I Make AmericaI Make America continued to educate and engage the men and women of the equipment manufacturing industry during the month of October, with stops at Graepel North America in Omaha, Nebraska, and at Custom Products of Litchfield in Litchfield, Minnesota.

Congressman Don Bacon (R-Neb.) visited Graepel North America on Oct. 10, meeting with the company’s senior leadership to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the company and the equipment manufacturing industry in the Cornhusker State. Rep. Bacon then joined them for a tour of the facility, and wrapped up his visit with a townhall with company employees.

“We are grateful to Congressman Bacon for his visit and his ongoing support for the equipment manufacturing industry,” said Graepel North America President & CEO Mark Zumdohme. “He has always been a strong supporter of equipment manufacturers and the policies that benefit our industry's 1.3 million men and women, including the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). USMCA is critical to our industry's continued growth, and it is time for Congress to ratify the trade agreement.”

BACONIn addition to discussing the positive impact of the new North American trade deal on Nebraska economy, Graepel also shared some of the successes of its apprenticeship program. There is a shortage of skilled workers across all industries in the United States, but the one confronting equipment manufacturers is especially difficult. Through Graepel’s apprenticeship program, eligible job seekers can work and earn money while also receiving training through the Metropolitan Community College.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to hear directly from the employees about what is important to them and their livelihoods,” said Congressman Don Bacon (R-Neb.) during his visit to Graepel North America. “Meeting with the employees of Graepel reinforces for me the need to pass the USMCA because of the positive impact it will have on not only their industry and its workers, but all broad industries within the U.S. economy.”

Also this month, I Make America helped Custom Products of Litchfield celebrate their 60th anniversary by bringing together hundreds of community supporters, family members, and Minnesota business leaders. They all joined second-generation owner Randy Reinke on Oct.11 to commemorate his company’s dedication to Litchfield and Meeker County.

Attendees learned about the importance of getting involved and advocating for policies that support the equipment manufacturing industry and create good-paying jobs in Minnesota and across the country. Many took the first step in making a difference for the industry by signing up for I Make America.

Congressman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) congratulated the company for its six decades of success.

“Not only does your company play a crucial role in providing great jobs in the surrounding area and providing high quality products across the globe,” said Congressman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) in the congratulatory letter, “but Custom Products of Litchfield invests back into its roots, making it an important piece of the Litchfield community.” 

Subscribe to the AEM Industry Advisor for more AEM news and updates.