AP NEWS

Joyce tours local Navy manufacturer

May 14, 2019

U.S. Rep. John Joyce said that the work being done at Global/SFC Valve contributes to the country’s future protection.

“Today at Global/SFC it is incredibly impressive to see what is going on here to defend our country,” said the Altoona congressman, who represents the 13th District, including all of Somerset County.

The Somerset Township business manufactures standard valves for customers, including the U.S. Navy and others in NATO.

Joyce, a freshman congressman, first met with company representations to receive an overview of the operation. Then he went on a tour, talking with employees about their backgrounds and education.

“They utilize the skillset of many different individuals, whether they are from trade schools, whether they are from the vo-tech schools or whether they are from the local universities,” he said. “It’s an impressive endeavor, and it tells us what a bright future we have here in Somerset County, especially here at Global/SFC.”

He said he will be going back to Washington ready to reinforce his stance on the importance of trade schools.

“I’m going to continue to advocate for trade schools for individuals to go and have a career that works with their hands,” he said.

Since 2017, he said, unemployment has dropped 35 percent in Somerset County, and if Global expands, it will create family sustaining jobs.

“Realizing that the United States Navy is asking for more Ford-style aircraft carriers — that is what they are doing here — they are creating the ability to fuel those carriers,” he said. “We need what’s going on here at Global/SFC.”

Darrin Gaudlip, Global engineering supervisor, said an expansion they are discussing would create about 20 to 30 jobs, adding to a 51-employee workforce. He said they had been looking for a new facility. The plan is to bring some administrative work from their sister location in Washington state and expand the machine shop.

“We need to continue to build new ships and we need to refurbish the old ones,” he said. “It keeps people employed. It keeps the area employed. It keeps all the small businesses running.”

Gaudlip said tours, such as the one Joyce took Monday, are important.

“It makes them aware of what we need from Washington,” he said.

Joyce also discussed the U.S.-China trade war while in Somerset. The two countries have been imposing and increasing tariffs on goods while trying to hammer out a long-term deal. China announced higher tariffs on $60 billion worth of American goods, including soybeans, on Monday.

“I think the trade situation is a tool that the president is using to bring China to the negotiation table,” he said. “China has stolen intellectual property, and they have not played on a level playing field.”

Joyce said that 13th District voters elected President Donald Trump because of his negotiation skills.

“China is going to have to understand how important it is to negotiate,” he said. “It is going to be a rocky road short term. It is going to be a long-term success.”