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Sen. Sherrod Brown Touts Investment In Infrastructure and Manufacturing

Manufacturing camp.jpg
Sen. Sherrod Brown
Sen. Sherrod Brown has hosted manufacturing camps for the past nine years. This summer, his office has already offered camps in Summit, Portage, Geauga, Lake, and Defiance Counties. The next four camps will take place in Mahoning, Knox, Richland, and Jackson Counties starting next week.

Sen. Sherrod Brown says he’s hoping for a bipartisan deal to push through the latest federal infrastructure proposal – but he’s concerned about how to pay for it.

The Democrat says he’s encouraged by anything which has bipartisan support, such as the $1.2 trillion bill to improve roads and bridges. He believes the way to pay for it is by increasing taxes on the wealthy.

“Some Republicans are suggesting a gas tax, which I think is a bad idea. Others are saying leave it unpaid for. Others are saying, ‘take the money from the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Child Tax Credit.’ None of those make any sense to me.”

Ohio’s Republican senator, Rob Portman, says he supports the $1.2 trillion proposal being worked out in Congress. But on “Meet the Press” Sunday, he called a $6 trillion infrastructure proposal from some Democrats a “grab bag.”

Both Portman and Brown are also co-sponsors of the “Build America, Buy America Act.” The bill would apply to any taxpayer-funded infrastructure or public works projects, and passed the Senate earlier this month as part of the "United States Innovation and Competition Act of 2021."

Manufacturing camp
Brown says Ohio is “a manufacturing state,” and so he’s also re-establishing a summer camp program for young people interested in manufacturing jobs.

“Too many people think of manufacturing is Rust Belt and dirty -- and we know that's not the case in the future.”

Brown has been hosting the weeklong camps for nine years, with 27 of them in 2019. But in 2020 – due to the coronavirus pandemic – the camps were scaled-back and online-only. Things will return to normal this summer.

“I've been to enough of these camps over the years to see the excitement in these kids; sometimes these are kids that don't really like classroom education. But [there is] excitement in their eyes when I see them working on these projects -- usually with an adult who is very interested in mentoring them.”

The camps have a fee, but Brown says students are never turned away and some scholarships are available.

A list of this summer’s camps is available here.

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010. While a Kent State student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.
A Northeast Ohio native, Sarah Taylor graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she worked at her first NPR station, WMUB. She began her professional career at WCKY-AM in Cincinnati and spent two decades in television news, the bulk of them at WKBN in Youngstown (as Sarah Eisler). For the past three years, Sarah has taught a variety of courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State, where she is also pursuing a Master’s degree. Sarah and her husband Scott, have two children. They live in Tallmadge.