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When President Barack Obama walks into the Linamar plant Wednesday, he likely won’t have much sense of the manufacturing history — and occasional turmoil — that has unfolded in the building.
The facility has been home to a heavy construction equipment builder, and high-paying jobs, since 1977. But there was one notable gap: the painful two-year vacancy after Volvo Construction left in 2010, leaving more than 220 people out of work.
The departure came with one silver lining, though. The building was large, in good shape and attractive to manufacturers. ...
In his State of the Union address tonight, Obama likely will dwell on the economy and the need to create jobs, in part by bolstering infrastructure projects and the manufacturing industry. He’ll follow that up with a stop Wednesday at the local Linamar plant, which makes engine blocks and wheel parts for heavy construction equipment, as well as an industrial lift device called a “skyjack.” ...
After devastating losses the past two decades, domestic manufacturing has seen glimmers of hope in recent years.
The story is the same locally. After a huge departure in the 1990s and early 2000s, the mountains have been able to lure some top-notch manufacturers.