Iowa’s Senior Senator, Chuck Grassley, took time out of his busy schedule in Washington DC to visit the team from SIMCO Drilling Equipment in Osceola, Iowa. As part of his annual 99 County Tour, a tradition of his 41 years in office, Grassley and his team stopped in Clarke County, where SIMCO resides, to tour their operation and discuss the state of manufacturing in the region.
“This is always a big honor,” said Richard Clarke, SIMCO Director of Sales and Marketing. “Senator Grassley has always been a big proponent of Iowa’s manufacturing industry.”
Take a look at photos from the tour through the slideshow posted below:
The visit began with a full facility tour, guided by SIMCO’s General Manager, Darren Swolley. Discussing the status of the manufacturing industry for Clarke County as well as the unique challenges faced during the pandemic, Swolley and Grassley lead a group of about a dozen employees and community members through the offices and into the plant. Grassley asked pointed questions about access to material and shipping challenges as well as employee recruiting and retention.
The Senator stopped to discuss the unique unemployment challenges being felt in Iowa’s manufacturing industry and those faced around the country. “As Iowa jobs open back up, we’re seeing a lot of companies working very hard to re-build their workforce.”
Swolley, Clarke, and the SIMCO team assured the Senator that, despite the pandemic, production at SIMCO was steady and the Clarke County workforce remained dedicated to continuing the quality production of their industry-leading drilling rigs.
As the tour came to a close, Grassley spent nearly half an hour taking questions in an open discussion with those in attendance. From recent election results to medical insurance and drug costs to the federal response at the US / Mexico border, the questions the Senator engaged in were diverse. In his usual, easy form, Grassley answered each and every question with clear and candid conversations with those in attendance.
In the end, the Senator and his team took pictures and closed with a commitment to help Iowa manufacturers through changes resulting from pandemic closures as well as in reestablishing stronger shipping and material sourcing opportunities.
Senator Grassley’s annual tour will continue with future stops in counties throughout south and eastern Iowa.