The I Make America campaign returned to the Hawkeye State this week for a roundtable discussion with Governor Kim Reynolds and Lt. Governor Adam Gregg.
The governor and lieutenant governor joined manufacturing leaders from across Iowa and across various industries to share their thoughts on workforce development, infrastructure investment, trade, the Renewable Fuel Standard and tax reform.
“Equipment manufacturing is a crucial industry in Iowa,” Gov. Reynolds said. “It supports more than 70,000 jobs and contributes more than $10 billion to our state’s economy. I enjoyed meeting with members of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and hearing about what it takes to keep the industry strong. As we continue looking for ways to strengthen the industry, it’s important we work to close the skills gap, invest in infrastructure, promote trade and grow agriculture.”
Much of the discussion focused on how to close the skills gap so more Iowans can pursue great career opportunities in the equipment manufacturing industry, and so that equipment manufacturers are able to hire enough skilled workers to continue to grow.
With 30 percent of equipment manufactured in the United States intended for export, the discussion also touched on how to continue to open up new markets for Iowa-based equipment manufacturers.
The importance of improving roads, bridges, locks and dams, waterways and broadband infrastructure throughout the state was also discussed at length.
“We are grateful to the Governor and Lt. Governor for meeting with us today and were heartened to hear their steadfast support for Iowa’s equipment manufacturers,” said AEM Vice President Kip Eideberg. “Governor Reynolds understands the importance of our industry to the economic well-being of the people of Iowa, and we appreciate everything she has done to support our industry.
AEM member companies participating in the roundtable included Deere & Co., HARDI North America, Herschel Parts, Highway Equipment Company, Kinze Manufacturing, Osmundson Mfg. Co., Stellar Industries, Vermeer Corporation and Weiler.