MONACA, Pa. (WTRF) – Less than three weeks after attending a campaign fundraiser in Wheeling, President Trump made his return to the Upper Ohio Valley on Tuesday. This time, he was in Western Pennsylvania.
“This is an incredible region,” said Pres. Trump. “You’re sitting on top of something special. It’s all fueled by the greatest treasure on the planet: American energy. And we don’t want people taking that away from us.”
President Donald Trump arrived at the Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex around 1:30 p.m. He toured the complex before giving a speech about American energy and manufacturing to workers and the press.
The president says his policies have made it possible for multi-billion dollar investments like the complex. According to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, it is the largest single investment in Pennsylvania since World War II.
“For generations, American greatness was forged and fueled and won by the extraordinary workers of this region,” said Pres. Trump. “This region is an incredible region. Pennsylvania Steel raised the skyscrapers that built our cities and by the way, steel was dead. Your business was dead.”
President Trump has touted record-low unemployment rates among various demographics during his first term.
“Hispanic-American (unemployment), lowest in the history of our country,” said Mr. Trump. “Women (unemployment), lowest in 70 years. Sorry, women I let you down again.”
Out of all of the businesses involved in the project, 65 are women or minority owned.
President Trump is showcasing the growing efforts to capitalize on Western Pennsylvania’s natural gas deposits by turning gas into plastics.
The Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex, which critics claim will become the largest air polluter in Western Pennsylvania, is being built in an area hungry for investment.
President Trump praised the complex for putting people to work.
“Getting this massive job done right has required more than 1,500 pieces of heavy equipment, one of the largest cranes and you have thousands of tons of concrete, aluminum and steel,” the president said. “And nearly 6,000 of the strongest, toughest and most talented workers anywhere on Earth.”
The project currently has between 5,000 and 6,000 construction workers. However, once operational, the site will employ just 600 permanent employees.
Right now, the plant has 5,100 workers on-site, but that number will grow to 6,000 in order to fully build the facility. In addition, 200 local contractors and suppliers are directly involved.
Most of the site’s workers are from this general area: 60% of the workers at the plant are local and 75% are from the Pittsburgh tri-state area. But once the plant is operational in early 2020, the site will retain just 800 permanent employees.
This is President Trump’s 13th visit to Pennsylvania since taking office on January 20, 2017.