Casey Urges GE to Expand Job Opportunities in Northwestern PA

WASHINGTON, DC— In response to reports that GE Transportation is examining a proposal to shift overflow production from the Erie locomotive assembly plant to alternative locations outside Pennsylvania, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today wrote a letter to GE Transportation President and CEO Lorenzo Simonelli urging him to consider expanding job opportunities in Northwestern Pennsylvania.

“Like many areas across Pennsylvania, the economic downturn has significantly impacted jobs and unemployment in the Erie region,” wrote Senator Casey. “As the economy continues to recover and new orders are placed, I urge you to consider expanding employment opportunities in Northwestern Pennsylvania as opposed to moving jobs out of the state.”

Senator Casey has worked closely with GE Transportation to create jobs in Northwestern Pennsylvania by helping the company gain better access to international markets and boost domestic locomotive production.

Senator Casey also worked to ensure that Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) was available to workers laid off by GE in 2009. TAA is a is a program to provide a variety of training, job search and relocation allowances, as well as income and health insurance support to workers who have lost their jobs due to foreign competition.
A copy of the letter is below.

Dear Mr. Simonelli,

It is my understanding that GE Transportation is examining a proposal to shift overflow production from the Erie locomotive assembly plant to alternative locations outside Pennsylvania.  The purpose of this letter is to urge you to maintain as many jobs in northwestern Pennsylvania as practicable.
 
Maintaining GE Transportation’s strong presence is essential to economic recovery and the competitiveness of the region as a whole.  Like many areas across Pennsylvania, the economic downturn has significantly impacted jobs and unemployment in the Erie region.  I am encouraged that GE has not only recalled all eligible workers furloughed in 2009 but also added approximately 100 new positions.   As the economy continues to recover and new orders are placed, I urge you to consider expanding employment opportunities in northwestern Pennsylvania as opposed to moving jobs out of the state.  

I am mindful that you will base this decision on a number of factors with a goal of ensuring a quick response time in fulfillment of orders.  However, it appears that the experienced GE workforce in Pennsylvania is well positioned to handle future cases of overflow production.
 
Thank you for your consideration of my views.  I look forward to working with you to maintain a strong workforce in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator


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