U.S. Sen. Rob Portman discussed the need for a concerted effort to increase manufacturing in Ohio with former Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams, director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office for Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers.
“It was great to see Jay; I’m glad we had a chance to discuss steps we can take to build upon Ohio’s strong manufacturing base,” Portman said, “and I look forward to working with him in his new role to grow our economy,”
Wednesday’s meeting was the first face-to-face discussion between Portman, a Republican from the Cincinnati area, and Williams, a Democrat, since the latter started his job Aug. 8.
Williams was appointed by President Barack Obama to be the administration’s point man in helping to stabilize communities that lost auto plants through land-use redevelopment, and small business and worker training.
Williams served about 51/2 years as mayor before opting to take the job with the Obama administration.
Williams met Nov. 2 with Sherrod Brown, Ohio’s other U.S. senator, a Democrat from Avon. The two discussed what could be done in Ohio cities that lost vehicle plants in recent years.
Portman started serving his term in the Senate in January. Before that, he spent 12 years in the U.S. House and was President George W. Bush’s U.S. trade representative, and director of the Office of Management and Budget.