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In Metro East stops, Duckworth criticizes Trump budget’s effect on manufacturers

GRANITE CITY — U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, criticized the Trump administration’s proposed budget, which she says would slash funding from programs designed to help manufacturing.

duckworthicon2During one of multiple Metro East stops on Monday, Duckworth visited Icon Mechanical, a mechanical engineering and construction contractor, to discuss the importance of making investments to support American manufacturers as they create good-paying jobs and contribute to the local economy.

President Trump’s proposed budget would, she said, would cut funding from programs like the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, which helps manufacturers innovate and improve their productivity so they can compete in the 21st century global economy.

“President Trump should follow through on his promise to revive American manufacturing by fully funding programs like the Manufacturing Extension Partnership that help manufacturers invest in their communities by creating jobs and growing our economy,” said Senator Duckworth. “I’m deeply concerned that the President’s budget would hurt Illinois manufacturing and limit job creation at a time when we need more investment in Illinois, not less. The Trump administration must also crack down on unfair trade practices like illegal dumping and currency manipulation, which contributed to the idling of the U.S. Steel factory in Granite City, costing Illinoisans jobs and hurting manufacturers that contract with US Steel like Icon Mechanical.”

During her visit to Icon Mechanical, Senator Duckworth also spoke with Icon’s president, CEO, and senior leadership about the bill she introduced with Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., the Community College to Career Fund Act, which encourages partnerships between community colleges and companies to close the “skills gap” and better prepare students for careers in manufacturing.

Icon Mechanical is ranked among the nation’s 500 fastest-growing companies by INC Magazine. It has completed projects in 35 states with clientele that includes U.S. Steel, Conoco Phillips, Saint Louis University and Anheuser-Busch.

Duckworth also met Monday  with the president of Southwestern Illinois College, Dr. Georgia Costello, and other college leaders and students while touring SWIC’s Sam Wolf Granite City Campus. Together, they discussed SWIC’s workforce development programs and legislation Duckworth helped introduce, the Community College to Career Fund Act, which would encourage companies and community colleges to develop workforce training programs to close the “skills gap” by better preparing students for careers in high-demand industries like manufacturing, health care, clean energy and information technology.

She continues her local stops on Tuesday.

— From the Illinois Business Journal


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