"Start Us Up" Becomes Rallying Cry for IndustryCED Magazine, November 2009
Article Date: 11-01-2009
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AED and AEM launch a grassroots effort to get the construction equipment industry back to work.
As the deadline for a new federal transportation bill passed unfulfilled on Sept. 30, the equipment dealers and manufacturers have joined forces to send a loud message calling on President Obama and Congress to act swiftly in reauthorizing a transportation bill. Spearheaded by Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), the Start Us Up USA! grassroots campaign launched two high-profile press events aimed at directing the nation’s attention on the construction equipment industry depression.
On Sept. 29 construction machines paraded down the Las Vegas strip as part of the first rally. MaryKaye Cashman, CEO, Cashman Equipment told reporters about the devastating effect the economy has had on her own company. Other spokesmen painted the grizzly jobs picture on national scale.
''The construction equipment industry is in a deep depression and we have lost 37 percent of our workforce nationwide the past few years,'' said Toby Mack, President and CEO of AED. Overall [the] economy cannot recover until our industry recovers. Unnecessary delay in passing a transportation bill will prolong this depression for the men and women working in our industry– not to mention force Americans to wait for safer roads and increased transit options.''
Oct. 20 in downtown Chicago, dealers, contractors, and representatives from labor and manufacturers – and a dozen lowboys loaded full of heavy equipment – rallied powerfully outside Soldier Field. Diane Benck, Vice President of General Operations for West Side Tractor Sales Co. in Naperville, Ill., told reporters and a crowd of onlookers that her company has been forced to lay off more personnel in the last 12 months than over the last 30-plus years combined, since the company’s inception.
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