From The Waterville Morning Sentinel, “Sen. Collins receives awards at New Balance factory“:
NORRIDGEWOCK — When New Balance factory employees looked up from stitching, stamping and assembling hundreds of athletic shoes on Monday, they saw an uncommon sight: Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins walking between the rows of industrial sewing machines with a trail of staff.
Wearing her brown-and-tan New Balance sneakers, Collins shook hands, asked questions, posed for photographs and learned about new projects at the only athletic shoe company that still produces footwear in the United States.
She was at the 353-employee facility on Depot Street not just to learn about the two-week-old option for customers to personalize their shoes with specific colors, laces and logos, or to learn about a developing project to make water-friendly shoes for the Navy SEALs, a special operations force.
Collins was at the New Balance plant to receive the Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence from the National Association of Manufacturers honoring the Senator’s support for manufacturing in the 111th Congress. Specifically, a member must be in line with NAM identified “Key Votes” 70 percent or higher to qualify for the award. (See our 111th Congress Voting Record Guide for the full rundown.)
The NAM’s Public Affairs shop has had an extraordinarily busy winter and spring organizing the award events, traditionally hosted in local communities by NAM member manufacturing companies. The awards are important, but so is the opportunity for elected officials to see a manufacturer in operation and talk to employees.
On Wednesday, NAM President Jay Timmons and NAM Board Chairman Mary Andringa will be at the Vermeer plant in Pella, Iowa, to present the NAM’s award to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA). On Friday, the NAM honors Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) at an event hosted by Sanofi Aventis in Bridgewater, N.J.
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