When Congress reconvenes next month, Livingston County’s Congressman plans to take back what he learns on a tour of local businesses.

Republican Mike Bishop has been hosting a Jobs & Economy Tour across Oakland, Livingston and Ingham counties, “meeting with area employers and employees to hear their stories, get input and find ways to implement their ideas at a national level.” Bishop, who sits on the House Ways & Means Committee, hopes to use the insight from these meetings when the House reconvenes in September.

Included in the tour was a swing through Brighton, where Bishop and Pam McConeghy from the Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce met with several small businesses to learn about their day-to-day operations including the Shawn Pipoly Agency, Beverly Rae’s Inc. and Main Street Cheese Market. Among the issues Bishop says they discussed were simplifying the tax code, the high cost of health care for small businesses and the way online retail is competing with brick and mortar shops.

Other stops included to Pratt & Miller Engineering in New Hudson, which specializes in developing advanced technologies for use in the defense, automotive and power-sports industries and to Bekum America Corporation in Williamston, a global machinery manufacturer. Bishop says a major highlight of their discussion included the need to improve and promote apprenticeship programs at the national level so that students can better transition directly into the workforce. (JK)