Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

RNC attendees would be wise to take a look around during their visit.

Team AAM is reporting live from Cleveland, where the Republican National Convention just kicked off. We’re set up in the Keep it Made in America tent, where we are meeting with policymakers, delegates, reporters and anyone else interested in learning about all things manufacturing, from trade to job creation to even national security.

Cleveland is an ideal city to have this important discussion, since manufacturing plays such a vital role in the economy. Manufacturing employs more than 120,000 people in the Greater Cleveland region, up slightly from 2009.

The sector accounted for the largest share of new jobs, new exports and new money in the region from 2010 to 2012, adding more than 20,000 new jobs in that two-year span.

The list of manufacturers is diverse. ArcelorMittal operates a steel mill just a stone’s throw away from the Quicken Loans arena, employing more than 1,400 people who make one ton of steel for slightly more than one worker per hour, for example. Sherwin-Williams Co. employs 4,300 people, while Euclid’s Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc., has more than 2,700 workers.

But as Fortune recently noted, the sector employed nearly 200,000 Cleveland workers in 2000. The Land was among the American cities hit hard by the China Shock after China joined the World Trade Organization. Fortune notes:

"Cleveland thus represents an important crossroads, not only for the 2016 race, but for the future of America’s economy and society. In this way, the Republicans have chosen a critical venue for kicking off the general election. This week and the months to follow will reveal whether they and their Democratic opponents can present an affirmative vision for how Washington can better support the region’s prosperity—and perhaps win the nation’s most coveted electoral prize in the process."

Worth noting: In Ohio as a whole, there are more than 688,000 people working in a factory job, which amounts to more than 12 percent of the workforce.

Ohio is always an important swing state, and manufacturing is a major part of the economy in the state. Republicans in Cleveland this week would be wise to take a look around, as AAM President Scott Paul said.

"If you're looking for the story of American manufacturing, you'll find it right here in Cleveland. The city has been home to some of our greatest makers, but it has also seen many of those jobs shipped overseas," Paul said. "Hopefully attendees will leave this great city realizing how our economic and trade policies impact jobs. Our nation's manufacturing workers still need a boost." 

In Cleveland for the RNC? Find out more about the Keep it Made in America tent and be sure to stop in.

We’ll also be in Philadelphia next week for the Democratic National Convention, and will host a special town hall featuring Gene Sperling, economic adviser to Hillary Clinton. Learn more here.