The I Make America tour stretched across the United States last week Friday, as Governor Mary Fallin and Congressman Steve Russell visited Terex Corporation's factory in Oklahoma City.
And to round out Friday's doubleheader, Sen. Ron Johnson visited Kondex Corporation in Lomira, Wisconsin for a separate I Make America event there.
Fallin and Russell joined Terex CEO John Garrison for a tour of the company's state-of-the-art, multi-segment campus, covering roughly 100 acres. The facility produces products for all three Terex segments: Aerial Work Platforms, Cranes and Materials Processing for various industries. The two Oklahoma lawmakers got an up-close view of modern manufacturing and chatted with employees on the shop floor.
Fallin and Russell spoke to more than 400 Terex employees in a town hall setting, followed by a Q&A moderated by Garrison. The discussion focused on what can be done to encourage more young men and women to pursue careers in manufacturing, the importance of modernizing U.S. infrastructure, and how to break through the gridlock on Capitol Hill.
"It was fascinating to see the process of how various pieces of equipment are assembled at Terex Corporation's plant in Oklahoma City," said Governor Fallin. "I appreciate Terex for making the decision to invest millions of dollars into the Oklahoma City plant for new state-of-the-art equipment, and facility renovations and upgrades. I enjoyed meeting the leadership team and the employees of Terex. I also want to thank the Association of Equipment Manufacturers for helping host the event, and for its "I Make America" campaign, which highlights the importance of the equipment manufacturing industry to the U.S. economy and the role of the American worker."
“It's always good to be back in Oklahoma and to visit with hard-working Oklahomans who are building machines and equipment right here in the USA that will be distributed and used all over the world,” Russell added. “Terex made the decision to move some of its operations in other states to Oklahoma, and has seen immediate positive results. I learned a good deal from the Terex employees I spoke with today and I'm grateful that Terex has chosen to invest in Oklahoma, to the great benefit of so many of our friends and neighbors.”
To further mark the day's event, Garrison penned an op-ed for The Oklahoman celebrating the importance of equipment manufacturers to the economy of the Sooner State. The paper also published a subsequent story covering the day's event.
Meanwhile in Wisconsin, Johnson, now in his second term as senator, visited with Kondex President and CEO Jim Wessing and company employees for an I Make America event there.
“Kondex was honored to host Senator Johnson and the I Make America campaign,” said Kondex President Jim Wessing. “This was a tremendous opportunity to recognize our workforce for the contributions they make to our economy, and to learn about how public policy issues affect our business.”
Kondex is a manufacturer of cutting tools and wear-resistant components used in agriculture, lawn and turf, construction, and forestry machinery. The company is a past winner of AEM’s Pillar of the Industry award for its consistent work through I Make America as an advocate for the entire equipment manufacturing industry.
The I Make America tour next moves westward, with planned stops in Oregon.