Casey presses for attention to manufacturing sector

As President Barack Obama prepares to deliver his State of the Union address tomorrow night in Washington, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is calling on the President to spotlight the manufacturing sector.

The president is expected to focus on the economy in his address to Congress and the nation. Casey, the senior senator from Pennsylvania, says manufacturing should get special attention.

“Manufacturing jobs pay at a much higher rate than virtually any job in our economy, so we need to make sure we take steps to strengthen our workforce,” said Casey.

Casey said company officials in Pennsylvania tell him they cannot find workers with advanced technical skills. He says stronger workforce development programs would help those companies expand their payrolls, and he’s asked the U.S. Office of Management and Budget to support training and tax-incentive programs to encourage hiring.

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Casey, a Democrat, said the President also will talk about infrastructure projects as part of a larger job-creation strategy.

Last month, Casey unveiled his first bill of the new Congress, the Small Business Job Creation Act of 2013, which will give a tax break to businesses that hire new workers and increase wages. Based on current average weekly earnings of private sector employees, a business would receive a tax break of approximately $4,250 over the course of the year for hiring an additional employee, Casey’s office said.

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