President Joe Biden today lauded Mack Truck, the United Auto Workers Local 677 and the Lehigh Valley for their efforts in growing American manufacturing during a visit to the Lower Macungie Mack plant.
Biden told the crowd of more than 100 workers, dignitaries and residents that a bipartisan agreement on his infrastructure bill was reached by a Senate committee and will advance to the Senate floor later this week.
The American Jobs Plan that Biden is pushing, will create millions of good jobs, rebuild the country’s infrastructure and position the United States to out-compete China, according the White House fact sheet.
Mack President Martin Weissburg said Biden’s message of building and strengthening American manufacturing and building an employee base aligns with what Mack is doing in the Lehigh Valley. “Right now, we have open positions we are recruiting for. We will add up to 400 people” to the already 2,500 person workforce.
Drawing cheers from the crowd, Biden said unions built the middle class and he is a champion for them. Since taking office, Biden told the crowd, the U.S. has gained 600,000 jobs a month, each month. “That is the fastest growing (job growth) on record,” he said. “We have laid the foundation for a long-term boom, not just short-term growth.
“When I put my hand on that Bible, I made a commitment to turn the tides to enable people to earn a living and take care of their parents,” he said, adding the last administration grew big business and enabled corporations to pay less taxes each year.
“Given half chance, the American people have never, never, never ever let this country down.”
Walt Smith, president of UAW Local 677, called Biden’s visit the highlight of his 44-year career at Mack, and said the union and the company have been “working really hard to grow the company.”
Don Cunningham, president of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp., said while Mack is an internationally known brand, “The Lehigh Valley is a manufacturing center. Manufacturing is our second biggest sector so for him (Biden) to choose the Lehigh Valley to deliver his message shows higher levels of people recognize us.”
Part of Biden’s American Jobs Plan, is to secure critical supply chains so companies that manufacture here can get the parts they need here, alleviating the shortages the country has seen over the past year. “To sum it up in two words, ‘Buy American’,” Biden said.
“The people that said we shouldn’t rescue the auto industry are the same ones that don’t buy American,” he said. “The strength is here, right here in folks like you.”
American power is not military power, he said, it is the people. “That’s why people follow us.”