eiXtra: published by NEMA Hot Topics
On the Hill/Around the Nation
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NEMAVoice
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
feature story
Lincoln Electric Hosts President Bush

Lincoln Image 1
George Blankenship, President of Lincoln Electic's U.S. welding business, led President Bush on a tour of the company's manufacturing floor before introducing him at a town-hall-style meeting with over 700 Lincoln Electric employees, local elected officials, and Steven LaTourette and Patrick Teeberry--two members of the Ohio delegation to Congress.
Lincoln Image 2
Standing in Lincoln Electric's Center for Automation Excellence, President George Bush speaks to over 700 Lincoln Electric employees, local elected officials, and Steven LaTourette and Patrick Teeberry--two members of the Ohio delegation to Congress.  Lincoln Electric's newly finished Center for Automation Excellence will enable the company to expand its rapidly growing automated welding business based on high technology welding automation products.
President George W. Bush visited Lincoln Electric’s world headquarters and manufacturing plant in Cleveland, OH, on July 29. The President toured the plant and learned about the company’s welding products.

President Bush participated in live robotic and submerged arc-welding demonstrations showing Lincoln’s process solutions for the pipeline, offshore, and power-generation industries. The President also saw first hand how Lincoln Electric’s advancements in automated welding technology enable customers to become more efficient and productive.

George Blankenship, president of Lincoln’s U.S. welding business, and the President discussed how Lincoln Electric became a world leader in the welding industry through investment in new-product development, high-productivity equipment, training, process improvement, and a culture focused on maximizing efficiency and performance. Blankenship explained how the company continues to flourish based on innovative management practices, including guaranteed employment, piecework wages, and profit sharing. In 2007, Lincoln Electric awarded $86 million in bonuses to its Cleveland workers, an average individual bonus of $26,000.

President Bush thanked Lincoln Electric for its hard work. “This is a site that proves [that] with good investment and good education. . . America can compete with anyone, anytime, anywhere. You’re good at making a product that people want. People want it here in the United States of America, and when people are introduced to it around the world, they want it as well.

“Technology has changed how we can find oil and gas in environmentally friendly ways. That’s part of your business, to make products that make it easier to move oil and gas from remote parts of the world under challenging conditions to markets in an environmentally friendly way,” the President continued. “That’s what you do. And, by the way, you do a really good job of it.”

Along with approximately 700 Lincoln employees, several elected officials, including Rep. Steven LaTourette and Rep. Patrick Tiberi from Ohio, attended the town-hall style meeting.

Lincoln exports approximately 30 percent of its Cleveland-manufactured product to customers around the world. The company earned the President’s E-Star award in 2006 for excellence in exports. On the same day that President Bush visited Lincoln, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland honored the company as Large Business Exporter of the Year as part of the 2008 Governor’s Excellence in Exporting Award program.

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