PMT Hosts Congressman Beto O’Rourke and SPI President for Plant Tour February 27, 2013

EL PASO, TEXAS— U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) and Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) president Bill Carteaux toured the El Paso-based manufacturing plant of Plastic Molding Technology, Inc. (PMT) Feb. 21 and discussed critical national and local issues affecting the manufacturing sector.

With President Obama stating his commitment to investing in American manufacturing during his State of the Union address only days earlier, first-term Congressman O’Rourke’s visit to PMT comes at a time when interest in a U.S. manufacturing renaissance is being reignited.

“It’s a huge opportunity for El Paso – and a huge opportunity for the United States as a whole – to take advantage of the pendulum swinging back from China to America,” said Charles A. Sholtis, chief executive officer of family-owned PMT.

Sholtis said one key need on a national level and in the local job market is funding for training and skilled worker development.

“The federal government is in a unique position to champion this initiative and provide funding for the development of our nation’s future generation of manufacturing workers,” Sholtis said.

Rep. O’Rourke said the job of preparing and training workers for skilled manufacturing positions is not getting done in the El Paso area. His comment was based on the shortage of local, skilled workers to support the $5-billion expansion of nearby Fort Bliss Army base over the past six years, during which time O’Rourke was a city council representative.

Sholtis shared his concern that despite El Paso’s strong manufacturing heritage, local leaders do not seem to be embracing the renewed enthusiasm and support for manufacturing now being seen at the national level. Sholtis said the emphasis on four-year degrees from universities is overshadowing the workforce development assets of community colleges and technical schools.

“Coordinating the educational system here with job opportunities that are available for those kids who are in the system now is one of the things we are not doing a good job at, and that’s really clear,” O’Rourke said.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama praised the success of the first manufacturing innovation institute in Youngstown, Ohio, and asked Congress to build on that success through the creation of a network of 15 regional manufacturing hubs. Rep. O’Rourke said there is local interest in presenting El Paso as a viable location for the launch of one of those manufacturing hubs. O’Rourke said the city’s high unemployment rate of about 9 percent, combined with a relatively low average wage rate and high dollar amount of trade passing through the borderplex make El Paso a great fit.

Rep. O’Rourke said it would take the help of business leaders like Carteaux and Sholtis, along with others in the region, to make the case to the Administration.

O’Rourke, Sholtis and Carteaux also discussed tax reform, which many manufacturers believe is important to stimulating economic growth. Sholtis said the federal government needs to continue to look at a business–friendly tax environment and incentives for reinvesting in capital equipment. Carteaux asserted that the research and development (R&D) tax credit needs to be instituted long-term to avoid fighting for reauthorization each year.

“Tax reform is necessary for U.S. manufacturers to remain competitive worldwide,” Carteaux said.

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About Plastic Molding Technology, Inc. (PMT)

Established in 1973 and now celebrating its 40th anniversary year, PMT is a leading, privately-owned manufacturer of small, precision-engineered, injection-molded components used in a wide array of applications in diverse industries, including automotive, electronics, medical, consumer appliance, office furniture, telecom, business equipment, and recreational vehicle and boating products. PMT offers its business customers full-service manufacturing and project management solutions that include design, engineering, mold making, production – including insert molding, overmolding and encapsulation of components – value-added assembly, inventory management, and distribution. PMT manufactured more than 130 million parts and components on behalf of its customers in 2012. Strategically located in El Paso, Texas, PMT’s 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facility is only minutes from the modern Ysleta Port of Entry, which allows for timely delivery of finished goods to maquiladoras in Juarez, Mexico.

For more information, visit www.PMTinc.com or follow us on Twitter @PMTplastics.