AdvocatesAdvancing pro-manufacturing policies is one of the best ways the equipment manufacturing industry can stay strong and create good-paying jobs across America. Over the years the industry has continued to score important legislative wins, and this is due in large part to the close collaboration between AEM and its member companies.

The I Make America campaign, the association’s national grassroots campaign, is a vital part of the industry’s overall advocacy efforts, and every year member companies that participate in the campaign are recognized for their efforts and contributions at AEM’s Annual Conference.

Member companies’ continued support and involvement with the I Make America campaign is critical if we are going to make equipment manufacturing as strong as it can be, which is something AEM’s new Grassroots Advocacy Manager Wade Balkonis is reminding everyone as 2019 comes closer to an end.

“The I Make America campaign provides equipment manufacturers of all sizes with the information, resources, and tools they need to help us advance pro-manufacturing policies,” said Wade. “The AEM Advocates Program is one way for the association to make sure our members know how important and appreciated their participation in our advocacy efforts is.”

Wade recently joined AEM from Walgreens, where he led the Fortune 50 company’s grassroots efforts and political action committee (PAC). Prior to that he held a similar position at H&R Block, and worked for a Wisconsin member of Congress as well as the Mayor of Milwaukee.

If you or your company is part of the I Make America campaign and/or actively advocating on behalf of the industry through other efforts, please contact Wade to make sure your activities are credited. In addition to the I Make America campaign, member companies have the opportunity to highlight the importance of the equipment manufacturing industry during Manufacturing Month. Here are just a few ways you and your company can get involved:

To learn more about these opportunities and more, contact Wade Balkonis at

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