As the U.S. recovers from the COVID-19 induced recession, elected officials continue to push apprenticeship and investment into manufacturing.
U.S. Representative for the 13th congressional district of Ohio Tim Ryan joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the return of auto manufacturing to Ohio, a new U.S. Postal Service contract and the National Apprenticeship Act.
Auto manufacturing returning to Ohio
Congressman Ryan discussed the ongoing industrial projects that will return auto manufacturing to the buckeye state. These include the Ultium Cells battery plant in Lordstown, as well as Lordstown Motors plan to produce it’s vehicles in his district.
When discussing the plan for Lordstown Motors, Rep. Ryan said he has received word from the CEO of Lordstown Motors that he will accept the union, if the employees decide to organize. He also said if they decide not to form a union, the employees will still be paid quality wages.
Rep. Ryan then discussed a new contract within the Postal Service, who just released plans to release its old fleet of vehicles.
The new fleet is only promised to be 10 percent electric, which Rep. Ryan believes to be archaic. He suggested the fleet include more electric vehicles.
Producing a fleet of electric postal vehicles will help the U.S. economy by providing jobs for Americans, and specifically, Ohioans who will most likely be manufacturing the fleet of vehicles. He also said an electric fleet will help the U.S. gain ground on China, who dominates the electric vehicle production market.
National Apprenticeship Act
Finally, Rep. Ryan discussed the National Apprenticeship Act, which passed the House of Representatives in the previous Congress, but was never brought to vote under Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Rep. Ryan said the bill encourages apprenticeship programs through various incentives. He said many choose not to switch careers due to the initial pay cut. He then said this legislation eliminates that by providing wage support to those who begin an apprenticeship.
He added that this bill can offset the losses the middle class suffered due to globalization, saying the people at the top made all of the money, while the middle class was left behind. This bill looks to encourage Americans to get involved with apprenticeships, which typically lead to higher wages.