EL PASO, TEXAS -- On Feb. 21, Plastic Molding Technology Inc. welcomed visits from Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, and Bill Carteaux, president and CEO of the Washington-based Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.
"We had a great meeting for an hour and a half," said Charles A. Sholtis, CEO of PMT in El Paso.
Sholtis gave an overview of PMT operations, underscored PMT's commitment to the Borderplex Binational Economic Alliance and discussed how "manufacturing supports a middle class."
About 80 percent of PMT output is shipped to Mexico, and the firm is "actually shipping some product to China," Sholtis said in his talking points.
Sholtis expressed concern for recent losses in El Paso manufacturing jobs and said, "Local leaders do not seem to be embracing the renewed support of manufacturing that is being seen at the national level."
He reinforced the importance of federal tax credits to enable continued investment and noted PMT's environmental responsibility initiatives, including participation in SPI's Operation Clean Sweep pellet-containment program.
"Touring the PMT plant with [O'Rourke] was an excellent opportunity to show the congressman the economic benefits that the plastics industry brings to El Paso," Carteaux said in a statement. "We saw how the components PMT manufactures impact the electronic, medical, automotive and consumer appliance sectors. Congressman O'Rourke was particularly excited about PMT's location on the border with Mexico — a source of job opportunity that he believes is key to his district's economic growth."
In 2012, O'Rourke ousted eight-term incumbent Silvestre Reyes in the Democratic primary in May and easily defeated Republican nominee Barbara Carrasco in the November general election.
O'Rourke is one of 67 newly elected representatives in the U.S. House.