How did the Plant Tour Guidebook help you prepare?
The Plant Tour Guidebook was a great tool for us. We do a lot of tours through our plant, but we handle regular tours differently, those are typically just walk through tours. I particularly appreciated the suggestions of a hands-on demonstration and having finished products out on display. It was also something that was used to inform other employees, not involved in the tour, of what we were doing and what to expect during the tour.
What was Rep. Minnick’s overall reaction to the tour?
He appreciated the type of work we do and the quality of our work. I think the fact that we’re an aerospace company in a rural community typically known for its timber operations added to the wonderment. It also showed clearly that location is not a stumbling block to companies wanting to locate rurally.
What questions did he ask?
We were asked how many people we employ, how many products we produce, what quantity of each product gets sold in a given year, what are our legislative concerns with composites right now and what do we feel are some of the most important issues facing small businesses today.
How did you prepare for the tour?
We took the steps outlined above with one additional item. We were asked by the city if we were willing to host a plant tour for Congressman Minnick, before responding, we looked at the congressman’s voting record and them made a decision, based on that information, to host the tour.
How has the plant tour helped your business?
I would say that just by actually meeting with our representative, it opened a line of communication that may not have been there previously. It has made our representative more “personal,” or reachable, if you will. We also believe that by having our representative visit us, after meeting the people who work on the products that create revenue in his constituency, it has made not only composites, but our business more personal to him. In the future when we contact him with a concern, I believe this will add weight to our communication.
What other important issues came up?
Two that I can think of at the forefront would be the possible reclassification of styrene and the current disconnect between small businesses and Washington D.C.