A twenty-four year employee at Federal-Mogul in Blacksburg, Larry Battle started out in an entry level position in the plant before completing an 8,000 hour, 5 year apprenticeship program to become a tool and die maker. His experience highlights the quality training that unions provide adults around Virginia and the nation. As Larry points out, “unions are a big part of backing that skilled trade force that we need to keep factories and other businesses going.”
Larry is a member of the IAM Local Lodge 2533 out of Blacksburg, VA. He’s a tool and die maker at the Federal-Mogul plant which produces auto parts for all the major auto makers. Larry saw what happened to the auto industry between 2008 and now. At the height of the crisis, his plant lost half of its workforce. Yet, in the last year and a half, the plant doubled its population and the company invested millions of dollars to keep up with orders.
Larry explains, “the revitalization of the auto industry through Barack Obama and his administration is one of the best moves I’ve seen as far as saving American jobs, especially factory jobs.”
Larry is quick to contrast the President’s actions with Romney’s history of outsourcing jobs. “Romney has outsourced jobs to China and now claims that he’s for bringing jobs back and he’s for the middle class.” Larry adds, “It strikes a nerve because we know his past record: his companies have eliminated American jobs and he’s supported sending them overseas.”
When Larry talks about the election his first thought is of his 10 year old son and whether we will have good manufacturing jobs in the future, “I’d like to see that for my son, his generation and generations to come because those jobs have built American households. I want to see him have the same opportunity to have a good paying job,” concluding, “for working class America, I think Barack Obama is going to be our best choice based on his record and based on his ability to fight for working America.”