U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today applauded reports that Navistar, the 4th-largest truck maker worldwide, plans to bring new production to its facility in Springfield, Ohio. The additional production could mean hundreds of new jobs beginning early next year.
"It's clear why Navistar is continuing to invest in its Springfield facility: Ohio knows how to make things, and our workers are second-to-none," Brown said. "When the surrounding community, workers, and management work together, success is sure to follow. These good-paying, highly-skilled jobs are critical to the rebirth of Ohio's manufacturing industry and our state's economic recovery."
Brown visited Navistar last week, touring the factory floor, meeting with workers, and discussing the positive trends over the past several years in the manufacturing sector in Ohio. In April 2011, Brown toured Navistar and met with company management and workers to celebrate the increased production at the Springfield plant. Last year, Navistar announced layoffs for Springfield workers and there was uncertainty about the Springfield plant's future. Following the announcement, Brown worked closely with the company, the United Auto Workers (UAW) Locals 402 and 658, and the Springfield community in their efforts to keep the plant open. In October 2010, Navistar and the UAW announced an agreement that would keep the Springfield facility open. In December 2010, Brown called on Navistar to maximize production levels at the plant and reinstate some of the laid off workers.
Since then, the company has begun ramping up production and making investments in the Springfield plant. In November 2011, Navistar announced that it will bring a new chassis line to the company's plant in Springfield. According to the company, production has doubled and nearly 200 employees have been recalled from layoff since December 2010. Navistar International Corp. produces commercial trucks, school buses, motor homes, and diesel engines.
Brown, who has been described as "Congress' leading proponent of American Manufacturing," is the coauthor of bipartisan legislation aimed at bolstering the competitiveness of the American manufacturing industry. By requiring the development of a national manufacturing strategy, National Manufacturing Strategy Act of 2011 would boost traditional and high-tech manufacturing, spur American job growth, and strengthen the middle class.