US Representatives hold public hearing on economic disparity, manufacturing in Lorain

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 8:49 PM EDT
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LORAIN, Ohio (WOIO) - El Centro community center hosted a congressional meeting Monday to discuss ways to revitalize the city’s local industry and manufacturing prowess.

The U.S. House Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Growth came to Lorain looking for answers, as well as to hear from locals on the front lines of the economy.

“Midwest communities like Lorain are the cradle of American industry,” Democratic U.S. Congressman from Connecticut and Committee Chairman Jim Himes said.

Local Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur hopes leaders in Washington D.C. don’t leave the country’s industrial sector behind. “It’s hard to be a member of the great lakes in congress...we don’t have the same financial prowess as other coasts do,” she said.

Congressmen and women from both parties took time to listen and learn from local leaders.

Among them was United Steel Workers Local 1104 Vice President Richard Cain.

During his time at the panel, he emphasized Congress has to support the workers behind the nation’s economic growth.

“For too long we’ve allowed free trade at all costs to undermine jobs without the tools to support workers,” he said. “This impact is still being felt today.”

The discussion also served as an opportunity to find a solution.

Charman Himes said the answers have to be found together: “The solutions for communities that are left behind are a partnership between the public sector and the private sector.”

Republican Congressman Brian Steil from Wisconsin agreed.

He’s looking for the same improvements to his own district: “What policy can we put forward to bring good-paying jobs into our communities, to make sure everyone has a chance to live out the American Dream.”

As the conversations continue both in Lorain and across the United States, Kaptur wishes for the Great Lakes region to return to its manufacturing glory days, where it helped the country reach new economic heights.

“I like to believe what American makes and grows, makes and grows America,” she said.

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