Thursday and Friday are "Manufacturing Days" in Madison, a part of Manufacturing Week in South Dakota. It's a time to recognize and understand how manufacturing contributes to the quality of life here.
The economic impact of manufacturing plants in a community like ours is extensive. Hundreds of jobs are provided by facilities in Madison, and for the most part, products made are sold far away, which brings new money to the community that wasn't here before.
Industrial plants used to have an image of having smokestacks and hazardous working conditions. No more. Today's facilities are safer, cleaner and more worker-friendly than a generation ago. Most of us would be surprised how well-lit, well-equipped and modern today's manufacturing plants are.
Four plants in Madison will host tours this week. On Thursday, the tours are at Manitou (Gehl) at 8:30 a.m. and at Rosebud at 9:45 a.m. Friday's tours are at Falcon Plastics (8:30 a.m.) and Integra Plastics (9:45 a.m.).
We encourage the public to see what's made in Madison and to better understand the positive role this economic category makes to Madison and our area.