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Allen tours Chester manufacturing facility

George Allen took his “Virginia Voices” campaign to Chester on Tuesday to hear directly from a locally-owned manufacturing business, Progressive Engineering and Progressive Heat Treating.

He was joined by Chesterfield County Board of Supervisor Dorothy Jaeckle and Chesterfield County GOP Chairman Don Williams to tour one of Chester’s innovative job creators.

Established in 1923, Progressive Engineering manufactures precision gear and machine parts for a wide range of industries, including textiles, printing and bottling industries. In 2001, the company expanded to launch Progressive Heat Treating, which specializes in the vacuum heat treatment of metals for greater quality, durability and wear resistance to parts.

“Our manufacturing business has withstood the test of time because we understand the importance of constant innovation for cutting-edge products and adapting to market demands,” said Melvin Belcher, owner of Progressive Engineering and Progressive Heat Treating. “But our greatest risk is what tax or regulation Washington is going to throw at us next.  I need a more certain and simple tax code, less red tape from the EPA, and lower fuel and electricity costs. Less Washington in my business would sure give me more freedom and certainty to plan and invest in more workers.”

As he toured the manufacturing facility, Allen heard from employees about how they aim to compete in a global manufacturing market place, underscoring the need for reliable infrastructure from roads to internet capabilities.

“In Chester and throughout Virginia, I’m hearing from small business owners who need a hassle-free government that works with them – not against them,” said Allen. “Small businesses are already enduring Tim Kaine’s economic vision of high taxes and more regulations from an over-reaching Washington. I want to be Virginia small businesses’ voice in Washington for more smart and efficient government. I’m committed to providing small businesses with the certainty they need through more simple, fair and competitive tax laws, reasonable regulations, and unleashing our plentiful energy resources from our coalfields to our coast for more affordable energy for all Virginians.”


Updated: Statement from Lily Adams, Kaine for Virginia Press Secretary

“During George Allen’s time in Washington he consistently pursued an agenda that pitted Virginians against one another and put special interests ahead of Virginia’s families and businesses.  Virginians are still recovering from George Allen’s last term in the Senate where he voted to roll-back spending restraints that delivered a surplus and spent our country into a massive deficit.  He added trillions to our national debt, protected oil company tax breaks at the expense of investments in education and even voted four times to raise his own pay. Virginia’s small businesses can’t afford another six years of George Allen in the U.S. Senate.”