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38 SMT Magazine • July 2017 IMPACT Washington, D.C. 2017: You Had to Be There! At every opportunity, I made it a point to tell everyone I came across that this was the year to at- tend IPC's IMPACT event in Wash- ington, D.C.—and I was right. This was the year, as you will learn while reading what your colleagues who attended had to say. Apparent- ly, the new administration man- aged to very quickly spread the word throughout the many gov- ernment departments that manu- facturing is a good thing—and it's about time. U.S. senators and representatives, along with their staffs, seem to be scheduled very tightly with lunch often skipped to squeeze in more meetings with constituents and time on the congressional floors. Ditto for the numer- ous government bureaucrats (the non-political appointees who run the myriad departments). Despite that, IPC's Washington contingent managed to put together an outstanding pro- gram of speakers and meetings with the most significant departments of greatest interest to our industry. These included the Departments of Education, Defense and Commerce; the EPA, the White House, and numerous senators and congressmen. While occasionally staffers were the ones we met, more often it was the actual official—like Scott Pruitt, the new head of the EPA. (What? Talking with people from electron- ics manufacturing, one of the most heavily reg- ulated industries and yeah, once upon a time, polluters? That never happened before.) All in all, it was a very uplifting, exciting 2+ days, as anyone who attended will tell you and as you will read in this special section. Ev- ery person who spoke to us and with us had the same message: Tell us what you need. Tell us how we can help you. Business and manufacturing is now respect- ed as more and more people (in- side and outside the government) come to the realization that real jobs are not created by govern- ment but by businesses and es- pecially small businesses just like yours. We are no longer the enemy and no longer looked down upon. Our thoughts, opinions, and needs are being recognized. Sorry you didn't go? You should be—it was truly a golden opportu- nity. But there are still things you can do. You can talk with your congressional representa- tives, you can send in comments to IPC, you can ask IPC to help you schedule site visits by your representatives, and you can visit govern- ment websites and learn more. I know dealing with government officials is often distasteful, but now is the time to make the leap and do it. Of course, I talked with as many of our group as I could while at IMPACT. But this time I was also able to interview Congressman Bill John- son (R-OH) from Ohio, who spoke at the Mon- day night kick-off dinner. Congressman John- son is a true champion of our industry, in fact IPC presented him with an award at last year's IMPACT meeting. This was a great way to kick things off, as his words were all encouraging. Washington is not like what you read in the pa- pers or see on TV. I have put all the interviews in order so you can feel the progression through the meetings and events. I was not able to speak and record Congressman Johnson until a few weeks after the event, so I have placed him last in the line- up, but his remarks were very similar to what we heard then. SMT Introduction by Patty Goldman

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