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Milwaukee Manufacturing Group Creates App to Prepare Workers for the Fall Election

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Montel Allen
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A manufacturing group in Milwaukee, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers released an app on Tuesday - aimed at educating workers within the industry and encouraging them to vote this fall.

The game is called ‘I Make America’ and is available to the general public.

AEM spokesman Michael O’Brien says the app is part of group’s five-year-old campaign to educate manufacturing workers about issues that should matter to them, and especially during this election season.

"And that means advocating for a good infrastructure policy, strong agriculture, the renewable fuel standard, and of course, opening up trade so that manufacturers—including many in Wisconsin—can sell their products all over the world and support jobs, right back in Wisconsin," O'Brien says.

The app entertains as well as informs. The first step, is to pick either construction or agriculture. Each path has its own pair of mini games, followed by a question related to manufacturing.

O’Brien says the I Make America game provides surface-level information about subjects such as infrastructure and renewable fuels – with more to follow.

"This is going to be something that will allow us through, for instance, through push notifications and send those out to the folks that are using the game so that they continue to get updates from us and new and engaging information about manufacturing issues," O'Brien says.

Embedded in the app, is a constant reminder to get out and vote on November 8th, but the game never tells players, for which candidate.

"What we want them to do is understand that manufacturers support trade and trade is important to manufacturers, and we need a candidate that has a real plan on infrastructure and keeping manufacturers globally competitive with taxes. We hope that this app and this experience gives them sort of the rubric and the tools to discern what they need for themselves which candidate best matches that priority list," O’Brien says.

O'Brien says the app is serving as a launch pad for a much larger venture. AEM will visit more than two dozen manufacturing facilities across the U.S. to make sue its workforce is clear on what is at stake for the industry in this 2016 election year.

And the player who scores the highest on the game will win a grand prize.

Montel Allen is majoring in Journalism at UWM. During his time there, he has led the Voices of Milwaukee student organization. Montel has also reported on a plethora of topics regarding Milwaukee, including these two pieces for Media Milwaukee: Faces of UWM: The Pianist and 500 UW-Milwaukee Students “Make a Difference” for Elders.