Portman Tours Warren Fab, Touts His JOBS Act

HUBBARD, OH – During a stop at Warren Fabricating and Machining yesterday, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, discussed tax reform, strengthening career and technical education (CTE) programs and helping Ohioans receive job training.

A roundtable discussion with the company’s employees and executives followed a tour of the plant at 7845 Chestnut Ridge Road that specializes in the fabrication, machining and assembly of large steel weldments. Portman, who is co-chair of the Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus and has led efforts to strengthen CTE programs, said the discussion was productive.

The event was closed to the press and information about it was provided by Portman’s office.

“We have a skills gap, and too many employers are struggling to find people with the skills that are needed for today’s in-demand jobs,” Portman said in a statement. “Last week I introduced the JOBS Act that would make students in shorter-term CTE programs eligible for federal Pell Grants, which are currently reserved only for students in traditional college programs. I’m excited about how this legislation can help students in northeast Ohio and benefit employers like Warren Fabricating and Machining.”

Finding qualified, skilled workers to fill open jobs is “one of our most significant challenges,” said Dawn Hill, human resource manager at Warren Fabricating and Machining, in a statement.

“Having qualified candidates that are job ready would eliminate the unproductive hours we can’t charge our customers that we spend training new employees who lack the basic manufacturing skills like welding and machining,” Hill said. “By widening the access to skilled job training programs before graduation, the JOBS Act would not only benefit the students but manufacturers like us who support our economy and community at large.”

Warren Fabricating was founded by John C. Rebhan in 1967 and also operates a plant at 3240 Mahoning Ave. in Warren.

Last November, agents from the IRS and FBI raided the Hubbard plant, although additional information about the raid was under court seal at the time. A spokesperson for Portman’s office said the raid wasn’t discussed during the senator’s visit.

The raid came three months after the company’s former chief financial officer, Paul Theisler, was sentenced to two years in prison for stealing from the company and ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution. Theisler was accused of embezzling nearly $2 million during his time with the company. He had worked there 38 years when the theft was discovered.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.