Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 10/26

Oct 26, 2012 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Veterans

Official Logo for the USS Minnesota

Submitted by Minnesota high school student Jakob Bartels
Photo courtesy official U.S. Navy Website

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow our state will lend its name to the newest member of our U.S. Navy, a submarine that will be christened as the USS Minnesota.  I'd also like to bring the work of the Minnesota Military Family Assistance Centers to your attention, an important organization helping our military families here at home while their loved ones serve our Nation overseas.  We celebrated Minnesota Manufacturing Week, and I visited with a number of employees and business owners who work in the 7th District's vital manufacturing sector.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District


Military Matters

Christening of Submarine USS Minnesota SSN-783
Tomorrow the USS Minnesota will be christened on site at Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia.  This will be the first submarine ever to be named for a state, and the third ship in the U.S. Navy to bear the name of Minnesota (previous ships included the BB-22 battleship and the 1855 wooden steam frigate).  The USS Minnesota is currently scheduled to be launched on October 30 as it joins the ranks of an elite group of nuclear-powered stealth warships.  The ship's motto (Ex Septentrio, Virtus) means "From the north, power."  Construction began back in February 2008, and at the height of its construction more than 1,000 shipbuilders worked on the Minnesota.  The ship was completed ahead of schedule and will be delivered to the U.S. Navy 11 months early.  You can watch the Christening Ceremony for the USS Minnesota live online on Saturday, October 27 at 9:00 a.m. Central Time.

Minnesota Military Family Assistance Centers

Family Assistance Centers (FAC) were formed to help families of service members with needs that arise while the service member is deployed.  This information center is a helpful one-stop assistance location with trained professionals that understand the challenges of a military lifestyle and work directly with individual families.  Functions provided at a FAC include TRICARE assistance, financial counseling, support and mentor groups, connection to nearby military units and community, and more.  The Minnesota Military Family Assistance Centers have 3 locations in the 7th District: Detroit Lakes, Marshall, and Bemidji.

Minnesota Manufacturing

Manufacturing Week: 10/22 - 10/28

During Minnesota Manufacturers Week, there were a number of special events taking place throughout our state as we recognized the economic importance of this sector in our economy.  One in seven jobs in Minnesota come from the manufacturing sector, with more than 292,000 manufacturing jobs statewide.  The majority of our state's manufacturing jobs are concentrated in computer and electronic products, food manufacturing, fabricated metal products, and machinery.  I had the opportunity to visit with the owners of a few manufacturing companies in the 7th District and tour their facilities to see the fine products they manufacture.

National Association of Manufacturers: Legislative Excellence Award

I am honored to have been selected as the recipient of the National Association of Manufacturers Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence.  Next week I will receive this award in recognition of my strong voting record and solid support for a strengthened manufacturing economy and a forward-thinking manufacturing agenda.

Peterson Pics

2012 Glencoe Manufacturer of the Year: Miller Manufacturing Company

Pictured left: tour given by Miller Manufacturing CEO Dan Ferrise.  Pictured center with Greg Frandsen, President and CEO of Industrial Netting and part owner of Miller Manufacturing.  Pictured right with Michael Gavin, Attorney active on Economic Development Committee.  Photos courtesy Sheila Murphy. (10/25)

During Manufacturing Week, the City of Glencoe and the Chamber of Commerce honored Miller Manufacturing with the Manufacturer of the Year award and I appreciated the invitation to stop by.  Miller Manufacturing distributes and manufactures farm, ranch and pet products in the USA, Canada and over 30 countries around the world.  They have over 135 full time positions at the Glencoe facility which is housed in a 300,000 square foot facility.  With expansion plans in place they will grow to over 400,000 square feet in 2013.  Congratulations to Glencoe and Miller Manufacturing!

Daktronics (REDWOOD FALLS)

Pictured above with Jim Hanson and Matt Kurtenbach (10/25)

On Thursday this week I had the pleasure of visiting Daktronics in Redwood Falls.  Matt Kurtenbach (VP of Manufacturing) and Jim Hanson (Plant Manager) gave me a plant tour.  They purchased their Redwood Falls plant in January 2007 to manufacture its line of electronic message centers.  The products produced at this facility are electronic scoreboards and display boards featuring LED based systems.  The company has over 2500 employees company-wide and they employ 186 in Redwood Falls.

Economic Development Commission (WILLMAR)

On Monday I attended the Economic Development Commission Meeting in Willmar.  The Commission is halfway through a five-year plan of action, and at a series of sessions in the last few months board members assessed their progress and future plans.  Possibilities on the list for economic development projects range from attracting new businesses to bolstering Kandiyohi County's technology industry or supporting the Willmar Municipal Airport. (10/22)