Rep. Woodall Visits SCM
Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Ga., recently visited woodworking machinery maker SCM’s facility in Duluth, Ga.
The congressman participated in SCM North America’s “Meet and Greet” event, illustrating to local organizations and businesses in his district the current manufacturing-related priorities on the political agenda. There to welcome Woodall were Andrea Aureli, SCM Group CEO, and Giuseppe Riva, SCM North America country manager. Among those present were representatives of the local administration and the Chamber of Commerce, as well as Ryan Kurtz, honorary consul for Italy in Atlanta.
The congressman’s visit was an opportunity to discuss the main concerns of companies operating in Georgia, where there are more than 2,500 businesses operating in the woodworking industry, producing furniture, doors and window frames, and woodworking machinery. SCM seeks proper government support for the manufacturing sector and federal funds to boost technical and professional training.
“Our U.S. revenues have more than doubled over the last four years,” says Aureli. “Today, the American market accounts for 20 percent of the group’s exports, and the first half of this year shows a double-digit growth rate, higher than the average in the woodworking district. Hirings are also on the rise. We are opening new offices with commercial personnel and technical assistants and are looking for enterprising and dynamic young people, because despite the numerous job applications we receive we always need more.”
“The scarcity of specialized technicians – to work on the production floor, provide maintenance service and develop software applications – who are familiar with the new Industry 4.0 digital developments, is a very serious problem, also in the United States, and especially in the woodworking industry,” says Riva. “An industry which due to its economic and industrial importance, with 2,500 companies operating in Georgia alone, should be supported by the government, just as the automotive and aerospace industries are for example.”
Woodall pushed for the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, which the United States Congress passed and which calls for allocating considerable federal funds for improving technical and professional education meant for the manufacturing sector.
Woodall, as a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, is also among the promoters of the Administration’s 200 Billion Infrastructure Plan for repairing and improving the aging U.S. infrastructure. It would be a huge opportunity for the Italian giant and for the entire industry in North America – which has been growing with a fast pace recently.