CARTER LAKE — U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, voiced support for spending on infrastructure during a tour Thursday of Paxton & Vierling Steel.

Said Ernst: “It will be difficult. But I do think there is a push for infrastructure from both sides of the aisle. It’s how we pay for it (that) I think is going to be the big point of discussion.”

President Donald Trump has called for spending $1 trillion to improve U.S. infrastructure.

Among Paxton & Vierling’s products are structural steel, including for bridges and nuclear power plants. Owen Industries, the parent company of PVS Structures and PVS Metals, employs more than 400, including 250 in Carter Lake.

Tyler Owen, president of Owen Industries, emphasized the importance of infrastructure projects to the company.

He outlined for Ernst the history of the family-owned company, founded in 1885 at 17th and Pacific Streets in Omaha.

“It’s amazing how many of these jobs and how much of the success of this company is tied to the government,” he told Iowa’s junior senator before the tour.

During the hard-hat tour, Owen showed Ernst structural steel work being done for nuclear power plants in South Carolina and Georgia, a bridge in Laredo, Texas, and other projects. She also met with a group of workers, asking their names and what they did for the company.

“We want to keep all of you employed and very busy,” she said. “We want to make sure we are keeping those jobs here.”

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