WASHINGTON — On October 17 in Des Moines, Iowa, television and film star John Ratzenberger and the Alliance for American Manufacturing will host a “Keep it Made in America” town hall meeting. The Des Moines event is the second of seven national meetings being held to spotlight growing voter concern about the challenges facing American workers and manufacturers.
“I’m proud to partner with the Alliance for American Manufacturing on the Keep it Made in America town hall meetings,” Ratzenberger said. “I’ve traveled all across this country, and I’ve seen firsthand how manufacturing drives our economy. In this presidential election, we have a chance to make the voices of American manufacturing heard in Iowa. We're going to educate and inspire voters to ask candidates the hard questions about manufacturing jobs and how they intend to keep manufacturing made in America.”
From humble beginnings in Bridgeport, Conn., Ratzenberger gained international fame on the acclaimed television series “Cheers.” Today, the actor hosts his own show about American manufacturing on the Travel Channel, “John Ratzenberger's Made in America.”
Manufacturing is still the largest sector of Iowa’s economy, but Ratzenberger says the state needs to overcome some other obstacles. Iowa has lost more than 22,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000 Ratzenberger urged presidential candidates to stand up for the workers and manufacturers of Iowa.
The “Keep it Made in America” town hall meeting will be on October 17 at the Iowa Events Center, 730 Third Street, in Des Moines. Doors open at 6 p.m. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, and the event is open to the general public.
During the town hall meeting, Ratzenberger will encourage Iowa voters to ask the presidential candidates three questions about their commitment to American manufacturing:
- How will you save American manufacturing jobs?
- What specific policies will you enact to strengthen the American manufacturing base, which is vital to our economic and national security?
- What steps will you take to enforce trade laws and hold cheating countries like China accountable?
“There’s no shortage of presidential candidates in Iowa. We need to hold their feet to the fire and demand answers to the tough questions on trade and manufacturing,” said Al Skinner, president of the USW Local 310 union, which represents workers at Firestone Agricultural Tire. “Iowa voters need to know if their next president will level the playing field and stop countries like China from cheating or sit idly by while our manufacturing jobs continue to move offshore. Manufacturing is our future, and we want a president who will do something about it.”
The manufacturers and workers of Iowa share Ratzenberger’s and AAM’s dedication to strengthening American manufacturing, and were excited to work together to urge the candidates to focus on these issues, said Scott Paul, AAM’s executive director.
The Alliance for American Manufacturing is a nonpartisan, labor-management partnership forged to strengthen manufacturing in the U.S. For more information, visit: www.americanmanufacturing.org.