Loebsack Visits CLOW – Learning More About Oskaloosa And His District

Mark Willett (left) and Congressman Dave Loebsack (left center) converse during a tour of the CLOW facility in Oskaloosa.

Mark Willett (left) and Congressman Dave Loebsack (left center) converse during a tour of the CLOW facility in Oskaloosa.

Oskaloosa, Iowa – Executives with CLOW Valve in Oskaloosa welcomed 2nd Congressional District Congressman Dave Loebsack to their facility on Thursday.

The nearly hour-long visit included a lengthy discussion where Loebsack learned about recent projects the company has been tasked with completing, and how the global marketplace influences business for CLOW.

The American Iron and Steel Act is one piece of legislation that is helping CLOW compete in a market that is vulnerable to imports, mostly from China.

Loebsack said that the deadlock in Congress has “prevented much of anything to get done,” even with a change in administration. “Nothing is getting done.”

Loebsack said such gridlock is preventing any type of infrastructure package from moving forward. Such a package could help places like CLOW continue to grow, and assist in resolving water and wastewater infrastructure issues.

Congress is facing a battle over the budget, with a nearly 20 billion dollar deficit, and Loebsack agrees saying, “We all agree we’ve got to get our budget under control.”

“I think there’s a general agreement that infrastructure is an area where that creates jobs, it’s great for the economy, and it’s kind of part of the multiplier effect,” added Loebsack.

Oskaloosa has seen the rising cost of rebuilding water and wastewater infrastructure, and the problem is widespread across the nation.

Developing and retaining a workforce is another struggle, not only for CLOW but employers in the 2nd Congressional District.

“Anything we can do to bolster people’s interest in 2-year degrees would be a huge benefit to us,” said Mark Willett with CLOW Valve.

Loebsack agreed, highlighting the importance of community colleges. “We’ve got to do what we can to support them.”

“We’ve got a lot of young people who don’t want to do that kind of work,” said Loebsack about trades positions. “We don’t necessary have career counselors who direct them into those kinds of fields.”

Filling those skilled trades and the needs of manufacturers are becoming more desperate as the current workforces begin to retire. At CLOW, an example of that can be found in maintenance positions, where twenty percent of that workforce is set to retire in the next five years.

Filling those positions will be highly critical for the future of the company in Oskaloosa.

Loebsack was then lead on a walking tour of the Oskaloosa facility, where he learned more about the technology and workforce that makes CLOW successful.

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Posted by on Sep 23 2017. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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