U.S. Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) invited local small business owner Terry Iverson to Capitol Hill to testify before the House Committee on Small Business about his experience running a small business in Illinois. The hearing was held as part of the National Small Business Week and was meant to honor small business owners and manufacturers for their contributions to communities across the country.
Iverson is the President and CEO of Des Plaines-based Iverson & Company, which manufactures automated and precision machines. He is also the founder of ChampionNOW (Change How Advanced Manufacturing's Perceived In Our Nation), an organization working to address the skills gap in the U.S by encouraging young people to pursue careers in the manufacturing sector.
"Manufacturing is one of the sectors of our economy where we've seen promising growth, but considerable headwinds remain, and I hear repeatedly about the lack of skilled workers threatening manufacturers' long-term success," Schneider said. "That's why I invited Terry Iverson, a local manufacturing leader with 30 years of experience, to address the House Small Business Committee and share his innovative ideas for ways Congress can help close the skills gap and support our local manufacturers and small businesses."
"If we do not find the next generation of engineers, manufacturing workers, programmers, inspectors, machinists, then manufacturing opportunities will diminish not because we do not have the ingenuity or expertise, but because we do not have the persons to fill the positions to carry out our capabilities," Iverson said. "I am pleased to hear that there is a buzz on manufacturing in recent months and years around the country, media, and both sides of the political parties."
Schneider, a member of the House Small Business Committee, has visited more than 20 manufacturers and businesses since taking office this year and uses what he learns to ensure that the voices of the Tenth District's small business owners are heard in Congress. In response to numerous concerns over the growing skills gap in the workforce, Schneider introduced the AMERICA Works Act (HR 497)--his first bill--to address the issue.