WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, February
20th, television and film star John Ratzenberger will host the final 'Keep
it Made in America' town hall meeting in Chicago, IL. The Chicago event is
the seventh and final town hall in a series of national meetings sponsored
by the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) to spotlight growing
concerns about the challenges facing American workers and manufacturers.
From his humble beginnings in Bridgeport, Connecticut, John
Ratzenberger gained international fame on the acclaimed television series
Cheers. Today, Ratzenberger hosts his own show about American manufacturing
on the Travel Channel, John Ratzenberger's Made in America.
"I'm proud to partner with the Alliance for American Manufacturing on
the 'Keep it Made in America' town hall meetings," said Ratzenberger. "I've
traveled all across this country and I've seen firsthand how manufacturing
drives our economy. Chicagoans understand that. Our town hall meetings are
designed to engage, educate, and inspire people to take on trade and
manufacturing issues; to remind them that 'Made in America' means good jobs
and safe products."
The U.S has lost 3.2 million manufacturing jobs since 2000, losses that
have reverberated in Illinois and NW Indiana. While manufacturing is still
the largest part of both states' economies, Illinois has lost more than
194,000 manufacturing jobs over the past seven years, and Indiana has lost
110,000. To put that into perspective, the total job losses represent a
number larger than any city in Illinois or Indiana outside of Chicago and
"Chicago's economic success and the future of American manufacturing go
hand in hand," said Doug Bartlett, Chairman, Bartlett Manufacturing
Company, Inc. "We should demand answers to the tough questions on trade and
manufacturing. Will our companies and workers be given a level playing
field, or will we let countries like China cheat on international trade and
watch our manufacturing jobs continue to move offshore? Americans should be
asking these very important questions."
Minority communities have been hit particularly hard by manufacturing
job losses. Since 2000, more than 300,000 African American men have lost
jobs in the manufacturing sector, the highest rate of any ethnic group. The
heaviest job losses for Latinos are concentrated in manufacturing and
retail trade as well, which together account for 40 percent of all Hispanic
"Minority workers in and around Chicago have been disproportionately
affected by manufacturing job losses," said Tammi Davis, President, NAACP,
Gary, Indiana branch. "It's important that we recognize the vital role
manufacturing plays in our communities. The job losses are not just
statistics, they represent workers and families right here in Indiana and
Illinois that are struggling to stay afloat."
The "Keep it Made in America" town hall meeting will be held on
Wednesday, February 20th, at the Museum of Science and Industry, 57th and
Lakeshore Drive. Doors open at 6:00 pm. The program begins at 6:30 pm.
Admission is free and is open to the general public.
During the town hall meeting, Ratzenberger will encourage people to
consider three key questions about America's commitment manufacturing:
-- How will we save American manufacturing jobs?
-- What policies will strengthen the American manufacturing base, which
is vital to our economic and national security?
-- What steps can we take to enforce trade laws and hold cheating
countries like China accountable?
"The manufacturers and workers of Illinois and NW Indiana share John
Ratzenberger's and AAM's dedication to strengthening American
manufacturing, and we're excited to work together to focus on these
issues," said Scott Paul, AAM's executive director. "For America to remain
the leader in the global economy, we have to overcome some very real
challenges that threaten the vital core of our economic engine. Our town
hall meetings are initiating this important dialogue and empowering people
to continue the discussion with their neighbors and community leaders."
The Alliance for American Manufacturing is a unique non-partisan,
labor-management partnership forged to strengthen manufacturing in the U.S.
For more information visit: www.americanmanufacturing.org.
SOURCE Alliance for American Manufacturing