The Story of Equipment Manufacturing is One Worth Telling

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7/1/2024

Manufacturing ExpressBy Megan Tanel, AEM President  — 

It’s going to be a summer we won’t soon forget…  

This week marks the official launch of AEM’s most ambitious and impactful public engagement initiative in our 130-year history: the AEM Manufacturing Express. This interactive mobile tour will cover 20 states and make stops at more than 80 equipment manufacturers’ facilities in the Midwest, South, Mid-Atlantic, and states around the Great Lakes during the next four months.

I’m so grateful for all the ways our members and their peers contribute to our society today. The numbers help paint a picture of our industry’s impact -- 11% of manufacturing jobs are supported by equipment manufacturing, which represents 2.3 million men and women and contributes $316 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product annually. From creating family-sustaining jobs and driving innovation, to supporting the movement of people and goods and helping to power vital public services and utilities, there is so much to celebrate, recognize, and admire as the AEM Manufacturing Express tour gets underway.

I can’t say enough about how thankful I am to be a part of our industry, and it’s why I’m so committed to supporting this important initiative as it tells the story of the people, organizations, and programs driving equipment manufacturing forward.

The work AEM and our members have done (and continue to do) to drive the success of the AEM Manufacturing Express is crucial to our efforts to keep equipment manufacturing strong and competitive. Through all the events, activities, and content associated with the AEM Manufacturing Express, we intend to speak with one collective voice and make a strong statement to elected officials about the bipartisan pro-manufacturing policies our industry needs:

  • Continuous investment in infrastructure 
  • A tax code that promotes investment, job creation, and research and development
  • Resilient rural communities
  • Programs to attract, train, and retain the next generation of our workforce
  • More opportunities to sell products around the world and ensure global trade is open, fair, and free.

To me, each stop on AEM Manufacturing Express tour provides a uniquely valuable opportunity to highlight the 2.3 million men and women working in our industry. Our people are our greatest asset, and their stories and experiences reflect the challenges, opportunities, obstacles, and advantages we see all around us right now in equipment manufacturing. New and exciting technologies are being developed to make ag and construction equipment safer and more efficient than ever before. Sustainable practices are being developed, shared, and embraced to ensure a bright future for all. It’s an exciting time to be a part of our industry. And while we should be pleased with all we’ve accomplished already, so much of our work is just getting started.

More than anything else, though, what excites me about the AEM Manufacturing Express is all the time I’ll get to spend engaging with our members in the towns and tight-knit communities they call home. My hope is being on the road as part of the tour will allow me to get to know our industry leaders a little more, see those leaders in action, and help AEM build even stronger relationships with the people who help us achieve our goals, tackle our priorities, and develop our initiatives.

So much time, effort, and care went into bringing the AEM Manufacturing Express to life. AEM staff, participating member companies, industry peers and supporters, as well as other collaborators came together and developed a shared vision for the tour, worked to transform concept into creation, and pledged to play an active role in helping us tell the story of equipment manufacturing. Even though it’s only day one, I’m so thrilled to see this initiative means so much to so many people already.

The story of equipment manufacturing is one worth telling, and it’s one I hope you’ll help us shout far and wide by supporting the AEM Manufacturing Express this summer. It's our time to shine. So, let’s make some noise and communicate how the grit, determination, and can-do work ethic of equipment manufacturers and their employees make a major impact and help provide a better life for us all.

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