I Make America helped four member companies deliver pro-manufacturing messages in their local communities during a whirlwind tour leading up to Manufacturing Day on October 2.

AEM staff visited Kondex Corporation in Lomira, Wisconsin; Link-Belt Construction Equipment in Lexington, Kentucky; and staged a daylong special joint I Make America celebration in Yankton, South Dakota, featuring Manitou Americas’ Gehl facility and KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens.

Link-Belt Construction Equipment

Link-Belt hosted an I Make America sign-up event during its Employee Day on September 25, a celebration leading into the company’s CraneFest gathering for customers and dealers. During a barbecue lunch, hundreds of Link-Belt employees signed up as I Make America supporters.

Manitou Americas & KPI-JCI

The Link-Belt event provided strong momentum heading into the next week, where Manitou and KPI-JCI joined forces with the Yankton Chamber of Commerce to launch a week’s worth of manufacturing activities organized around the I Make America theme.

AEM staff participated in a sign-up event at Manitou’s facilities in Yankton to begin the day on September 28, engaging dozens of new supporters before transitioning to an afternoon event at KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens.

KPI-JCI hosted an open house and cookout for residents of Yankton featuring speeches and facility tours before culminating in a rally featuring remarks by Kolberg-Pioneer President and IMA Advisory Committee Chair Jeff May, Manitou Americas General Manager Dave Ewald and South Dakota Secretary of Labor and Regulation Marcia Hultman.

As a bonus, the 2014 I Make America Harley-Davidson also made an appearance at the event!

Kondex Corporation

Kondex Corporation welcomed Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), and nearly 70 visitors to its facility for a Manufacturing Day celebration on October 2.

In addition to Kondex associates, manufacturing and engineering students from Moraine Park Technical College and Lomira High School were in attendance along with representatives from the local community.

Both Kleefisch and Grothman addressed the importance of manufacturing, commended the students pursuing careers in this field, and spoke of its advancements and skill requirements.

“This industry supplies our state’s workers with 462,000 jobs, that’s 19 percent of our workforce. That’s a really big deal… [Manufacturing] means a tremendous amount to the state’s economy, and they hold great family-sustaining jobs,” Kleefisch stated in her Manufacturing Day presentation.

Following the presentations, attendees received a tour of Kondex operations, providing many with a first-hand look at its modern, clean environment, and the technology and automated processes used today. They were also able to sign up as I Make America supporters.

The day concluded with a closed-door session between Rep. Grothman, Kondex leadership, and AEM officials to discuss pending infrastructure legislation, the Export-Import Bank, and other agricultural and manufacturing-related legislation.

“This was a terrific celebration of American manufacturing,” said Kondex President Jim Wessing. “We were very impressed with the message shared by the Lieutenant Governor and Congressman, and those attending seemed to be equally impressed with their tour of Kondex and its operations. Many students were even asking about how to apply for a job.”

Two More Events in October

The stops moved the I Make America tour toward its conclusion for the 2015 calendar year, with two more events scheduled this month at Vermeer Corporation and Kubota.