Sojourner’s Truth Staff
U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan, Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate to replace retiring Senator Rob Portman, was in Toledo last Wednesday, August 11, to visit Peak Electric and speak about his priorities for investing in Ohio businesses.
Ryan conferred with Peak Electric founder and owner, Milt McIntyre, and consultant Calvin Brown, partner and CFO of Personal Growth Network Consulting, to hear their plans for the future and the challenges the company has faced during the pandemic.
McIntyre founded Peak Electric in 2000 and ventured into the world of entrepreneurship after a number of years working as an electrician for others. Peak supplies electrical components, particularly LED lighting to contractors, businesses and individuals.
In recent years, Peak has worked on ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation) projects, along with Toledo Public Schools and Toledo Lucas County Port Authority projects, for example, in the public realm. Private companies such as Mercy Health, Owens Corning, the Andersons and Dana have also utilized Peak’s resources.
Fortunately for Peak and its employees, as McIntyre explained to the congressman, the company has been performing extremely well recently in spite of the pandemic. “Some jobs shut down,” McIntyre admitted, but on the whole, there has been enough jobs for the company to not only stay on course but also to expand. Peak Electric is in the process of buying the facility it currently rents and acquiring additional adjacent property for much-needed storage space.
“What does Toledo need?” asked Ryan of his hosts.
“Workforce development opportunity,” replied Brown, explaining that Toledo lacks the work force for the number of possible employment opportunities.
Ryan came to Toledo as part of his Workers First Tour in which he intends to hear from workers in each part of the state about the challenges they are facing.
In speaking with McIntyre, an electrician by trade, Ryan decried the emphasis in recent decades on getting young people into college, at the expense of the trades. “’You gotta go to college’, that killed us in the trades,” he said.
McIntyre noted that “the mindset has always been that you have to go to college, but tradesmen do very well also.”
“We need a pathway to the building trades,” added Ryan. Comparing China’s factory goals with the USA, the congressman noted that China is “building two mega-factories a week, we are building six this year.”
Yet, the quality of American output cannot be challenged, he observed. “American steel is the cleanest in the world, Chinese steel is the dirtiest.”
Ryan ended the discussion with a simple explanation of his intentions.
“I’m a partner to help galvanize business,” he said.