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Merkley Meets with Manufacturers in Bend


Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., met Thursday with Bend business leaders who manufacture products on a global scale and are models for creating local industries.

The senator hosted a roundtable discussion at Structus Building Technologies, a Bend firm that creates products for the drywall industry. It’s part of his two-week “Made in Oregon” tour, during which Merkley wants to learn more about what’s working for Oregon manufacturers.

Merkley said Washington policymakers can talk about creating jobs in their communities, but it’s successful local business leaders who can push the conversation into action.

“Really, that’s why I’m on this tour,” he said. “To ask the manufacturers who are here, who are thriving, to say, ‘What is it that’s making you thrive, and how can we support and replicate that and build more factories and more manufacturing here? … Because if we don’t make things in Oregon, we aren’t going to have a middle class in Oregon.”

Merkley also met with officials from Kialoa Paddlers, Outback Manufacturing and AE Solar Energy.

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