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Dayton Business Journal - Moving Miami Valley Manufacturing Forward to Create New Jobs


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More Ohioans are getting back to work.

And it is no surprise to me that the Dayton region is helping fuel much of our manufacturing job growth. After years of devastating plant closures -- we lost more than five million manufacturing jobs during the first decade of this century -- we can celebrate some good news.

Veterans and students at Sinclair Community College, the University of Dayton, and Wright State University are gaining the skills needed to compete in the 21st century economy.

Southwest Ohio is also poised to lead the nation in research and development of Unmanned Aerial Systems which will help the next era of American manufacturing take off right here in Ohio. And international companies, like Airbus Americas, are increasing their reliance on Dayton-area aerospace manufacturers. To top it off, direct flights departing from Dayton International Airport will again land at New York LaGuardia Airport -- renewing commercial opportunities between Miami Valley businesses and the world's financial capital.
We're making advancements; but to create more jobs, we must renew our focus on American manufacturing.

Why should Ohioans care about manufacturing? Manufacturing can provide economic stability after a recession. Unlike wealth created by the click of a computer mouse, wealth created by expanded production in manufacturing requires an expanded workforce.

Manufacturing jobs pay 20 percent more on average than service jobs. And it is no secret that Ohio's 657,000 manufacturing jobs have strong multiplier effects -- supporting jobs in other sectors of our economy. Manufacturing also accounts for 70 percent of our research and development, more than 90 percent of patents issued, more than 90 percent of Ohio's exports, and is critical to our national security and our energy security.

That's why I am committed to championing a new era that puts American manufacturing -- and Ohio workers -- first.

To do this, we must stand up to our so-called trading partners, like China, who flout trade rules. It is no secret that we're facing an ever-expanding trade deficit with China, due in no small part to the communist government's penchant from flooding American markets with cheap goods and subsidizing its own companies by manipulating currency.

Plain and simple: currency manipulation is cheating. That's why my legislation, the Currency Exchange Rage Oversight Reform Act, which is the biggest bipartisan jobs bill to pass the Senate in recent years, would crack down on countries like China who believe that they're exempt from the rules of fair play.
We just need House Speaker John Boehner to schedule a vote on this bill which passed the Senate 63-35 more than one year ago.

Next, we must scale up research and development to improve innovation. To out-compete and out-innovate the rest of the world, we have to must provide the resourced needed for our manufacturers and workers to innovate on the shop floor, on the assembly line, and in the lab.

Finally, we have to encourage growth by closing loopholes that reward companies that send good-paying American jobs overseas. Last year, I cosponsored the Offshoring Prevention Act of 2011, legislation that would end the incentive for manufacturers to ship their jobs overseas.

If we're all serious about moving our economy forward and helping strengthen the middle class, then let's get to work.

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