Manufacturing is a key industry that keeps America competitive. And to keep that up, a voice in Washington, D.C. came back to his district to gain more information on the needs of the industry. Congressman Tom Reed took a tour of the Hardinge plant in Elmira and as YNN's Katie Husband explains, facility leaders hope Reed can change consumer confidence.
ELMIRA, N.Y. -- Making machinery is what Hardinge does on a daily basis. The Elmira plant welcomed Congressman Tom Reed Thursday to give the new co-chair of the Manufacturing Caucus a closer look at what they do.
"And really to be that voice in Washington on behalf of U.S. manufacturing so that we can make sure we're creating jobs today and tomorrow and not lose out on the opportunities before us," said Representative Tom Reed, 23rd Congressional District.
Hardinge leaders say manufacturing is strong, however, at the end of last year, orders slowed because of the fiscal cliff deal in Washington. Rick Simons needs his representative to help bring confidence back in the consumer.
"So they'll buy machine tools, working with export controls, working with making sure we're playing on a level playing field with the rest of the world so we can get jobs back in the United States," said Rick Simons, Hardinge, president, CEO, chairman.
Listening to the concerns at the local level is one of the responsibilities of being a co-chair of the caucus.
"We can be a conduit to the Hill for the issues that they're facing, policies they may be, we could advocate for that will advance the manufacturing rebirth in America," said Reed.
After Thursday's tour, Simons hopes Congressman Reed will take back some vital information to help continue the manufacturing industry in the U.S. and right here in Elmira.
"Uncertainty kills our business, customers don't want to buy a machine when there's uncertainty, so certainly that's a big part of this, to continue to encourage him to be bipartisan and get things done in Washington," said Simons.
"It's just a great example of what we can do and I just want to hear from them so we can make the right policy decisions and put them in a competitive position so they can hire more people," said Reed.
Simons says the company is heading into this year feeling confident despite the slow end to 2012 and having that extra support in Washington can be an asset as well.