WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Thursday, November 8th, television and film star John Ratzenberger will host a 'Keep it Made in America' town hall meeting in Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus event is the third in a series of seven national meetings sponsored by the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) to spotlight growing voter 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. Ohioans know they play a key role in the presidential election and, in particular, they have a chance to make the voices of Ohio -- and American -- manufacturing heard. Our town hall meeting is designed to engage, educate, and inspire voters to hold the Presidential candidates accountable 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 hit Ohio particularly hard. While manufacturing is still the largest part of the state's economy, Ohio has lost more than 242,000 jobs over the past seven years, a number greater than the entire population of Akron. "Ohio's economic success and the future of American manufacturing are one and the same. As an important swing state, we will see more than our fair share of Presidential candidates, and we need to hold their feet to the fire and demand answers to the tough questions on trade and manufacturing," said Steve Bishoff, President of USW Local 525 at Holophane, Newark, OH. "Will our next president level the playing field and stop countries like China from cheating or sit idly by while our manufacturing jobs continue to move offshore? Ohio voters need to be ready to ask that very important question." Ratzenberger's visit to Columbus includes a tour of ArcelorMittal Columbus with Brian Stack, Plant Manager, ArcelorMittal Columbus and Douglas Mullen, President, United Steelworkers Local 9309. ArcelorMittal, the world's number one steel company with 320,000 employees in more than 60 countries, is a stakeholder in AAM. ArcelorMittal Columbus is a steel coating facility with more than 100 employees. The facility produces hot-dipped galvanized sheet using cold-rolled steel coils supplied by sister facilities. The plant is capable of coating 40,000 tons per month and primarily serves the automotive industry. "Manufacturing is the largest sector of Ohio's economy and each manufacturing job supports at least four other jobs in the area. These are jobs that Ohio families depend on," said Brian Stack, Plant Manager, ArcelorMittal Columbus. "It's important that our elected officials recognize the vital role manufacturing plays in our community, the state of Ohio and the entire U.S. ArcelorMittal applauds the Alliance for American Manufacturing and John Ratzenberger for their efforts to strengthen America's manufacturing base." The "Keep it Made in America" town hall meeting will be held on Thursday, November 8th, at the Columbus Athenaeum, 32 N 4th Street. 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 Ohio voters to ask the presidential candidates three key 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? "The manufacturers and workers of Ohio share John Ratzenberger's and AAM's dedication to strengthening American manufacturing, and we're excited to work together to urge the candidates 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 voters to continue the discussion with their presidential candidates. With a year to go, Ohio voters need to be ready." 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