Infrastructure bill would be ‘transformative’ to U.S. future

June 22, 2021

Jason Andringa, CEO and president of Vermeer Corporation

A proposed federal infrastructure bill would be “transformative” in the same way rural electrification was, according to Jason Andringa, president and CEO of Pella, IA-based Vermeer Corporation.

“I see this opportunity as being just as transformative as the period of rural electrification and bringing water and sewer to all residences in the United States,” said Andringa, who heads up the giant, family-owned agricultural and heavy equipment manufacturer.

Andringa spoke at an online news conference as the head of an infrastructure task force assembled by the Milwaukee-based Association of Equipment Manufacturers, of which he is a board member, the Wisconsin Examiner reported. The event also featured fellow board and task-force member Austin Ramirez, CEO of Husco International, an electro-mechanical component manufacturer based in Waukesha, WI.

Democrats and Republicans are trying to negotiate a deal that could top $1 trillion after President Joe Biden’s original $2 trillion proposal stalled. Politico reported Senate Democrats are eyeing an expanded $6-trillion plan through a procedural maneuver if they can’t get bipartisan support for a smaller bill.

Ramirez said an infrastructure bill would not only help improve water, sewer, power and broadband, it would support thousands of jobs not only in construction but also in manufacturing of the equipment needed to make the improvements.

Andringa said that broadband improvements need to be in the mix. “The future of being connected in all rural areas is incredibly important...,” Andringa said.

The bill would have economic benefits. “Many manufacturing jobs are good-paying jobs, construction is good-paying jobs,” he said.

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