WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement after an Agriculture Committee hearing today on growing jobs in rural America:
“I am committed to keeping our rural communities strong and productive. Today’s hearing is a good way to focus attention in Washington on the needs of rural Pennsylvania and rural communities around the country.
“I have supported the Farm Bill and other rural development programs, such as those that provide loans and loan guarantees to rural businesses to provide economic opportunities and create jobs. By increasing access to capital, we can help provide economic opportunities and create jobs.
“Rural manufacturing certainly has an important role to play in creating a strong economic base for rural towns. Manufacturing still accounts for 22 percent of total wage income in nonmetropolitan Pennsylvania compared with 17 percent in metropolitan Pennsylvania. Penn State research shows that for Pennsylvania’s rural counties, a higher degree of industry diversity and a better educated workforce contribute to lower rates of unemployment and underemployment.
“As Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, I have outlined various ways to lay the groundwork for future growth in manufacturing: a comprehensive national manufacturing strategy, making permanent the R&D tax credit, cracking down on China’s currency manipulation that is putting Pennsylvania workers and manufacturers at a disadvantage and sending jobs overseas and extending working training programs through Trade Adjustment Assistance.”