Sen. Baldwin visits Green Bay, talks job and “Buy America” initiative

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 5:23 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - One of Wisconsin’s US Senators says the pandemic exposed the need for the United States to make the products Americans buy in the states.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin, (D) Wisconsin, made those comments on Thursday while visiting Green Bay Drop Forge, which is struggling to hire employees.

She stopped by the manufacturing facility to highlight her “Buy America” initiative.

“The pandemic kind of taught us that there are things that we use to make here and we don’t anymore, and when you have a global issue, a global crisis our access to what we need is limited,” Sen. Baldwin said.

For more than a hundred years, Green Bay Drop Forge has been making custom and standard steel forgings.

According to the senator, the US should be less reliant on overseas production and the employees she spoke to agreed, expressing concern over the disruption of the global supply line.

“The more that we can control ourselves, the better that we are, you know, not depending too much. You’re always going to need the global market but sometimes you need your own resources,” Green Bay Drop Forge Director of Operations Hector Ibarra said.

A problem that appears nationwide, Green Bay Drop Forge is finding it difficult to hire employees despite having the ability to train them.

“As I was talking to the senator today, we encourage people to come in with no skills and we will train them. From the entry level...the limit is endless on where they’d like to go,” the company’s president Bill Hoban said.

Next week, the U.S. Senate will vote on a bill that Sen. Baldwin led an effort to include buy American reforms, according to her office.

At Thursday’s event, the senator also voiced her support for President Joe Biden’s proposed infrastructure bill as recent reports stated he’s willing to compromise with Republicans on his corporate tax hike.

“What we can’t do is kick the can down the road for decade after decade the way we have so far,” she said.

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