Rockford area manufacturing workers want an idea of what the future holds for their jobs. They're worried what's happening in Washington could hurt.
Congressman Adam Kinzinger says he'll take those concerns back with him to Capitol Hill.
Kinzinger's first stop was the Ecolab plant in South Beloit. The company as a whole employs 41,000, many of whom live right in our area.
After a tour of the plant, managers and employees were given a chance to ask Kinzinger questions. Many wonder how the sequester could effect their factory.
Kinzinger says he has been a long-time supporter of manufacturing, and wants to work with democrats to come up with a long term solution to keep industry strong. "Manufacturing is a cornerstone of our economy and it's important that both in Washington, Springfield, and in the private sector, we continue to move forward with policies that are going to support that."
After his tour at Ecolab, Kinzinger's next stop was GE Aviation in Loves Park. The congressman says he hopes his visits will help shed light on the kind of work these local plants and their employees put forward."I think if everybody in the Rockford area could see the products that are made in their area, that are then sent around the country and around the world, I know they'd be impressed."
Ecolab's plant manager Michael Smith says the company hopes Kinzinger will in turn be able to take some of the things he observed back with him to Washington. "I'm hoping that he really gets a good sense of the issues that we're facing here. I hope he takes away the improvements that manufacturing in the United States is making in terms of lean manufacturing and definitely improvements in safety as well," says Smith.
While at Ecolab, the National Association of Manufacturers honored Kinzinger with an award for Legislative Excellence. The award is given to congressmen who the group believes help manufacturers.