Laid-off GM workers in Delaware also need assistance from Obama (Rep. Mike Castle)

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 earlier this week 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 in my district.

The Obama administration announced plans to assist workers in communities where auto manufacturing facilities will be shuttered.  According to the announcement, a specific focus will be placed on communities in the Midwest.  I wrote to the President yesterday with the other members of the Delaware Congressional Delegation to request that displaced auto workers in Delaware and the surrounding region also be given equal attention when it comes to relief and re-employment assistance.



President Obama has also announced that twelve of his 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.  While I applaud this commitment to providing much-needed assistance to these communities, I remain 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 the President's announcement, he also mentioned that Dr. Ed Montgomery, Director of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers at the Department of Labor, will be spearheading his administration's efforts to revitalize these communities with a focus on green jobs.  I have requested that President Obama send 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.  I look forward to hearing back from the Administration on this issue.