Cummins MidRange Engine Plant was the first stop for Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., as he began his 18-city “I Work for You” tour to talk with Hoosier businesses, universities and members of the agricultural community.
Donnelly said he’ll take the information back to Washington, where the new Congress will begin tackling a range of issues that will have an effect on businesses, farmers and workers.
On Monday, he talked with Cummins workers and leaders about the success of the company and how lawmakers can help businesses keep moving forward.
“Cummins is a quality-driven and team-driven company,” said Donnelly, a first-term senator who served in the U.S. House of Representatives before defeating Republican Richard Mourdock in the November election.
Donnelly fills the seat held by longtime Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, who was defeated in the May primary by Mourdock.
As he walked through the Cummins plant near Walesboro, Donnelly watched as employees placed finishing touches on the line of diesel engines to be used in Dodge Ram pickup trucks.
“I can see how they take pride in their work,” Donnelly said, adding that he saw many Ram trucks in the employee parking lot as well.
Donnelly said he will share information with others in Congress about Cummins and how the company found a way to survive the recession and other challenges of the economy.
Tom Linebarger, Cummins’ chairman and chief executive officer, accompanied Donnelly on the tour and talked about what the Columbus-based company did to succeed and what legislators can do to be supportive of businesses.
“We need pragmatic solutions to the nation’s challenges,” Linebarger said. “We’re not looking for Congress to make engines for us; that’s our job. Businesses have to learn to work in this environment.”
Linebarger said Cummins has succeeded in part because of its willingness to diversify, become a global company and to focus on quality.
Donnelly said Cummins serves as a good example of how helping businesses can help communities by providing people with good jobs.
Linebarger added that Cummins also is committed to improving the quality of life of its residents.
“We want to help improve education so people can build a career and a life to be proud of,” he said. “We are committed to both.”
Donnelly said Cummins’ success and commitment to the state deserved praise and support.
“I wanted to thank Cummins for everything it has done for the state and the country,” he said.