the community and persevere through tough times.

For further reading on the event, M-Live's Heather Jordan's article can be found here.

WATCH WNEM TV5 News coverage by clicking any of these links.

TV Coverage 1

TV Coverage 2

TV Coverage 3