Today, George Allen brought his "Virginia Voices" campaign to Chester to hear directly from a locally-owned manufacturing business, Progressive Engineering and Progressive Heat Treating. He was joined by Chesterfield County Board of Supervisor Dorothy Jaeckle and Chesterfield County GOP Chairman Don Williams to tour one of Chester's innovative job creators.
Established in 1923, Progressive Engineering manufactures precision gear and machine parts for a wide range of industries, including textiles, printing and bottling industries. In 2001, the company expanded to launch Progressive Heat Treating, which specializes in the vacuum heat treatment of metals for greater quality, durability and wear resistance to parts.
"Our manufacturing business has withstood the test of time because we understand the importance of constant innovation for cutting-edge products and adapting to market demands," said Melvin Belcher, owner of Progressive Engineering and Progressive Heat Treating. "But our greatest risk is what tax or regulation Washington is going to throw at us next. By the time I pay the government, there is very little left to buy machines. I need a more certain and simple tax code, less red tape from the EPA, and lower fuel and electricity costs. Less Washington in my business would sure give me more freedom and certainty to plan and invest in more workers."
As he toured the manufacturing facility, George Allen heard about how they aim to compete in a global manufacturing market place with countries that have lower energy and labor costs. Owner Melvin Belcher cited the need for Washington to stop diminishing the coal industry as an important resource for more affordable electricity.
"In Chester and throughout Virginia, I'm hearing from small business owners who need a hassle-free government that works with them -- not against them," said George Allen. "Small businesses are already enduring Tim Kaine's economic vision of high taxes and more regulations from an over-reaching Washington. I want to be Virginia small businesses' voice in Washington for more smart and efficient government. I'm committed to providing small businesses with the certainty they need through more simple, fair and competitive tax laws, reasonable regulations, and unleashing our plentiful energy resources from our coalfields to our coast for more affordable energy for all Virginians."