On Friday, March 2, Senator Mitch McConnell dropped by the Hebron, Kentucky facility of machine tool builder MAG. We were invited to listen in as company executives explained the nature of the facility’s business, which is primarily aerospace and renewable energy, and sought help from the senator on issues affecting manufacturing.
The list included export control reform, extended R&D tax credit and bonus depreciation, financing support for the EXIM bank, promotion of job training and creation of a “smart force.” MAG’s Hebron operation relies heavily on exports, with about 60 percent of the machines built there exported, MAG President Dan Janka explained to the senator.
After meeting with the company executives, the senator addressed the assembled employees with brief remarks followed by a Q&A session. Standing on the main assembly floor and surrounded by large machines used to produce composite components for the aerospace and renewable energy industries, he began his remarks by commenting that it is “stunning what you do here.”
He’s right: It is stunning what companies like MAG and shops like yours do everyday to maintain a critical manufacturing base in this country. Perhaps we keep our light under a bushel basket, but if more of our officials would come out and see what vital and successful manufacturing in the United States looks like, the list of needs from companies like MAG and shops like yours might not only be heard but acted upon.