EUCLID, Ohio – In his race for the U.S. Senate last year, Republican Rob Portman pushed hard a jobs platform, aimed at giving businesses the tools they need to thrive, grow and create jobs.
It’s a message that resonated with voters in a state that saw the loss of roughly 400,000 jobs over the last four years. His victory resonated with party leaders, who have called upon Portman to take the lead in crafting the legislation that puts the planks of that platform into practice.
“Next week we’re going to roll it out in the United States Senate,” said Portman, during a visit to Lincoln Electric in Euclid. “We’re then going to start working with the administration and with the house to try to pass these various measures.
“Everybody is focused on energy right now because gas prices are so high. That’s what we’re going to focus on right away.”
“What we’re trying to do is to create an environment for companies to succeed and, right now, America’s tax policies, our energy policy, the regulatory policy, the legal policy is making it harder for us to create jobs here in America.
“So what we’re trying to do is to create more certainty, to create a more pro-growth, pro-jobs policy framework and companies, like Lincoln, will benefit directly,” Portman said.
Lincoln Electric, a global manufacturer of welding and cutting machines used in creating pipelines, and windmills and all sorts of industrial uses.
The company Tuesday reported first quarter earnings were up more than 27 percent over last year. Lincoln President and CEO John Stropki said that was fueled heavily by not just strong international business, but domestic sales as well.
“So that’s U.S. customers buying U.S. produced products from us built in Cleveland, Ohio and spread all over the United States to service our U.S. customers,” Stropki said.
Keeping government out of the way of companies like Lincoln is one of the goals of Portman’s plan.
“On the regulatory side, we’ve got to have sensible regulations but not ones that create huge burdens for companies like Lincoln who want to stay in America and create jobs right here,” Portman said.
That’s something Lincoln continues to do, adding more than 50 production jobs in the first three months of the year and they’re looking to add another 100.
Stropki said they want to start rebuilding their workforce and “get ready for another big run.”