BOISE -- Very soon, a big piece of made-in-Idaho road equipment will be going overseas to the African nation of Cameroon.
For the last few years, the government of Cameroon has been searching for companies to buy big machinery for, and Boise's Yanke Machine Shop is one of those involved in one of the export deals for an asphalt plant.
"That's the big thing that's going on now with these countries is infrastructure and getting roads built," Steve Malloy, Sales Manager for AESCO/Madsen, the plant's Washington-based designer, said.
For more than three months, Yanke Machine Shop has been working on the portable asphalt plant to send to Cameroon.
On Friday morning, officials from Cameroon were able to see how the equipment would work and said they were very happy with what they've bought from American businesses.
"We have tried some different equipment in our country, equipment coming from different countries, and we've realized that the equipment coming from the States has the best quality, and they are reliable. That's why we're here today," Lt. Col. Jackson Kamgain, Regiment Commander, Corps of Engineers, Ministry of Defense of Cameroon said.
AESCO/Madsen says with the need for roads in other countries, around 75 percent of their business is now export.
"We do a lot in Canada, Mexico, Panama and any place we can ship to outside of the U.S. just helps us and helps Yanke to keep people employed and keep the economy going," Malloy said.
"I think it was fantastic not only for Yanke Machine Shop and its employees and the people here, but also for the state of Idaho to kind of show what we do and what we do in our field of work," John Alverson, Yanke Machine Shop Operations Manager, said.
Lieutenant Governor Brad Little, who greeted the Cameroon officials, says he hopes this project can stand as an example of expanding exports and mentioned past trade deals and an already-planned trade mission to Russia this fall.
"Every time you sell a dollar worth of this product abroad, it helps these great careers for these people that are here, so it's a win-win," Little said.
Other local and regional companies who worked on this project include Norco Welding Supply, Leavitt & Associates, Chapel Steel, Far West Steel, PDM Steel, Tacoma Screw Products, Kowallis & Richards, Page Industrial, Paramount Supply, Kelly Moore, Sherwin Williams, and H & H Xray Services.