The President calls and Mr. Bloom goes to Washington

Mar 19, 2009 | 04:43 AM |

On the surface, Ron Bloom, former special assistant to United Steelworkers union president Leo Gerard, is about as far from the image of an investment banker as one could possibly imagine.

A day after accepting a position as senior advisor to the Treasury Department on President Obama's auto task force, Bloom woke up before 4 a.m. in Pittsburgh, climbed into his beat-up 1997 Ford Taurus and drove to Washington to report for duty at the Treasury Department.

In many ways, Bloom, drawing on his experience in helping restructure the steel industry, may be the perfect man for the job, according to associates and industry analysts.

"He has mastered a set of skills which give him a unique set of capabilities to deal with the various facets of the auto situation," said Michael Locker, founder and president of Locker Associates Inc., New York, a steel consulting firm that worked closely with Bloom in helping remake the nation's steel industry during a tumultuous decade starting in the late 1990s. "If I were to name one person I'd want involved in the (auto) process, it'd be him."....

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