CLINTON — The state, the region, Clinton County — all of them appear to be “working” according to the Iowa’s chief executive. Speaking at Clinton’s LyondellBasell facility on Thursday, Gov. Terry Branstad said that wasn’t the case when he was elected in 2010.
Now, nearly four years later, Branstad reported to a room full of Lyondell employees that the state’s unemployment rate has dropped 30 percent; Clinton County’s fell by 40 percent.
Video: Gov. Branstad reports unemployment rates. "Iowa is truly working."
With November elections inching closer, Branstad could be on the verge of becoming the nation’s longest tenured governor. Reporting those employment figures, Branstad said he couldn’t be more pleased with how Iowa got back to work.
“In this period of time, I came in on the heels of this recession,” Branstad said. “Iowa is truly working. We are seventh lowest (in unemployment) amongst the 50 states... We’re really proud of what we’ve succeeded in doing here.”
As for LyondellBasell: “This is a great company that’s making huge investments in this plant; $100 million — for some of us in government that’s a lot of money,” Branstad said.
Before speaking, the governor received a tour of the spacious LyondellBasell plant located on Anamosa Road, in the west section of Clinton. The visit was attended by several local dignitaries, including Clinton Mayor Mark Vulich, Camanche Mayor Ken Fahlbeck, Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce President Nathan Sondgeroth and CRDC President Mike Kirchhoff. Afterward, the governor met more constituents on a campaign boat ride down the Mississippi River.
Branstad had traveled cross-state from surveying storm damage on the northwest corner of Iowa, while another attendant was flying across the country for the event. Company Vice President Tim Roberts landed in the state on the heels of more big news for Clinton’s facility — 1 million man hours without a workplace injury.