Gluesenkamp Perez Visits Clark County Manufacturers to Underscore Support for Careers in the Trades

Jan 04, 2024
Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez visits Vigor in Vancouver, WA.

Yesterday, Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03) visited four Clark County manufacturers and a high school CTE program to highlight the importance of pathways to good-paying careers in the trades and speak with local business leaders and students.

“Careers in the trades demand a high level of skill and expertise, and they’re essential to rebuilding American manufacturing and our middle class. Yesterday, I met with the folks who work these challenging jobs that are the foundation of Southwest Washington’s infrastructure, economy, and timber industry,” said Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez. “I’m working in Congress to ensure we reduce obstacles to entering the trades and rebuild the prestige of these careers – because our communities will be stronger for it.”

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez kicked off her day by touring Vigor’s aluminum fabrication facility along the Columbia River in Vancouver. The shipbuilder fabricates passenger, combat, and work vessels. They discussed Vigor’s work on local infrastructure, equipping the Armed Forces, and supporting trades jobs in Washington’s Third District.

A student shows Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez around Fort Vancouver High School’s Advanced Manufacturing program in Vancouver, WA.

Afterward, Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez visited Fort Vancouver High School’s Advanced manufacturing and Culinary arts courses – two of the school’s most popular career and technical education (CTE) courses. She met with students and instructors to learn about the programs, how they’re working to meet demand for these courses, and discuss how she can best support these programs at the federal level to ensure students have pathways to meaningful careers in the trades.

In March, Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez introduced the Supporting Small Business and Career and Technical Education Act to help small businesses recruit CTE graduates and support them in starting their own businesses. She also introduced legislation to encourage more students to pursue CTE pathways and to consider the financial obligations tied to a four-year degree.

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez visits Thompson Metal Fab in Vancouver, WA.

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez then toured Thompson Metal Fab in Vancouver. The veteran-owned business welds and constructs regional infrastructure like bridges, train tracks, and dams.

During the tour, they had the opportunity to discuss ongoing projects, as well as the importance of bringing back American manufacturing, supporting union labor, and utilizing locally-sourced materials.

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez visits Wolf Industries in Battle Ground, WA.

In Battle Ground, Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez visited Wolf Industries, a maker of prefabricated modular homes. The small business not only builds and helps install modular homes, but also helps customers through the permitting process. Wolf Industries also has worked with local CTE students and schools to build homes that are later sold or donated.

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez is a cosponsor of the YIMBY Act, which would require additional transparency about housing affordability, burdensome permitting, and zoning restrictions. During her visit, she had the opportunity to discuss CTE opportunities and lower-priced housing as a means of addressing rising costs and the nation’s affordable housing crisis.

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez visits Western Forest Products in Vancouver, WA.

Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez wrapped up her day back in Vancouver with a tour of a Western Forest Products sawmill. The business manufactures structural and architectural components, and they discussed the importance of forest products in building, as well as the Congresswoman’s legislative progress to keep Southwest Washington’s woods working. 

This past fall, Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez introduced the bipartisan Jobs in the Woods Act to strengthen workforce training in forestry industries, as well as recently urging the General Services Administration to expand their use of mass timber in federal buildings.

The Congresswoman’s bipartisan Treating Tribes and Counties as Good Neighbors Act also passed the House in September to support forest management, reduce wildfire risk, and ensure tribes and counties can more fully share in the successes of the Good Neighbor Authority.

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