Portman Tours Warren Fabricating and Machining, Holds Roundtable Discussion with Employees and Company Leadership

March 19, 2019 | Press Releases

HUBBARD, OH – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) toured Warren Fabricating and Machining, a unique manufacturer specializing in the fabrication, machining, and assembly of large steel weldments. Following the tour, Portman held a roundtable discussion with employees and company leadership to discuss tax reform, strengthening Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, and helping more Ohioans get the skills and training they need to fill good jobs. As co-chair of the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus, Portman has led efforts in the Senate to strengthen CTE programs and help Ohioans find meaningful employment. 

“I had a productive discussion today with the employees and leadership from Warren Fabricating and Machining on the economy, tax reform, skills training and many other issues,” said Portman. “We have a skills gap, and too many employers are struggling to find people with the skills that are needed for today’s in-demand jobs. Last week I introduced the JOBS Act, which would make students in shorter-term CTE programs eligible for federal Pell Grants, which are currently reserved only for students in traditional college programs. I’m excited about how this legislation can help students in northeast Ohio and benefit employers like Warren Fabricating and Machining.  I will continue my work on the federal level to make sure that Washington is an effective partner with local employers and communities in Ohio to help them succeed and flourish.”  

“One of our most significant challenges is finding qualified candidates to fill open skilled labor positions at Warren Fabricating,” said Dawn Hill, Human Resource Manager, Warren Fabricating and Machining. “Having qualified candidates that are job ready would eliminate the unproductive hours we can’t charge our customers that we spend training new employees who lack the basic manufacturing skills like welding and machining. By widening the access to skilled job training programs before graduation, The JOBS Act would not only benefit the students but manufacturers like us who support our economy and community at large.”

Last week, Portman and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced the bipartisan JOBS Act, which would expand Pell Grant eligibility to cover high-quality and rigorous short-term job training programs so workers can afford the skills training and credentials they need for today’s job market. President Trump included the JOBS Act in his FY 2020 budget request and Rob is working to include this measure in broader legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act this year.  He has also worked on other measures to strengthen CTE programs.  Last July, the president signed Portman’s Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce Act to allow states and localities to use Perkins grant funding to establish CTE-focused academies.  His bipartisan CTE Excellence and Equity Act supports re-designing the high school experience to include courses more relevant to the 21st century workforce to better prepare students for future careers. Lastly, the Creating Quality Technical Educators Act he has introduced would create a teacher residency grant program to help address the CTE teacher shortage in schools.

Photos from the event are below: