There are many elements of our tax code that Congress is poised to correct by passing comprehensive tax reform. Maybe the biggest improvement would be fixing a tax system that favors larger corporations who move U.S. jobs overseas, but penalizes manufacturers which primarily base their operations in the United States.
Manufacturing is one of the core industries that makes the United States an economic powerhouse. It provides meaningful, good-paying jobs and offers employees the satisfaction of a career in which they can be proud of the products they make.
I see that every day at the family-owned firm I have overseen for more than three decades. Sullivan-Palatek manufactures industrial air compressors right here in Indiana, where we have grown to support 190 jobs. We’re a proud contributor to the entire equipment manufacturing industry nationwide, which supports more than 62,000 jobs here in Indiana, and almost 1.3 million jobs across the United States.
Many of the jobs we support at Sullivan-Palatek require a skilled workforce, which we develop through years of hard work, training and hands-on experience. Some of our more complex compressor models contain more than 1,000 parts and may take more than a week to complete through the full assembly process.
Our employees show tremendous pride in this work; it is one of the most amazing and gratifying parts of our work. A complete range of support staff also helps us engineer new products and assist customers in the purchase and use of our equipment.
We want to re-invest in our employees and in our manufacturing business. In fact, there are numerous equipment and tooling projects that already would have been started if it weren’t for the excessively high federal taxes place on our business.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act under consideration by Congress isn’t perfect. But it addresses many of the inequities that has contributed to the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs over the past few decades.
Tax reform will put U.S.-based manufacturers on a more even position versus firms who base most of their operations overseas. Tax reform will make it easier for companies to bring money that has unnecessarily remained overseas back to the United States, so they can invest in their businesses and workforce. Most crucially, corporate tax reform will strengthen the broader manufacturing economy and the equipment manufacturing industry specifically — an industry that supports plenty of middle-class and upper-middle-class jobs.
That is why tax reform is so essential for our industry. While readers might be familiar with a few larger, publicly-traded equipment manufacturers, many more equipment manufacturing firms are privately or family-owned. These companies play an important role in our manufacturing economy, but face added challenges in obtaining operating capital from outsources. Their growth and modernization hinges on their profitability, and their profitability is harmed by our burdensome and cumbersome tax code.
For many of these companies, substantial product innovation and improvement are their lifeblood. Companies that don’t evolve and adapt don’t survive. Innovation requires capital investments to support new products and production techniques. And right now, our tax code distorts those capital investments, which, in turn, harms job creation.
So it’s time for our tax-writers in Washington to take a cue from many small manufacturing businesses. It’s time that we evolve our tax code to reflect our 21st Century economy. Congress should seize the opportunity to pass tax reform that encourages the next manufacturing renaissance in America, and the scores of jobs that will come with it.
Bruce McFee is chairman and CEO of Sullivan-Palatek in Michigan City.
Posted Date: 12/21/2017
Posted Date: 9/14/2015
March 2015 - By Sarah Peterson
The event was organized with a couple of goals in mind. “As one of the organizers, I was hoping that the attendees would be able to network with other people in the rental business through the bus tour. It is nice to find out what other rental store owners’ issues are and how they deal with these problems,” says Nancy Stacy, branch manager, Midwest Rentals, Lafayette, Ind. “Even though we are from different areas of the state, we all have similar issues. It is nice to talk to somebody in the business about how they deal with these issues, as well as what is renting and what isn’t renting in different areas.”
Another goal of the event was to bring people together from different segments of the industry. “We have businesses that are construction only or party only and this really allowed us to go to multiple facilities, so that it was welcoming to everyone. AAY’s Rent-All was mostly party, while Interstate Rentals was a construction and general tool store,” says Derek Johnson, corporate officer, Grand Rental Station, Greenwood, Ind.
The first stop was at the Sullivan-Palatek factory in Michigan City, where the group was served a continental breakfast and heard from the vice president of sales about the company and its top products. Following the presentation, they went on a tour of the factory and were able to see how the company assembles its air compressor products.
