Teri Vos, Community Relations Manager, Vermeer Corporation

Vos VermeerAEM’s I Make America campaign is entering its ninth year as the equipment manufacturing industry’s voice for grassroots advocacy!

I am proud to serve as a member of the I Make America Committee, which shapes and steers the I Make America campaign. I have also had a first-hand opportunity to help welcome the I Make America campaign to Vermeer in Pella, Iowa, multiple times over the years. We’ve been proud to encourage our Vermeer team members to sign up as I Make America supporters so they can take action on behalf of our entire industry. There’s a strong sense of personal empowerment when we give voice to manufacturing workers who are directly affected by legislative decisions being made.

Ultimately our people have learned, what’s good for manufacturing is good for them. When manufacturing at Vermeer is thriving, local communities grow, unemployment is down and related businesses in our supply chain flourish. Even our give-back programs see a boost. Everyone realizes these things are made possible when our nation’s decision-makers understand our challenges and support our successes.

The role of the I Make America Committee is to help AEM staff continuously improve the program, and to set its strategic direction for the year. The men and women in the industry increasingly rely on employers as their most credible information source on issues and elections. I Make America is well-positioned to help manufacturers share that content objectively, while building a sense of pride in what we do. One of the most direct ways I Make America has helped us do that at Vermeer has been to bring legislators and policy information to Vermeer team members. We hear first-hand what a legislator or candidate stands for, we can ask questions and share opinions, and feel more confident at the polls. All the while, we are handed a platform to share opinions and personal stories of building equipment that positively impacts lives around the world. Thank you, I Make America!

With November’s elections quickly approaching, it is as important as ever for equipment manufacturers to make sure we share with our teams and our communities how policy issues affect our businesses.

Vermeer Corporation has always worked to connect with our workforce, both present and future, on the issues and opportunities that directly affect them. And it has made a difference.

That’s why AEM members need to get involved with I Make America this year. Between working to contact your elected representatives – or welcoming them to your plant – to attending the Fly-In in September, to simply writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper or talking with your community chamber office about an important manufacturing issue, there are plenty of ways to get involved.

Every action has valuable impact. No effort is too small when it comes to making sure your workforce or your community understands just how much manufacturing issues matter.

Teri Vos is the Community Relations Manager at Vermeer Corporation.

Subscribe to the AEM Industry Advisor for more perspectives from industry leaders.