PENN YAN—Democratic Congressional Candidate Tracy Mitrano (NY-23) firmly reiterated her support of labor and manufacturing jobs in the district. Mitrano said she is committed to working on behalf of industries that already employ people in the region while also advocating for initiatives that will make the Southern Tier more attractive to new investment, especially by companies engaged in innovative technologies.
“My opponent frequently likes to mischaracterize my statements, but my record and consistent policy platform on labor speaks for itself. I have always supported labor unions and manufacturing jobs throughout the Southern Tier,” Mitrano said. “I am honored to have received the endorsement of the state AFL-CIO, Public Employees Federation, and Civil Service Employees Association—as well as local chapters of the United Steelworkers, United Auto Workers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Service Employees International Union, and other unions that represent the interests of public and private workers—in recognition of these shared values.”
“I am utterly and completely committed to this district, and to ensuring the long-held livelihoods of people that live here. I am also committed to planning and implementing initiatives that will expand our economy and equip the 23rd district for the 21st century. For example, many parts of our district still do not have reliable internet services—a critical element to ensuring our manufacturers can compete in a global economy.”
New York State has been hit hard by a decline in manufacturing in recent decades. Data from the New York Department of Labor and reported by the Poughkeepsie Journal indicates that manufacturing employment decreased by 3 percent—14,000 jobs—between 2010 and 2016. Many in the Southern Tier feel forgotten, as their representatives do little to address long-term economic trends that have led to the widespread shuttering of manufacturing plants and steel mills, leaving many in towns like Wellsville without employment.
Manufacturing remains critical. According to the Empire State Development website, $2 billion in payroll is generated by the manufacturing industry in the region each year. There is encouraging potential for growth: a 2010 report from the New York State comptroller on manufacturing in Upstate New York found that even as overall manufacturing experienced decline, there was growth in new and “leading-edge” sectors. Our region also has some major advantages for future growth; for instance, it is home to a number of excellent research institutions, which are well-placed to serve as centers for industry innovation and development, as well as recruiting grounds.
“The Southern Tier has so many excellent resources,” Mitrano said. “I believe that we can develop a truly robust manufacturing sector in this community again, a manufacturing industry that is oriented around new technologies and innovations. But we need to make sure we have the infrastructure required, which is why I’ve made robust rural broadband such a major part of platform. We also need to provide training for 21st century jobs that cutting-edge employers in the district wish to fill. We need to focus on how we can make our region attractive to new kinds of investment.”
Mitrano said that she continues to oppose legislation, like the Republican tax bill and the President’s tariffs, that have hurt industry in the district and contributed to unemployment.
“The cap on state and local tax deductions included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act hurt New York State,” Mitrano said. “The President’s tariffs have likewise done little to help the vast number of industries in the state. My opponent, Tom Reed, has supported these policies. In doing so, he has voted against his own district—whatever rhetoric he likes to employ to the contrary. I believe in the Southern Tier, and I believe in manufacturing. My policies are aimed at growing the economy here, now and in the future, and in a way that serves everyone willing to do the hard work.”