Manufacturing was the focus of the Democratic presidential frontrunner’s speech at the plant on Tuesday night, April 27, exactly a week before the Indiana primary. It’s the core of her “Make it in America” plan, which would give billions of dollars to the manufacturing industry in Indiana and throughout the United States. The plan would aim to encourage American companies to move overseas jobs back to the U.S. and punish countries that violate international trade laws.
“[AM General] has proven that you can make it in America,” Clinton said. “And not only that, export to the rest of the world.”
Workers at AM General build the MV-1, the only American-made vehicle engineered for people who use wheelchairs. The company also manufactures a Mercedes-Benz SUV exported to China and Hummers used as ambulances for American troops overseas.
Ed Lymangrover is an electrician with IBEW, which does contract work with AM General. A self-described “middle of the road” guy, he was a Clinton supporter in 2008 but is skeptical of her this time around.
He pointed to Obamacare being a problem, mostly because it was too expensive.
“At one point a few years ago, my house and car payments combined were less than my healthcare,” he said.
Lymangrover wouldn’t mind if parents had to kick their children off of their healthcare plans before age 26 if that meant people could actually afford insurance. He’s not sure that Clinton would do enough to fix Obamacare.
But his biggest concern is making sure working class folks have jobs that pay enough to live comfortably.
“I make a good living, but there’s a lot of people who work but barely get by,” he said before Clinton spoke. “We need corporate people to stop being so greedy and shell out some of their millions to those who need help.”
Clinton focused heavily on manufacturing jobs during her speech and said she believes that America’s future will be bright if the manufacturing industry is strong.
Part of that strength, she said, comes from organized labor unions.
She credited the union at AM General for forging a partnership between employees and management, which made AM General “a great, great success story.”
“We have got to support organized labor and the skilled workers unions represent,“ she said.
And while Lymangrover thinks Clinton said the right things Tuesday night, he can’t help but still be skeptical.
”It’s more about what actually happens,” he said.