Catching up with AAM's State Coordinators

Posted by LDonia on 09/25/2012

The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) has State Coordinators criss-crossing the country to attend meetings, conventions, trade shows, and the like.

Here is a digest of some of their recent travels.

Mike Mitchell and Rachel Bennett Steury spent Labor Day in Fort Wayne, IN at the Annual Northeast Indiana Central Labor Council Labor Day Picnic. This is the 30th year the Picnic has been held and more than 5,000 people came out to enjoy the fellowship. Union and non-union, unemployed, and retired workers from all over the region came out to celebrate the day. AAM talked with attendees about the auto parts campaign, which is a very important industry in Indiana with over 132,000 workers making auto parts within the state.



AAM State Coordinator Rachel Bennett Steury attended the monthly retiree meeting of United Auto Workers Local 933 in Indianapolis. Veteran retirees began the day by carrying the flag to the front of the room with a prayer and pledge of allegiance. Since the meeting was held on the anniversary of the 9/11/2001 attacks, those in attendance honored the victims, including over 600 fallen who were union members.

Bennett Steury spoke to those assembled about the. Local 933 retirees have spent their work lives building world class transmissions for military vehicles, trucks and buses, and engines for aircraft, industrial and marine implementation in the heart of the Hoosier state. Everyone signed postcards to their legislators for the sake of the workers who still make those transmissions and engines and to keep the U.S. economy intact.

Pictured are Earl and Diana Burtnett who invited AAM to join them on this special day. As you can see from their “Not Made in China” t-shirts, they are firm believers in keeping it made in America.


State Coordinator Mark Musho reported from the International Manufacturing Technology Show, one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world, which this year attracted more than 82,000 visitors. The event is held every two years in September at McCormick Place, Chicago. This year’s IMTS 2012 is the 29th edition of the premier manufacturing technology show in North America. More than 1,800 exhibiting companies will occupy 1.2 million net square feet of exhibit space at the McCormick complex. IMTS is held every even-numbered year in Chicago and attracts buyers and sellers from over 116 countries.

One topic that was heavily discussed at this manufacturing summit was “reshoring”, that is companies that return manufacturing operations the United States. Reshoring created about 50,000 manufacturing jobs in the last few years, about 10% of the 495,000 manufacturing job additions since the low in January 2010.

AAM’s “Keep It Made In America” message resonated with visitors and exhibitors.  While some exhibitors had more extensive display than others, for AAM it only took a simple sticker that reflected a bigger philosophy, “Keep it made in America”.  Passerbies stopped to voice their agreement and encourage the AAM group.  Many told stories of lost domestic manufacturing jobs and some spoke of recent successes in the workplace.

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