From U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith (R-VA-9):
Manufacturing Economic Growth
Friday, October 7 was National Manufacturing Day. Manufacturing is one of the ways a nation builds wealth.
This year, as part of National Manufacturing Day, I visited Celanese in Giles County and Tadano Mantis in Richlands. I was able to tour the new boiler area at Celanese, which provides power to produce cellulose acetate tow, used for cigarette tow. At Tadano Mantis, I was able to view the facilities where they design and construct large cranes.
These, and other manufacturing companies, provide goods and jobs that contribute to the economic growth of the Ninth District, as well as the economic growth of our nation.
Nations can only build wealth in a few ways. Wealth can be built by manufacturing goods, by extracting minerals and energy from the Earth, by agriculture and raising it off the land, or by stealing it from other countries.
Since we don’t have any intention of stealing wealth from other countries, we are left with three options – make it, mine it, grow it.
This week, we will discuss manufacturing.
The impact of manufacturing jobs should not be underestimated. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, under the Department of Commerce, for every $1.00 of goods produced, manufacturing generates an additional $1.37 for the economy. Furthermore, they estimate each manufacturing job creates another 2.5 more jobs in local goods and services.
In addition to the facilities I visited on National Manufacturing Day, I have spent a lot of time visiting local manufacturing companies, to understand their challenges and concerns. I have also worked to encourage manufacturing companies to expand or relocate to the Ninth, both high tech and traditional companies, as long as they create good paying jobs.
One of the groups I am working with is the Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing, Inc. (SVAM). SVAM is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the needs of manufacturers in the region, as well as drawing in new manufacturers. Among other things, SVAM is working on a supply chain mapping system so manufacturers in Southwest Virginia will be aware of companies in our area who may be able to provide them with component parts. The organization’s outreach, support, and promotion of manufacturers is important to the ongoing progress of building Southwest Virginia industry.
I’m hopeful that my recent legislative efforts will bring much needed economic development to our area. Specifically, I cosponsored the Revitalizing the Economy of Coal Communities by Leveraging Local Activities and Investing More (RECLAIM) Act (H.R. 4456) and introduced an amendment that was passed in the House of Representatives as part of the Interior Appropriations bill (H.R. 5538), expanding on the POWER Plus program’s initial funding to our region.
The RECLAIM Act is intended to bring relief to struggling coal communities, and releases $1 billion of funding from the Abandoned Mine Reclamation (AML) Fund to be used for economic development on AML sites. If this bill becomes law, $200 million a year would be distributed to states, including Virginia, annually for five years. As I travel the Ninth, I see potential sites to bring manufacturers to the District, and this is one way to encourage companies to select our region.
To bring additional funding for economic growth, I successfully pushed for an Interior Bill amendment that expands on the POWER Plus pilot program. The POWER Plus program acknowledges the damaging effects of this Administration’s regulatory attack on coal-producing communities. My amendment provides an increase of $5 million in grant funding to Virginia, for the reclamation of abandoned mine lands in conjunction with community and economic development. This doubled the original amount allotted, bringing the funding to a total of $10 million. I fought and won this funding in the House, because it is vital to bring manufacturing, growth, and jobs to the Ninth District.
Additionally, in 2015, I introduced the Commonsense Permitting for Job Creation Act (H.R. 3434), along with other Virginia representatives, to facilitate permits to help economic development for Southside Virginia, including the Ninth District.
Because of my efforts to promote manufacturing, as well as my consistent voting record for policies that enable the success of American manufacturers, I have been awarded the National Association of Manufacturers’ Legislative Excellence Award for the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses. I will continue to support sensible economic policies that encourage the development of new businesses, jobs, and goods, as well as keep current manufacturing jobs in America.
I will also continue fighting for the Ninth District, to advance economic development, increase manufacturing opportunities, and keep and grow jobs here in Southwest Virginia.
If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.