South Dakota Governor, Staff Visits KPI-JCI

Yankton, South Dakota - Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc. (KPI-JCI) hosted South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard and other state officials as part of ongoing efforts to build relationships with key policymakers in the state and educate them about the important role American manufacturing plays in economic development.

Joe Vig, president of Kolberg-Pioneer Inc., a worldwide leader in manufacturing equipment for the aggregate, construction, paving and recycling industries, provided a factory tour to Governor Daugaard; Kim Olson, policy advisor to Governor Daugaard; Pat Costello, commissioner of the South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development; and Chris Maxwell, business and community development director in the state's Office of Economic Development.

Vig said the visit included an overview of the company, its parent corporation Astec Industries, Inc. and the manufacturing industry, as well as discussion about Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc.'s development and growth. "The Governor was very interested in how much of our product is exported, and was pleasantly surprised that in 2010 we exported about 35 percent of our product, plus shipments to more than 25 different countries," Vig said. "We also emphasized that in the past year, Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc. has hired more than 100 people, bringing us up to 392 employees in our Yankton plant."

During the visit, the importance of supporting necessary federal and state funding for U.S. highways and bridges was stressed as key in continuing this growth. Vig also explained the company's lean manufacturing culture, a comprehensive strategy to reduce waste of all kinds, for production and the company as a whole.

"Lean manufacturing is critical for companies because it allows them to operate most efficiently, thus passing its savings on to the customer," Vig said. "While lean manufacturing enables us to reduce waste, the atmosphere at Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc. has always been, and will continue to be, product and people-oriented." Vig continued, "We were very honored to be able to show Governor Daugaard the positive environment we have created here in Yankton, and the important role our company plays in manufacturing innovative products that help build infrastructure, both here at home and abroad."