Proposed Energy Tax Reform Would Harm the Economy and Iowa Businesses

In Hancock County,  we work hard to take care of our families and our neighbors in an effort to prosper in our little corner of the world.  And although we do not work in close relation to our legislators in Washington D.C., the decisions made there ultimately affect everyone and national-scale issues and proposals have the potential to drastically alter our local economy. For example, the energy tax reform proposed by the President’s Administration that seeks to raise taxes solely on our domestic energy producers, will affect Iowa immensely.

Higher taxes on Iowa’s natural gas and oil producers would mean local economies, like ours, would be faced with higher fuel prices and potential job loss. Many small businesses, such as Stellar Industries, would be hit with drastically higher operating costs as a consequence of these taxes.

In Iowa alone, nearly 65,000 jobs are supported by our domestic energy industry. At Stellar, over 250 of our jobs rely on Iowa’s natural gas and oil partners’ support; many of which would be directly impacted if these taxes become law. Not only is affordable energy critical to the operations of our factories, but domestic gas and oil producers are key consumers of the products we design and build here in Garner.

I urge our lawmakers to pay attention to this issue as it has the potential to impact every Iowan. I hope they will support our local economies and stand up against raising taxes on our domestic energy producers.  I also urge you to help make a little noise by reaching out to your representatives and tell that this is an important issue to you, your community and our economy.  Tell them to fight against higher taxes and support local business.  With all our our voices – together we will be heard.

Upcoming Stellar Company Picnic and I Make America Harley Tour

The great Hancock County Fair is in full swing this week, and along with that is the Stellar Industries company picnic, located right in the heart of the fairgrounds.  Saturday afternoon, under the big tent, various Stellar managers will be grilling up good eats, including steaks, pork chops, chicken, brats and hot dogs along with all the fixin’s.  Kids get the opportunity to don a wristband and ride carnival rides to their hearts content.  It’s a great time for employee camaraderie and good times.  Mother Nature appears to be dealing us a perfect summer day with temperatures ranging in the low 80s and sunny skies.  Which is a perfect set-up for the grandstand event, Night of Destruction.  An evening of school bus races, crazy trailer Figure 8 races, and a whole lot more county fair fun.

In addition to all this fun stuff going on in Britt, a visit from the Association of Equipment Manufacturer’s I Make America Harley Tour will be going on as well.  Stop by the display outside the Stellar picnic tent to see a custom painted Harley Davidson motorcycle that will be given away in November to one lucky registrant.  All you need to do is stop by, or visit the website,, and sign up for the I Make America Campaign.  Have you already signed up?  Then no problem, just visit the website again and simply complete an “Action Alert”.  That will register you for the Harley.

Not familiar with I Make America?  No worries.  In a nutshell, it’s a grassroots campaign that advocates to dramatically improve American manufacturing policies and to create more jobs in the US.  It is headed up by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, which Stellar is an active member in and supports the campaign.  It doesn’t cost you anything, and you don’t have to commit to anything.  It’s just a way for you to show your support and encourage our leaders in Washington DC to make wise decisions on policies that can effect us as a manufacturer, employer and as an employee owner.  So be sure you stop by the display, check out the bike, sign up for a chance to win, and enjoy the Hancock County Fair!

We’re Hiring!

Stellar Industries is very fortunate in the fact that we are really busy and need some extra help. As I walk around the facilities I see that welders are humming, wrenches are turning, and trucks are moving. This is a sign of the times that the local economy is in full-force and running strong. This has provided us with the opportunity to add many more Stellar team members. There are jobs available in various departments in first and second shift.

We have a strong Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) program as well as excellent health benefits and 401k offerings. We have a stellar safety record and modern facilities. So, please inform your friends and family that are looking for an excellent place to work of our current openings and feel free to refer them to our websites for job descriptions.

Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor visit Stellar Industries, Inc.

The Gov. and Lt. Gov have made the promise to visit all 99 counties every year they are in office.  They are well beyond visiting 2/3 of the counties this year.

As the Governor entered our reception area, he saw a photo of Francis Zrostlik.  He instantly remembered going to China with Francis and Barb Zrostlik in 1984 and shared some of his fond memories of the trip.

It was an honor to have the Governor and Lt. Governor visit with our people and tour our facility to check out our products.  They even joined us for lunch! Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds thanked us for offering our own weld training program.  They recognize the shortage of skilled labor and were pleased to see our on-the-job-training program.

They announced unemployment has dropped more than 30% in Iowa since they have been in office.  They are determined to add even more jobs in the state of Iowa.

Celebrate Memorial Day

It’s hard to believe that Memorial Weekend is upon us.  It wasn’t long ago we were still staring at the cold, white snow wondering if Mother Nature would ever let us enjoy Spring.   It’s nice to finally know that the weekend that traditionally kicks off summer is finally here and hopefully we can enjoy all that it has in store for us, including graduation celebrations, barbeques, parades and parties.

But Memorial Day isn’t just about the start of the summer season and graduation parties.  The true meaning behind this weekend is so much more.  It is a time for us to stop and reflect.  It’s a time to honor all the men and women who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.   It’s a time for all of us to pay homage to those who have fought so hard to protect this country and our freedoms.

Memorial Day was originally know as Decoration Day to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War, and has since transitioned into a day we remember all that have died serving.  So before you fire up your barbeque this weekend, take a moment to reflect and remember all those people who have paid the ultimate price for us to have our freedoms.  Visit your area cemeteries and take the time to decorate the graves of those who have served this country, honor the fallen.

In honor of the brave men and women who have given their lives for this country…. Celebrate Memorial Day.