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Joplin manufacturers express frustration to congressman - KOAM TV 7

Joplin manufacturers express frustration to congressman

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Congressman Billy Long visits manufacturing companies and gives an ear to their concerns at a roundtable in Joplin.

The big buzzword at the meetings is uncertainty.  Manufacturers hesitate to hire because they don't know the federal governments next moves.

At the roundtable discussion several manufacturers with ties to the defense industry expressed concern about sequestration, the cutting of millions of defense related jobs that happens on January 1 if hundreds of billions of dollars in federal cuts aren't made by a super committee.

Long now says he regrets voting for that committee which so far has failed.

Long toured Leggett and Platt's Idea Center today and company representatives and others say recruiting and retaining engineers and workers with technical skills is a big concern.

With Congress not having a budget to show where funds will be allocated, Long learned they're frustrated but he didn't have much good news to offer.

"Right now we're facing sequestration - there's not money for anything," says Long.  "We're talking about making big cuts to our defense and to all programs across the board.  There's not a lot of money out there for anything.  We need ingenuity.  We need help from the business community, from the parents and from state government and national government.  We'll get through this, we always do.  We're resilient people in this country.  We'll come back."

One company rep was clearly frustrated by Long's reasons for congress not passing a budget which makes it difficult for them to plan for the future.

And manufacturers revealed the Department of Labor sent them an opinion letter saying they don't need to send out warning letters to those who might face those layoffs in January.  Those notices usually go out 60 days before and that would fall just one week before the November election.

Long believes the White House and Congress will take last minute actions to stop some layoffs, but says that wouldn't solve the budget problem.

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