It’s been a busy summer in the Great Lakes region, with lots of member engagement and some great events. June kicked off with Minnesota U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen visiting Road Machinery & Supplies in Savage, Minn., to discuss infrastructure, mining, tax and workforce issues. Paulsen, who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, was welcomed to RMS by CEO Mike Sill. “It was great to have Rep. Paulsen here today to discuss issues of critical importance to RMS and the heavy equipment distribution industry,” said Sill. “We appreciate him taking time out of his busy schedule to learn more about what we do, and we value what he does for Minnesota.”
“I really appreciate the great work you do here at RMS, not only in Minnesota but throughout the Midwest,” stated Paulsen. “You create good-paying jobs and careers that contribute to our economy in a big way. I recognize the workforce shortages you struggle with, and I know my colleague Virginia Foxx (Chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce) is working on those issues. I am happy to assist in any way I can.”
Mid-June was highlighted by The AED Foundation’s Instructors Conference held at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. More than 100 instructors and industry professionals came together to discuss workforce education issues. The Great Lakes Region was well represented, with instructors from Alexandria Technical & Community College, Dakota County Technical College, and Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Minnesota; Ferris State University, Lansing Community College, and Oakland Community College in Michigan; and Gateway Technical College and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Wisconsin. The AED Foundation instructors are the backbone of The AED Foundation’s Accreditation Program and contribute to the success of construction equipment companies through industry-specific workforce development and professional education programs.
In July, Road Machinery & Supplies hosted congressional candidate Pete Stauber at their Virginia, Minn., facility. Stauber is the Republican candidate for the open seat in Minnesota’s 8th District, which encompasses the entire northeast quadrant of Minnesota, including Duluth and the Iron Range. Stauber, a former pro hockey player, retired police officer and current St. Louis County Commissioner, fits the district perfectly and is a strong proponent of infrastructure projects, including mining, which is making a strong comeback in northern Minnesota. Stauber recently captured the Republican nomination with 90 percent of the vote.
In August, Ditch Witch Sales of Michigan hosted U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop (MI-8) in Howell, Mich., for a facility tour and roundtable discussion on infrastructure, taxes and workforce issues. Bishop, who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, was welcomed to Ditch Witch Sales of Michigan by General Manager Carl Rogers. “It was a pleasure to have Rep. Bishop here today to hear firsthand from him about what’s going on in Washington, D.C., as it relates to key infrastructure issues,” said Rogers.
Bishop remains hopeful that an infrastructure package will come together, but he added that it comes down to how to pay for it. On tax relief, Rep. Bishop noted that “everywhere in the district I go, I am hearing positive comments about the Republican tax cuts. There seems to be tremendous optimism out there on the economy right now.”
Ditch Witch Sales of Michigan Controller Brian Lassey stated, “Overall, the tax changes implemented by the Republican Congress have been good for our industry. There is confidence out there, and we are investing in equipment and personnel. I know Rep. Bishop understands our issues, and we look forward to partnering with him to further strengthen the economy.”