National NewsU.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) Wednesday announced a local manufacturer will testify Thursday at a congressional hearing on workforce development. Peter Barrett of Smoker Craft, a boat manufacturer in New Paris with 690 employees, will testify before the Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee about the need for skilled workers and efforts to get more Americans back into the workforce.

“Tax cuts and regulatory reforms have unleashed economic growth and new opportunities for Hoosiers, but the jobs gap is a challenge that both job creators and workers continue to face,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “Businesses need more skilled workers in order to expand, and too many Americans remain on the sidelines of our growing economy. I look forward to welcoming Peter so my colleagues can learn about Smoker Craft’s efforts to bring Hoosiers back into the workforce and create good-paying jobs.”


The subcommittee hearing, “Jobs and Opportunity: Local Perspectives on the Jobs Gap,” will take place Thursday, April 12, at 2:00 p.m. ET in Room 1100 of the Longworth House Office Building. The hearing will be live streamed at

This is the first in a series of hearings examining the gap between businesses’ demand for workers and the millions of Americans not in the labor force. According to the Ways and Means Committee, 5.5 million Americans aged 16 to 24 – one in seven – are not working or in school, and an additional 7 million working-age men are not working or looking for work.

Founded in 1903, Smoker Craft, Inc., is a fourth-generation family-owned and operated boat manufacturer. The company employs 690 workers and manufactures pontoon boats, fiberglass boats, and aluminum fishing boats under the brand names Smoker Craft, Starcraft, Sunchaser, and Sylvan. Peter Barrett is senior vice president of marketing and corporate development at Smoker Craft.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee.