A nationwide campaign to press Congress to support pro-manufacturing policies rolled through Racine, Wis., on September 26 when the I Make America Harley Tour stopped at Case Construction Equipment. The event was held in conjunction with Case and its Dire States campaign, aimed at finding new ways to invest in infrastructure development at the state and local level. State Representative Robin Vos (Speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly) and State Representative Cory Mason were also in attendance, and spoke as part of a short presentation.
The custom-painted 2014 Harley-Davidson Road King has been on the road this year to advocate for public policies that advance the interests of employees, communities and companies of the equipment manufacturing industry. The I Make America Harley has crisscrossed the heartland over the past few months, placing an emphasis on policies important to equipment manufacturers like reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank’s charter or passing a long-term highway bill.
The I Make America Harley Tour is part of the I Make America campaign, a broader advocacy effort by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). So far, I Make America has registered over 36,000 grassroots supporters of pro-jobs manufacturing policies. At each stop, eligible employees and attendees of the event can sign up for a chance to win the custom-designed bike; the winner will be announced at AEM’s Annual Conference in November.
“I Make America was created to be a force for positive change in the equipment manufacturing industry,” said Dennis Slater, AEM President. “Economic conditions in America remain a challenge and we need our government to partner with us to advance pro-manufacturing policies that address those challenges. I Make America is our platform to spread awareness and maximize our voice in Washington, DC.”
According to AEM, about one in six private sector jobs in the U.S. depends on the manufacturing base. Congress can help to create business conditions that will grow the economy and U.S. manufacturing jobs by encouraging infrastructure investment, protecting U.S. farming and increasing American exports for our economy to keep pace with other countries.
“Infrastructure investment is one of the most important domestic public policy issues we face today, but it’s often overshadowed by more emotional issues,” says Jim Hasler, vice president. Case Construction Equipment. “Infrastructure affects all of us. It benefits local economies, lowers logistics costs to attract new business, improves quality of life and of course, there are the obvious benefits to the manufacturing industry, which in turn creates more jobs domestically. Infrastructure investment should be a top priority, and we’re proud to stand with AEM and I Make America on this issue.”
Dire States is Case’s own grassroots effort to raise awareness for the role that state and local governments play in securing infrastructure investment, through legislative initiatives, public-private partnerships (P3s), state revolving funds and other innovative funding methods. The effort kicked off with a nationwide tour in 2013 and 2014, and has transitioned to an advocacy role, as CASE has worked to support infrastructure funding initiatives in Texas and Wisconsin. Learn more at DireStates.com.