U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) continued to highlight the importance of reviving the American manufacturing sector this afternoon as he toured Hardwood Products, a 95-year old family-owned business that produces medical, diagnostic, and industrial sample collection devices as well as high-quality woodenware for the foodservice and craft industries at its two facilities in Guilford.
"Hardwood is proof positive that, despite years of setbacks and roadblocks, the American manufacturing industry isn't going away. We still make quality goods here in America -- and only the best in Maine," Senator King said. "But to make the industry thrive, lawmakers in Washington need to create an atmosphere that can create jobs -- not send them overseas. We need to take a page out of Hardwood's book and find ways to encourage companies to link innovation with quality and to turn ideas into success."
Led by General Manager Terry Young and Chief Financial Officer Scott Wellman, King toured and met with employees of Hardwood Products' Puritan facility, which manufactures products for healthcare, diagnostic, forensic, environmental surface sampling, food safety, and pharmaceutical applications. He also toured the Foodsticks facility, which produces top quality skewers, sticks, spoons, utensils and other woodenware for dairy, foodservice, and craft applications. The facility houses its customer service, manufacturing, packaging, and shipping branches all under one roof. The company focuses on innovation as a core component of its business model. For example, the company also creates its own machines for use on the factory floor.
King is a strong supporter of domestic manufacturing. He recently joined with Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) to call for increased investment in manufacturing initiatives and has been highly critical of U.S. trade policies that place American companies at a competitive disadvantage.
King is a cosponsor of the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2013, which would bring together industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies, and all levels of government to accelerate manufacturing innovation in technologies with commercial applications by establishing public-private institutes to leverage resources and bridge the gap between basic research and product development.
Tomorrow, Senator King will continue his push to emphasize manufacturing in Maine beginning with a visit to FHC, Inc. in Bowdoin and followed by a tour of Tex Tech Industries in Monmouth and Jones & Vining in Lewiston.