I Make America and AEM Advocacy Efforts Power Up Kentucky



If you attended The Utility Expo last month, you may have seen a familiar brand dotted on equipment and at booths across the show. I Make America, AEM’s national grassroots campaign, was on site to engage with the record-breaking number of attendees and educate its newest supporters about the policy issues impacting the industry.  

The national grassroots campaign continued with its popular and longstanding magnet program. As part of AEM’s membership, members are invited to participate in and work with the I Make America campaign at trade shows or back home in their facilities. Ahead of any signature AEM trade show, an exhibiting member can request I Make America magnets to display on their equipment and at their booth. These magnets, delivered directly to the member company onsite, are free of charge to AEM members. Not only does this encourage interest and participation amongst trade show attendees with the I Make America program, but it also gives a sense of pride to the equipment manufacturers who are helping build, power, and feed the world. At this year’s Utility Expo, more than 90 member companies requested hundreds of magnets ahead of the show, and another 150 complimentary magnets were distributed onsite.  

I Make America also hosted a booth at the show, giving attendees an opportunity to stop by the booth, grab a free bottle of water to help beat the Kentucky heat, and learn about the association’s national grassroots campaign. The campaign, now in its 13th year, has worked with AEM members to help educate the industry’s workforce about policy issues at the state and federal level. Tradeshows offer I Make America a unique opportunity to engage with a new demographic of supporters – the folks who purchase and operate the equipment our industry proudly builds. These individuals, while not directly employed by our industry, are a critical part of our labor supply chain. Throughout the course of the show, a whopping 4,200 attendees signed up to join the fight for U.S. equipment manufacturing.  

Signing up onsite to join I Make America at the 2023 Utility Expo also entered attendees for a giveaway to win a brand-new John Deere XUV835M Gator utility vehicle. This prize, generously sponsored by longtime AEM member and I Make America supporter John Deere Construction & Forestry, will be awarded to a randomly selected Utility Expo attendee at the start of the new year.  

I Make America is proud to be the voice for the equipment manufacturing industry’s 2.3 million men and women. These hardworking individuals, who help build, power, and feed the world, are a powerful constituency that our elected leaders must consider when legislating or taking a critical vote,” said Wade Balkonis, AEM’s director of grassroots advocacy. “Thanks to committed member company exhibitors, and partners like John Deere Construction & Forestry, I Make America is able to provide more opportunities for engagement and education at trade shows like Utility Expo, while offering unique prizes to recognize our employees and our industry’s supporters.” 

Educating Utility Expo attendees wasn’t the only task keeping AEM’s Advocacy Team busy. AEM had the distinct honor of hosting recently elected Mayor of Louisville Craig Greenberg at the show. Mayor Greenberg toured the show, visiting several member companies and learning about the economic impact this show brings to the Bluegrass State every two years. The Mayor was enthusiastic to visit with AEM staff and member company executives, noting the show as “a true industry powerhouse” that is “shaping the future of utilities.” 

To learn how your company can get involved in AEM’s advocacy efforts or the I Make America campaign, please reach out to AEM’s Advocacy Team.   

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Advocacy & Legislation, AEM Updates, Trade Shows

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