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U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) last week met with representatives of Harsco Rail and United Auto Workers Local 811 for a tour of Harsco's plant in Ludington, Mich.
The senator met with the company and union representatives, various rail advocates and business guests to discuss rail and manufacturing issues. The Railway Engineering-Maintenance and Suppliers Association (REMSA) coordinated the event.Led by Harsco's Senior Director of Operations and Supply Chain Ray Patterson, the tour highlighted the company's rail maintenance of way equipment, which is manufactured on site."We are honored to host Senator Stabenow and share our commitment to manufacturing in upstate Michigan," said Patterson. "Our business and our employees rely on continued freight rail investment for our livelihoods and we must work with our representatives in Washington to encourage sound transportation and investment policy."Stabenow focused her remarks on encouraging economic development in the region, partnering with business and labor to ensure safe working conditions and fair wages, and the need for a strong, efficient and safe freight-rail system to connect Michigan's agriculture and auto producers to the global market."We do not have an economy or a middle class in Michigan unless we make things and grow things," said Stabenow.Meanwhile, Siemens on Wednesday hosted U.S. Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) for a tour of Siemens Mobility Customer Services, the company's new rail service headquarters in Sacramento, Calif. The new 60,000-square-foot plant is solely dedicated to rail service, maintenance and repair operations, and complements Siemens' existing rail manufacturing operations in the region, company officials said in a press release.
One of the first projects at the new facility is a $21 million contract to modernize 32 SD160 light-rail vehicles for Calgary Transit in Alberta, Canada. Siemens' Customer Services business has also partnered with Sacramento Regional Transit District to complete the refurbishment of 21 light-rail vehicles for that system.
With more than 60 employees on site, Siemens has nearly doubled its workforce at the site since it announced its opening in February. The company plans to continue hiring to support the business.