Thursday, July 1, 2010

Community Push Saves Bucyrus Jobs

We’ve talked before about the need for manufacturers and the larger business community to band together and fight for the future of manufacturing.

Well, here’s a great example of companies in our region doing just that.

The back story is a little complicated and involves a decision by a government lending agency that threatened as many as 1,000 jobs at mining equipment maker Bucyrus International Inc.

The decision came just last weekend. But quickly, loudly, business and political leaders came forward to push the U.S. Export-Import Bank to reconsider.

n The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce led the charge, taking out a full-page ad in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – a compelling, direct, but respectful piece signed by numerous suppliers and other companies.

n Both Republicans and Democrats spoke out on the issue.

n A major PR push and some well-prepared research bolstered the case.

Then, with President Obama rolling into Racine yesterday, officials reversed the decision to deny funding.

It was an impressive, effective display of community cooperation. Now let’s continue in this spirit, applying it toward more proactive efforts to boost the region’s vital manufacturing base.

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