Once finished at Sullivan-Palatek, the group rode about an hour to the next stop in Mishawaka. Along the way, hosts led icebreaker conversations to help the group get to know each other. At AAY’s Rent-All, participants had box lunches and a tour of the warehouse. “They have a huge warehouse that really awed everyone who was there. We got to see their systems for tent washing, hanging and drying tents, storage for tables and chairs and linen washing and pressing. It was nice to see some of the ideas they were putting into use from a storage standpoint,” Johnson says.
The final stop was Interstate Rentals in La Porte, where the group explored the warehouse before participating in a tabletop show with about 18 vendors. “The tabletop was at the last stop of the day, so no one felt rushed to get out. We could enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres while taking our time to walk around and talk with each vendor and get to know their products,” Johnson says.
After spending more than two hours talking with vendors, the group headed back to Blue Chip Casino for dinner. The dinner allowed participants to stay and continue conversations that started on the tour. Attendees found that being on the bus rather than driving individually allowed the opportunity for productive conversations.
“There was so much that we learned,” says Stacy. “From storing party equipment and cleaning tents to techniques for sharpening teeth on stump grinders, we learned a lot from the tours. We also had some very interesting conversations about equipment and what got some of us into the business.”
“The highlight of events like these is always the camaraderie and the opportunity to get together with people who are doing the same things we are doing,” Johnson says.
“The opportunity to visit other stores was incredible because I always learn something from another facility that they do differently. It’s also a chance to talk with people who have some of the same issues I do and learn how they solved the problem. Lots of ideas come out about how to deal with situations and improve processes,” Johnson says.
An official publication of the American Rental Association. Produced by Rental Management Group. Copyright © 2015 Rental Management Magazine all rights reserved
Posted Date: 3/23/2015
MICHIGAN CITY — U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., visited Michigan City on Thursday, invited by air compressor company Sullivan-Palatek for a tour of its local facility.
After requesting the assistance of the congressman on an environmental issue, Sullivan-Palatek owner Bruce McFee invited him for the visit. The hope was for Visclosky to learn more about the industry so he is more informed when voting on related legislation.
During the tour, McFee and Visclosky discussed the “I Make America” initiative, of which Sullivan-Palatek is a proud supporter. This initiative aims to protect American manufacturing jobs — keeping these jobs available to local employees as opposed to outsourcing overseas.
Visclosky said he appreciates the manufacturing companies and employees of La Porte County and all over the United States.
“What people often oversee in Washington, D.C. is the knowledge that goes into manufacturing,” he said, listing for example the design department and others that are always looking for ways to improve the industry.
“I'm proud of what's being done at this plant and others in northwest Indiana,” he said.
Visclosky spent nearly an hour touring the building on U.S. Highway 20, meeting employees and witnessing first-hand the production of air compressors. Among the tour sites were the warehouse floor, purchasing and engineering departments and a training facility used to teach and inform customers.
As an accounting major during his years at Indiana University, Visclosky was particularly excited to visit the company's accounting department.
Sullivan-Palatek was honored to host Visclosky, allowing him to watch the operations take place on the warehouse floor, chatting with employees and learning about the process as he went along.
The company, which began as Palatek with nine employees in Michigan City more than 20 years ago, has grown to employ 140 locally with an additional 120 in related business throughout Indiana and Michigan, according to McFee.
“This is the air compressor capital,” he said of Michigan City. “A lot of people's jobs depend on this business.”
More information regarding the “I Make America” initiative is available by visiting www.imakeamerica.com. Information regarding Sullivan-Palatek is available at www.palatek.com.
By JESSICA O'BRIEN Staff WriterThe News DispatchMichigan City, IN
Posted Date: 7/3/2014
Porky's Chopper episode airs 9:00pm CST on Discovery channel Monday, June 2nd featuring our 5 HP MCDF-Series Air Compressor Package!
Posted Date: 6/2/2014