Rep. Steve Kagen: Middle class is hurting
Manufacturing called key to keeping jobs
Larry Avila – Post-Crescent – August 18, 2010
KAUKAUNA — American manufacturers moving production overseas because of cheaper labor costs isn’t a new trend, though it’s one U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen wants to stop.
Citing his office’s research, Kagen said 60 percent of
"This is happening because we are not making things in
Manufacturing jobs helped build the middle class in the
"What I want everyone to know is we have to start making things in
Kagen recently visited
Kagen wanted to visit a fabrication facility there, which was built by Louisiana-based Shaw Group Inc. and opened in 2008. The company in a statement on its website released in 2007 said it built the plant in
He said U.S. Border Patrol recommended against going into
Though Shaw opened a plant in
Mark Buss, business manager for the Plumbers & Steamfitters Local 400, said more emphasis is needed to keep
"It’s not just
Kagen said additional emphasis is needed on emerging industries, including clean technology and energy.
He has drafted legislation that would require trucks to be converted to run on natural gas. Many details still need to be worked out on the bill.
It’s also important to find alternate energy sources to reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign energy, Kagen said.
Natural gas, for example, would be a viable alternative, since the nation has ample supplies, he said.
Kagen said the nation’s businesses also need access to credit sources. Stricter lending standards have made credit difficult to access.
"It’s a problem that needs to be fixed," he said. "Credit-worthy companies should be able to access the resources they need."
Kagen said he is working to ease some restrictions.
"We need job growth and that will come from small businesses, those with fewer than 500 employees," he said.