YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – During his rally on Tuesday, President Trump talked about seeing old factories in Youngstown and envisioning a day when new ones would take their place. Local companies are hoping something can be done to bring business back.
“Jobs” — a word that comes up often in politics.
Trump told the story of riding from the Youngstown Warren Regional Airport and seeing some big factories, which are now empty. The president said the first lady asked him what happened, and he said the jobs have left Ohio but that they’re all coming back.
Claudia Kovach, with the Mahoning Valley Manufacturing Coalition, believes the Youngstown area has enough apprenticeships and workforce development programs. She wishes there were more people who would skip college.
“We need to show the world that with a little sweat on our brow and working with our hands, we can bring good jobs and growth back to Youngstown and our country,” Kovach said.
Dave Johnson, CEO of Summitville Tiles in Columbiana County said the workforce is here in the Mahoning Valley.
“Great workforce. What we need is investment and we need a tax code in this country that’s going to encourage investment and reward investment.”
Johnson watched Congress pass a Silica Rule, which orders a 50 percent reduction in the amount of it allowed in the air at a factory.
“I can tell you, my own company has been a victim of many of these regulations, which are onerous and that no one has ever thought through. No one has ever been to my factory to see the impact it would have,” he said.
Johnson said it would cost his company a million dollars to comply if the regulation goes into effect later this year. He talked to President Trump about it last night.
The president has talked about changing trade deals, enforcing trade laws, and creating a level playing field.
Senator Rob Portman said the U.S. has won three steel cases this year. He’s visited steel companies who feel brighter days could be just around the corner.
“If we can get tax reform done and infrastructure going, that will create a lot more markets for them and have more jobs in Ohio,” Portman said. “If not, build new plants. At least fill the existing ones.”
The businesses feel that grouping these things together would create a stronger economy, which would also boost business.