Delegation Requests Administration Focus on Delaware

WASHINGTON In response to the announcement by General Motors to close the Delaware assembly plant on Boxwood Road in Wilmington, the Congressional delegation has sent the following letter to President Obama.  The letter requests that the President provide Delawareans with the same federal attention and assistance given to other states with a strong reliance on the American auto industry and specifically requests a visit to Delaware by Ed Montgomery, Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers at the Department of Labor. 

Dear President Obama:

Of the fourteen General Motors manufacturing facilities that will be impacted by the company’s restructuring, four of the facilities are located in states outside of the Midwest.  This includes the GM assembly plant on Boxwood Road in Wilmington, Delaware, which was one of the plants designated yesterday for closure.  In December of last year, Chrysler also closed its Newark, Delaware manufacturing facility.  When combined, these two closures have resulted in the anticipated loss of approximately 4,000 jobs since 2007. 

Yesterday your administration announced plans to assist workers in communities where auto manufacturing facilities will be shuttered.  According to your announcement, a specific focus will be placed on communities in the Midwest.  We are writing to request that displaced auto workers in Delaware and the surrounding region be given equal attention when it comes to relief and re-employment assistance. 

You have announced that twelve of your top-ranking cabinet and administration officials will visit Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin this week to discuss immediate ways the federal government can achieve long-term economic revitalization for communities that depend on auto manufacturing.  The Department of Labor’s Auto Community Recovery website also offers services tailored to workers in the Midwest region.  While we applaud this commitment to providing much-needed assistance to these communities, we are concerned that appropriate attention may not be focused on displaced auto workers in communities outside of the Midwest. 

Many communities in Delaware, like their counterparts in the Midwest, have been dependent on auto manufacturing and should benefit from federal support such as job training, re-employment, living assistance, and career counseling.  During your announcement yesterday, you also mentioned that Dr. Ed Montgomery, Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers at the Department of Labor, will be spearheading your administration’s efforts to revitalize these communities with a focus on green jobs.  We request that you consider sending Dr. Montgomery to meet with the auto community and elected officials in Delaware.

As the last auto assembly plant left on the East Coast, the closure of the GM plant in Wilmington will have a significant impact on workers in Delaware.  Thank you for your consideration of this request.  We commend your efforts to revitalize the auto industry and look forward to working with you to assist U.S. auto workers and their families.