To the editor,

House Bill 1040, renewing the automation tax credit, is critical legislation to empower manufacturing and construction companies doing business in North Dakota. The legislation would support the companies to purchase new equipment to advance state-of-the-art production methods with our North Dakota businesses and farmers to ensure our state is continuously progressing ahead in this competitive global environment. Instead of taking away jobs, it will increase opportunity for our state, workforce and communities.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

Advancement in automated equipment not only furthers North Dakota competitiveness across the world, but also increases production and therefore increases sales. Increases in production and the resulting increased sales will empower companies to increase wages. The advancement of automated equipment will allow workers to focus on advanced manufacturing practices and the quality of the product, while the equipment will ensure output demands are met. Automated equipment will alleviate the stress on the workforce, decrease the risk of workplace injuries and, ultimately, provide a safer workplace. These factors combined make for a happier workplace.

For every $1 dollar spent in manufacturing, another $1.89 is added to the local economy. That is the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector. And I've witnessed this effect first-hand. I grew up seeing the community growth manufacturing jobs can provide. As an '80s kid in North Dakota, I truly came to understand the nature of our boom bust ag/oil centric market. In contrast, the manufacturing industry provided jobs with stability and jobs that created returns throughout the other service sectors. Manufacturing can also provide supplementary incomes to farm and ranch families with benefits such as health care and 401k matches.

The returns we will realize from renewing the automation tax credit will far exceed the anticipated initial cost. North Dakota has a history of working together to advance in tough environments. It is in our blood. From the independence provided through our state-owned bank with programs such as pace loans, we have reaped the rewards of investing in market diversity. We care about neighbors and want each other to do well. This tax credit is in the same spirit of neighbors helping neighbors.

Kristin R. Hedger

Dickinson, N.D.