AEM kicked off the 2018 “I Make America” tour with a record-setting four events in four days. The tour officially started in Ashland, Ohio, then headed up to Huntertown, Indiana, and Garner, Iowa, and wrapped up with a stop in Lincolnton, North Carolina. The theme for this year’s “I Make America” tour is “Behind Every Product,” which highlights the men and women who build equipment right here in America.

Congressman Bob Gibbs (R-OH-07) paid a visit to Minnich Manufacturing to help celebrate the company's 50th year in business. Congressman Gibbs, who sits on both the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Agriculture Committee, toured the plant, met with Minnich executives and took questions from employees.

“America’s economy is driven by manufacturers and the products they create. Our nation’s infrastructure relies on innovative companies focused on solutions for their customers like Minnich Manufacturing and the equipment they manufacture,” said Congressman Gibbs. “Businesses like theirs require an enormous amount of capital and risk. That’s why we made sure American companies can immediately write off the expense of purchasing new equipment in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. I want to congratulate Minnich for celebrating its 50-year anniversary today and thank them and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers for the invitation to learn more about their company and the opportunity to meet and speak with Minnich’s employees.”

From Ashland, Oh the tour moved on to Huntertown, Indiana, where Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN-03) got a first-hand look at how portable and stationary asphalt plants are manufactured when he toured Asphalt Drum Mixers (ADM). Congressman Banks met with ADM and AEM executives and participated in a Q&A session with employees on the shop floor.

“Manufacturing plays a vital role in Indiana's economy and provides good-paying jobs for many Hoosier families,” said Congressman Banks. “I am proud to represent the most manufacturing-intensive congressional district in the country, and I am grateful for the important work of companies like Asphalt Drum Mixes and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.”

The third stop of the week was in Garner, Iowa, where Senator Joni Ernst visited Stellar Industries. Senator Ernst took a guided tour of the facility, addressed the company’s 350 employees during a Q&A session and met with Stellar and AEM executives to discuss some of the industry’s key policy priorities, including infrastructure investment, free and fair trade, the Renewable Fuel Standard, and workforce development.

"I so enjoyed the opportunity to tour Stellar Industries in Garner and visit with their employees and leaders to hear more about the challenges in the industry, and the important role they play in the community," said Senator Ernst. "Whether it is improving our nation's infrastructure, enhancing trade opportunities, or rolling back burdensome regulations, I received a lot of productive feedback from Iowans that I can take back to Washington and share with my colleagues."

The tour wrapped up the week in Lincolnton, NC where Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10) dropped in on LeeBoy to see first-hand how asphalt paving equipment is made. The Congressman, who serves as Chief Deputy Whip, also visited with the 300 men and women at the facility and conducted a Q&A session with the employees on the shop floor.

"Manufacturing plays a significant role in the western North Carolina economy and LeeBoy is a big part of that,” said Congressman McHenry. “I enjoyed the opportunity to tour their facility, meet with staff, and learn how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has helped them advance their goal of producing high-quality commercial asphalt paving equipment right here in Lincoln County."

The 2018 “I Make America” tour is just getting started, and over the coming weeks and months “I Make America” will bring more elected officials out to equipment manufacturing facilities across the country. If you are interested in hosting an elected official at your facility, please contact AEM Public Affairs Manager (, tel: 414-298-4746).

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