Congressman Scotty Perry Joins REMSA Member Aaron Enterprises and Local Railroad for Tour and Discussion

On April 20, 2018, Congressman Scotty Perry (R-PA-4), a member of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, joined representatives from Aaron Enterprises Inc., Genesee and Wyoming Inc., and other York-based businesses for a tour and transportation public policy discussion at Aaron Enterprises’ facility. The Railway Engineering-Maintenance Suppliers Association (REMSA) coordinated the event. Twenty-five REMSA members maintain operations in Pennsylvania, including two based in York.  
 
Located in south central Pennsylvania, Aaron Enterprises, Inc. has provided personalized service since 1976. As a specialty contractor practicing the various disciplines of trenchless technology, they have established a strong reputation for professionalism and skill. They proudly serve the water, sewer, oil & gas, storm water, electric, communications and transportation industries.
 


Harlacher, Rep. Perry on Tour

Aaron has completed several projects for railroads and transit systems including CSX Transportation, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC), and Amtrak and state departments of transportation including PennDOT, Maryland State Highway Administration (MDSHA), and NJDOT. There are also numerous engineering firms that rely on Aaron’s expertise to determine project feasibility in their line of work. Aaron Enterprises proudly employs 53.
 
The tour was led by Eric Harlacher, Vice President, Aaron Enterprises. The group toured Aaron Enterprises’ maintenance and fabrication shops as well as viewed the various specialized trenchless equipment that is used for installation of the underground utilities.
 
“It was a privilege hosting Congressman Perry, Genesee & Wyoming, and numerous local businesses that we work on a daily basis,” said Harlacher. “Our company is dedicated to serving the needs of the entire transportation industry and we appreciate the Congressman’s role and leadership on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. It is important our representatives promote policies that promote the expansion of our nation’s infrastructure and encourage technological innovations that will enhance safety.”
 
“The rail industry in York County is a critical part of the local economy.  Railroads like York Railway handles a wide arrange of shipments important to companies located here.  By providing safe and efficient freight services, we help these companies compete in their worldwide markets, and in turn support all of the jobs these companies provide the citizens of York County,” stated Kim Smith, Director, Government Affairs, Genesee & Wyoming, parent company of York Railway. “Rail contractors and suppliers like Aaron Enterprises are also a key part of our local economy.  Congressman Perry understands and supports the rail industry efforts to make sure York County remains competitive and a great place to work and live.”
 

Winkler, Harlacher, Rep. Perry, Rice
 
Congressman Scott Perry was elected as the United States Representative of Pennsylvania’s 4th Congressional District in 2013. Rep. Perry serves on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, which maintains legislative oversight the Department of Transportation, Amtrak, transit and freight rail. Before his election to Congress, Rep. Perry served three terms as a Pennsylvania State Representative. The Congressman is happily married and the father of two daughters.
 
“Our rails, roads and bridges are critical to the economic success of our region, which is why we must modernize our infrastructure networks, especially here in the Commonwealth. Improvements will help ensure that quality, family-sustaining jobs remain available to our citizens,” said Congressman Perry. “I appreciate hearing from so many job creators in the transportation industry and am committed to developing policies and ideas that move our economy forward.”
 
The group discussed the private nature of America’s freight railroad network which, unlike other modes of freight transportation, does not rely on federal support for the expansion or maintenance of its network. The group advocated for support of the Building Rail Access for Customers and the Economy (BRACE) Act. The BRACE act will allow the nation’s small, local freight railroads to increase their reinvestments to upgrade and expand the “first and last mile” of transportation infrastructure, benefitting Pennsylvania communities and shippers that depend on affordable freight access. Congressman Perry is a co-sponsor of the Act.
 
The group also highlighted increased funding for the Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER), the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure & Safety Improvements (CRISI), and the Capital Investment Discretionary (CIG) grant programs as part of the recently passed Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act. Together, these grant programs fund both freight and passenger transportation projects that are of regional significance and enhance user safety.
 
Also in attendance were Corey Berkheimer, Senior Account Manager, Groff Tractor Mid-Atlantic; Sara Doran, Staff Engineer, Schnabel Engineering, Inc.; Stephen Ducharme, Contract Surety Underwriter, Aegis Security Insurance Company; Mark Gilmartin, Account Manager, Cleveland Brothers; Matthew Goff, Senior Engineer, Schnabel Engineering, Inc.; Paul Grove, Chief Estimator/Project Manager, Aaron Enterprises; Joshua Lecker, Surety Bond Executive, McConkey Insurance & Benefits; Justin Leisure, Surety Bond Executive, McConkey Insurance & Benefits; Katie Mahoney, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, York County Economic Alliance; Robert McDowell, P.E., Chief Engineer/Project Manager, Aaron Enterprises; James Parkes, P.E., Technical Tunneling Director, Schnabel Engineering, Inc.; Sully Pinos, Director, Business Solution, York County Economic Alliance; Vince Rice, Owner, Aaron Enterprises; Will Resch, Grassroots and Fundraising Organizer, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association; Tom Schachner, Executive Vice President, Sales, Cleveland Brothers; Emily Traiforos, State Director, GoRail; Lauren Wilcox, Manager, Special Events, York County Economic Alliance; and Sean Winkler, Director of Advocacy, REMSA.  

Railroad Work Site Model
 
In Pennsylvania, 59 freight railroads operate over 5,100 track miles and employ over 7,000.

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  1. RT&S: Rep. Perry Joins Aaron Enterprises for Tour, Policy Discussion