About Steve Rathje
Mary and I live just outside Cedar Rapids. I am the Founder and CEO of International Procurement Services, Inc. as well as The Genesis Group, Inc. Mary, is a teacher at Cedar Rapids Jefferson High School and has taught within the Cedar Rapids Community School District since 1980. We have 4 children, 10 grandchildren, with our first great-grandchild (a grandson) coming soon! Please feel free to visit my profile page on Facebook to learn more about our family.
Growing up I observed my parents success as they operated a construction company that they started from scratch in 1961. Often, they worked six or seven days a week, and that strong work ethic and attention to detail is what their company, Rathje Construction Company, thrived on. Today, Rathje Construction has expanded to a location on Marion’s East side and is operated by my brothers, Robert and Kenneth, along with one of my nephews. That same work ethic and attention to detail is what I believe are the cornerstones of my company’s success as well.
I began my career in manufacturing at the age of 18, sweeping steel shavings from a machine shop floor. I then studied to become a machinist, a welder and an assembly technician. Within a few years I was promoted to shop supervisor, and then plant superintendent (the youngest in the company’s history). Not long after, I was promoted to purchasing, as a buyer, then purchase agent, and finally the Director of Outsource Manufacturing. As Director, I discovered a niche in the manufacturing industry, saving my employer millions of dollars and believed with the work ethic I knew I possessed, and a never say die attitude, I could do the same for other companies as well, and all while bringing the good paying jobs they felt they had to outsource to Asia, Canada, Mexico, India and Europe, back home to America where they belong.
That said, in 1992, I took a risk and left the security of a good paying job and formed International Procurement Services, Inc. and began the rewarding work of bringing those manufacturing jobs home to the United States. After nearly 20 years in business, my company has brought millions of dollars of manufactured components home from overseas. The hard work and the risk paid off, jobs are coming home, and more Iowans and more Americans are back to work because of it.
There’s still a lot of work to be done, and I believe its leaders with real life experience, good judgment, integrity, and the ingenuity to both analyze problems and propose bold solutions that will get the job done. That is exactly what I’ve accomplished in the private sector, and it’s those same skills, and the solutions derived from them, that I’ll be taking to Washington if elected to Congress. Iowans deserve leaders that will focus on doing what is best for our future while embracing bold ideas with the conviction to see them through. So if you have any questions, let’s talk. Unlike the politicians you’re used to, I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.