Durbin spent about half an hour Monday morning touring UniCarriers Americas Corporation’s factory in Marengo and commended the forklift manufacturer for being an industry role model for keeping jobs in Illinois and offering education incentives for its employees.
He spoke from a stage directly to hundreds of factory workers about the scale of their work on state and national levels, emphasizing the importance of community colleges and keeping American workers skilled.
“I heard you were doing some things that are pretty important for your lives, for the product you make, but I think could be important for our nation,” Durbin told workers at the factory that employs more than 500 people at its Marengo factory.
“What we see here in UniCarriers is not only a quality product that can compete on an international scale, but it’s being produced right here in America by Americans who are up to the task and job of competition.”
Durbin and his entourage wore safety glasses and earplugs during the tour of the factory floor, where factory administrators explained the utility of manned and automated machines at work.
The global forklift market is expected to grow nearly 7 percent through 2021, according to 2015 report from Persistence Market Research. Durbin commended UniCarriers for balancing the growth, managing to add and enhance jobs while also increasing automation in their factory.