CUMBERLAND — U.S. Rep. John Delaney will be joined by two members of Congress when he visits Allegany County next week to discuss the opioid crisis and the state of the area's job market.
He will bring with him Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), members of the New Democrat Coalition, a group which supports an agenda that the organization describes as "moderate" and "pro-growth," on the two-day visit.
The officials will appear at the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center on Monday evening to discuss the opioid epidemic and at Frostburg State University on Tuesday morning for a roundtable discussion about jobs.
News of the visit was included in a press release from Delaney's office on Wednesday.
“Allegany County isn’t far from the Capitol on a map, but in many ways it is a world away," said Delaney in the release. “The truth is, there are a lot of parts of the country that are going through what Western Maryland is going through and these events are going to be a tremendous resource for all of us. Allegany County is an incredible place and I’m really looking forward to this unique opportunity to introduce multiple members of Congress to my friends and constituents in the community.”
Delaney represents Maryland's 6th District, which includes Allegany and Garrett counties. He announced in July he is seeking the Democratic nomination for president.
"Globalization and technology have created stark winners and losers and it impacts everything — opportunity, quality of life and health care outcomes," said Delaney. "This trip was born out of conversations I had with Chairman Himes about how we’ve got to bridge the gap, make sure everyone is heard and really advance bipartisan commonsense solutions that help rural America thrive."
The "listening session" at the hospital on Monday at 6 p.m. will focus on the opioid crisis in rural Maryland. It will be held in Auditorium Room 2.
On Tuesday, the officials will hold a "Future of Work in America" roundtable at the FSU Center for Communications and Technology, Room 397. That event will begin at 8 a.m. and include local business leaders.
“In the 21st century, technology and globalization have drastically changed the workplace," said Himes in the release. "Unfortunately, the laws that help workers have not kept up with the break-neck pace. Over the past several months, the New Democrat Coalition has convened forums on Capitol Hill to discuss the challenges that workers across America face today.
"As members of Congress, we need to ensure everyone is heard, particularly our neighbors who have experienced challenges from international competition and automation," he said. "These conversations in Allegany County will give us the opportunity to discuss solutions that will help rural America thrive.”
Follow staff writer Greg Larry on Twitter @GregLarryCTN.