Cantwell stops in Auburn, vowing to put more people to work

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell vows to continue efforts to put more Washingtonians, and veterans, back to work during a rally in Auburn on Friday. - Mark Klaas, Reporter
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell vows to continue efforts to put more Washingtonians, and veterans, back to work during a rally in Auburn on Friday.
— image credit: Mark Klaas, Reporter

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell's reelection campaign stopped in Auburn on a soggy Friday morning, joining a spirited rally with union leaders, machinists and aerospace workers huddled at the IAM Local 751 Hall.

"We need to invest in people," Cantwell (D-Wash.) told the crowd. "I will do whatever it takes to put people back to work."

The rally included remarks from union leaders and Democratic candidates locked in state races as they head for the stretch run in a key Nov. 6 general election.

Cantwell's Auburn visit was part of a 26-stop "Jobs for Washington Tour" that began Wednesday night in Yakima.

Cantwell, who seeks a third term in office, is heavily favored to retain her seat in Congress against Republican challenger Michael Baumgartner, a state senator from Eastern Washington. Cantwell has a 58-35 percent cushion over the Spokane man in the latest Washington Poll, and a fundraising advantage of at least ten-to-one.

At the rally, Cantwell says she is working to ensure that more aerospace jobs remain in Washington. She vows to develop apprenticeships and job training programs to enhance a skilled work force in the industry.

Cantwell also intends to make money available for small businesses that want to hire. The senator wants to do the job of putting more Washingtonians and returning veterans back to work.

Washington state is home to 37,000 unemployed veterans, of which 7,000 are post-9-11 veterans, according to figures from Cantwell's team.

Cantwell recently helped sponsor legislation that would provide veterans with access to job training and workforce opportunities for the next five years to help them transition to the civilian workforce.

One of those veterans, Andrew Dennis, spoke at the rally. Dennis, who served with the Army in Iraq, recovered from injuries and found work at Boeing as a machinist on the 787 Dreamliner assembly line in Everett. He tearfully credited programs associated with his return to civilian life and personally thanked Cantwell for her work to help vets.

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