Great job, Milwaukee! President Obama gives Master Lock a shout-out in State Of The Union address
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Who doesn’t love it when a fancy, highfalutin out-of-towner gives Milwaukee some unexpected props? Oh yeah: us. But if that smooth-talkin’ city slicker happens to be the president of the United States, even we lower our battered shields of cynicism, put on a clean shirt, and take notice.
Last night during his State Of The Union address, President Obama cited Milwaukee company Master Lock as an example of a business bringing jobs back to the U.S. He also mentioned the fact that the Master Lock plant is unionized—no doubt to the delight of the state’s many pro-union governors. Here’s the Milwaukee mention, preceded by a “Heart Of Rock & Roll”-esque laundry list of other hardworkin’ cities:
What’s happening in Detroit can happen in other industries. It can happen in Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Raleigh. We can’t bring back every job that’s left our shores. But right now, it’s getting more expensive to do business in places like China. Meanwhile, America is more productive. A few weeks ago, the CEO of Master Lock told me that it now makes business sense for him to bring jobs back home. Today, for the first time in 15 years, Master Lock’s unionized plant in Milwaukee is running at full capacity.
Master Lock’s president and CEO would be John Heppner, who indeed attended a recent White House forum on “insourcing” jobs. That forum and last night’s unexpected shout-out should raise Heppner and Master Lock’s profile significantly, and lead to even more previously outsourced jobs coming home. Like the Golden Globes to the Oscars, presidential speeches tend to be uncanny predictors of where our country is headed, right? See you on the moon base!