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U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D – Minnesota, made a stop at Mattracks – a Karlstad, MN, based manufacturer of track conversion systems, on Wednesday, January 11th to discuss the progress and current challenges facing industry leaders in this Northwest corner of the state. As many know, this northern region of Minnesota is a considerable innovation/manufacturing pocket, housing many various manufacturers and industry leading companies – including Mattracks.
During the meeting event, the Senator held a discussion with Mattracks Founder and CEO, Glen Brazier regarding such topics as new innovations within the company, the current economy, supply chains, workforce retention, industry growth, childcare and housing.
“Mattracks has weathered the storm considering the current economic climate because we take on every challenge full-bore,” said Mr. Glen Brazier. “We’ve of course always weathered the storm because we do our part to consistency evolve with new technology, product designs and industry practices.”
Speaking of weathering the storm, the topic of increasing severe winter conditions throughout the country was discussed. Many of these storms leave travelers stranded on the side of the road in below freezing conditions with their lives in jeopardy. Mr. Brazier noted that the issue at hand is that many state patrol, fire departments and even local National Guard units have no equipment suited to make it through the miles of often 6-plus feet of snow cover standing in the way of locating the stranded individuals.
Mattracks prove to be the only solution able to get the job done. At the time they are needed most, Mattracks receives a call with no warning and no such units ready for production. If Mattracks were supplied to these entities for emergency use, many lives would be saved.
Another topic which was discussed quite extensively was the funding, construction and considerable benefits of the new airport projected to be built near Karlstad. In the meeting, Mr. Brazier explained just how badly the airport is needed for the area and how it will bring in an additional 100 new employees to Mattracks as well as a new research and development sector of the company. He also explained the beneficial impact it will make to the local economy and how it will not only serve as a great asset to the community of Karlstad, but to the entire region as well.
The Senator’s on-going relationship with Mattracks was formed many years ago after she heard the story of the company’s inception – an 11 year old boy (Matt Brazier) and his drawing of a truck with tank tracks in place of tires, when shown to his father (Glen Brazier) inspired the creation of the original rubber track conversion system.
“I’ve used the example of the company many times and the story of the inception with Matt and his drawing. I recently told the story in a congressional hearing.” – Sen. Amy Klobuchar