Young visits Precise Tooling Solutions to talk about a ‘manufacturing revolution’

Indiana Sen. Todd Young speaks to employees at Precise Tooling Solutions in Columbus Thursday afternoon. Photo by Mike Wolanin, The Republic

One of Columbus’ high-tech companies received a visit Thursday afternoon from Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana.

Indiana’s senior senator spoke with some of the 40 employees at Precise Tooling Solutions, a specialty manufacturer that builds and repairs injection tooling.

Young, who resides in Center Grove, told the workers at the Scott Drive facility that they are “on the front lines of a manufacturing revolution in this country.” He also emphasized it is important that the United States continue to lead the world in manufacturing.

When Precise Tooling Solutions CEO Don Dumoulin opened the floor for questions, Young heard a number questions that seem to reflect what is on the minds of many Americans.

“Do you see a time coming when the government will work together in a bipartisan and civil way going forward?” employee Ron Kraft asked.

Young replied that he has “incredibly principled disagreements” with both Democrats and Republicans, but different opinions should not obscure common ground that both major parties have or will discover.

For example, Young said he is now working with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York.

“It’s kind of a Felix and Oscar ‘Odd Couple’ situation, but Sen. Schumer and I have discovered we both dislike how China does business,” Young said.

That has led to a partnership between Young and Schumer on an effort to make sure the U.S. does basic research and development in cutting-edge technologies like robotics, quantum computing and artificial intelligence, the senator said. This partnership also invests in people, so Americans workers is capable of utilizing those technologies, he added.

Young is also working with Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, on the “Apprenticeship Hubs Across America Act” that expands the registered apprenticeship model to high-growth job sectors.

Although there is more bipartisan cooperation going on in Washington than most people realize, according to Young, he said there are members of Congress that don’t look favorably on this level of bipartisanship.

“It’s not always fashionable and you are apt to be misunderstood if you work with people on the other side of the aisle,” Young said. “If you do it, there’s an assumption that you share all the views of the other person.”

But since the country is going through a rough patch, Young said he feels it’s patriotic to do what is in the best interest of constituents.

“We are going to have to navigate globalization meets urbanization meets automation meets hollowed-out communities,” Young said. “All the things that make Americans angry because politicians aren’t paying enough attention. But our challenges are much fewer than our opportunities as a country.”

Another employee question came from Trenton Ford, who asked Young what he thought of the Biden administration’s $2 trillion infrastructure bill known as the American Jobs Plan.

Young said the proposed bill calls for advancements he supports such as broadband internet expansion, upgrades for roads and bridges and improving ports and water way systems.

However, there are also items in the plan that Young said he will strongly question when he returns to Washington D.C.

“Mainly, the importance of some of those investments at this time,” Young said. “I also question whether that amount of money should be spent, as opposed to a more modest amount.”

The senator said there are creative ways of financing some of what is in the infrastructure bill calls for by bringing in private investment. However, he believes the Republicans and Democrats will eventually “hash things out.”