Equipment Manufacturers Share Priorities, Concerns with Iowa Governor

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3/30/2023

IowaAs the late President Teddy Roosevelt once said, “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;” and that is the approach the AEM Advocacy Team took when they headed to Iowa last week to meet with Governor Kim Reynolds. The Governor welcomed manufacturing leaders from across the Hawkeye State to the State Capitol for the second time to discuss the state of the equipment manufacturing industry.

Executives from a range of AEM member companies shared their thoughts on workforce development, funding for new broadband infrastructure, the benefits of precision agriculture technology, the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and rural development. The equipment manufacturing industry supports roughly 132,000 jobs across Iowa and contributes $18.3 billion to the state’s economy annually, according to AEM’s latest Economic Impact Report, released during CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023. This makes Iowa the sixth largest state in terms of jobs supported by the equipment manufacturing industry, and the AEM Advocacy Team will be spending a lot of time in Iowa advocating the pro-manufacturing policies to ensure the long-term growth and prosperity of the industry.

“While the equipment manufacturing industry still faces challenges from national headwinds, we are doing everything we can at a state level to provide certainty and stability,” said Governor Reynolds. “Through tax cuts, removing barriers caused by red tape, and developing Iowa’s workforce for the future, we see Iowa standing strong as our growth in manufacturing outpaces the nation.”

Much of the discussion focused on workforce development and the shortage of skilled workers throughout the state of Iowa. The Governor and member company executives discussed policies that will help more Iowans find family-sustaining careers in the equipment manufacturing industry, including reducing barriers to postsecondary education and skills development, creating more pathways to good jobs and lifelong learning, as well as creating partnerships between post-secondary institutions and equipment manufacturers.

Governor Reynolds stressed that workforce development remains a top priority for her administration and that she is pursuing an “all-of-the-above approach” to get more Iowans to create a strong and engaged workforce.

“We are grateful for Governor Reynolds’ bold, pro-manufacturing agenda and her recognition of equipment manufacturing’s vital role in our state’s economy,” said Pat Weiler, President and CEO of Weiler and Chair of AEM’s Government and Public Affairs Committee. “Iowa’s equipment manufacturers need a strong workforce to enhance our industry’s competitiveness and lead it into a bright future, and we look forward to working with Governor Reynolds to help make that future possible.”

The conversation also touched on the many benefits of precision agriculture technology. During the roundtable, Governor Reynolds expressed her strong support for Iowa HF 580, a bill endorsed by AEM that establishes a dairy innovation fund for dairies and dairy farmers to invest in precision agriculture technologies. AEM will continue to advocate for passage of this important legislation, leveraging our Environmental Benefits of Modern Dairy, Hay, and Forage Production Technologies study to highlight the benefits of precision agriculture technologies for farmers, the environment, and our industry. 

“We thank Governor Reynolds for hosting this roundtable and for once again demonstrating her support for Iowa’s equipment manufacturing industry,” said Kip Eideberg, AEM senior vice president of government and industry relations. “Governor Reynolds has been a steadfast leader and friend of equipment manufacturers and she understands just how vital our industry is to the prosperity of Iowans. We are grateful for her bold, pro-manufacturing agenda and for everything she has done and continues to do for our industry.”

AEM member companies participating in the roundtable included Cemen Tech, Danfoss, Deere & Co., GOMACO Corporation, Kinze Manufacturing, Lely North America, Vermeer Corporation and Weiler.

If you are interested in meeting with a state official or legislator, please reach out to AEM’s Advocacy Team.

For more AEM news and updates, subscribe to the AEM Industry Advisor. 

Advocacy & Legislation, AEM Updates

For more AEM news and updates, subscribe to the AEM Industry Advisor.

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