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The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) and Mike Rowe, creator and host of Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs," joined forces September 29 in Washington, D.C., for the launch of I Make America, a national grassroots campaign to promote U.S. manufacturing jobs through infrastructure investment and passage of export agreements. Infrastructure investment and export agreements are proven ways to create and sustain jobs for U.S. workers. (View a video of today's event at www.IMakeAmerica.com/Launch.)
According to a recent poll conducted by Clarus Research, a majority of all voters (53 percent) said they think "worse" of the economic stimulus package when they find out that only 3 percent of its funding was dedicated to rebuilding highways, roads and bridges. Yet, a strong majority – 66 percent – believes "Given current economic conditions, it's a good time to build and repair America's roads and bridges."
America's infrastructure is the connective tissue that keeps society out of the ditch," said Mike Rowe, an outspoken advocate of the trades and founder of the site www.mikeroweWORKS.com. "Our roads, railways, runways, and the stuff we can't always see, are falling apart around us. Fixing the infrastructure is a job that will have no end, but if we don't get started, it'll be the end of us."
Since 2001, more than 4.7 million manufacturing jobs have been lost. I Make America is a resource for workers in the manufacturing industry, as well as the businesses that rely on them and the communities they support, to send a message to Congress that we need new manufacturing policies that will create badly needed jobs now.
The message of I Make America is that America needs a new manufacturing policy that creates jobs by doing two fundamental things:
"We need to dramatically increase American manufacturing jobs so our economy can compete with other countries and our equipment manufacturers are able to prosper and grow right here in the United States," said AEM president Dennis Slater. "Until these things are done, America's economy will suffer and our competitive position in the world will be threatened."
The I Make America Web site, www.IMakeAmerica.com, highlights the disproportionate job losses in the equipment manufacturing sector and related industries and provides facts on benefits to American prosperity from supporting policies that protect and grow this industry.
Additionally, I Make America showcases short videos at http://www.ADayinAmericanLife.com from employees and small business owners around the country telling the real life stories of how manufacturing impacts the national economy.
About the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)
AEM is the North American-based international trade group providing innovative business development resources to advance the off-road equipment manufacturing industry in the global marketplace. AEM membership comprises more than 800 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture, construction, forestry, mining and utility sectors worldwide. AEM is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., with offices in the capitals of Washington, D.C., Ottawa, Beijing and a European presence in Brussels.