April 12, 2012

At Ravenswood Forum, Manchin Praises Community for Working Together to Bring Back Hundreds of Jobs, Treat Retirees Fairly

Ravenswood – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) held a “Coffee and Common Sense” event in Ravenswood today, meeting with nearly 100 community members and leaders to praise them for coming together to work to bring back hundreds of jobs at Century Aluminum and treat its retirees fairly. 

“Our hopes are high, and everyone's been working as hard as we can to get Century reopened, make sure the retirees get fair treatment and bring back those jobs to this community,” Senator Manchin said. “It takes a partnership, and that means government, business and labor working together as one – and here in Ravenswood, we're showing this country what it means to stand up and fight for every job. With all our work, Century can come back soon and better than ever.”

Senator Manchin also met privately with Century management and employees at the plant to discuss their situation, how to best move forward quickly, the state of manufacturing jobs in America and how to get Congress to work better on commonsense solutions. 

Senator Manchin is on a two-week tour called “Fighting for Every Job,” during which he is highlighting the connection between jobs and energy independence, his agenda to help small businesses succeed, how to revitalize American manufacturing, the importance of training the workforce through higher education, and his growing effort to hire unemployed veterans. 

Background on Century Aluminum 

Senator Manchin was very proud to work with Ravenswood Mayor Lucy Harbert; Century Aluminum’s CEO and President Mike Bless; Leo Gerard, President of the Steelworkers of America and Randy Moore, their representative; the retirees, led by Karen Gorrell; Governor Tomblin, Senator Rockefeller and so many others to reach a deal that will give Century retirees the benefits that they deserve and have earned. That deal paved the way for the West Virginia legislature to pass a tax-incentive package that is intended to help reopen the Century Aluminum plant in Ravenswood. 

In a speech on the Senate floor in March, Senator Manchin said that the story of Century Aluminum in Ravenswood is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when everyone is willing to work together to fight for every job. 

“West Virginia is a brighter spot, and Ravenswood is a brighter place. Hopes are up again. The people are enthusiastic, and we can see they have a little skip in their step. That means an awful lot. These are the hardest working people, who don't ask for a whole lot--just an opportunity to take care of themselves and their families,” Senator Manchin said on the Senate floor.