Heroes MAKE America: Your Pipeline to America’s Proven Leaders

By | Heroes MAKE America, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

Last week, The Manufacturing Institute’s latest Heroes MAKE America class at Fort Riley, Kansas completed their 10-week career skills program. The program is aimed at connecting manufacturers with highly qualified veteran candidates and arming those transitioning service members with the exact in-demand qualifications and industry-specific certifications they need to not only find a perfect manufacturing career but excel in it.

Sergeant First Class Christopher Fernandez shares why he chose the Heroes MAKE America program and why he looks forward to joining the manufacturing industry.

How did you hear about the Heroes MAKE America program and why did you sign-up for the course? 

I heard about the Heroes MAKE America program through the U.S. Army Soldier for Life–Transition Assistance Program.  They were conducting post wide briefings on Career Service Programs for personnel leaving the military.

What was your biggest takeaway from the program?

My biggest takeaway is the opportunity to network with the companies we toured.  It was a great advantage to see the personnel in charge of HR as well as managers throughout the various manufacturing companies.

Why do you think veterans are so successful in manufacturing?

It’s our reliability, discipline and our drive for success.

How has your vision of manufacturing changed since being a Heroes MAKE America soldier student?

At first, I had zero knowledge on what manufacturing was all about.  The Heroes MAKE America program gave me insight on how relevant these businesses are and how these companies want to hire veterans to work for them.

What makes you most excited for a future in manufacturing?

It’s the possibility of making a difference. I don’t want to limit my ability to make a change with just the Army.  The military has taught me a lot of transferable skills that I can implement within any manufacturing company.

Is there anything else you think people should know about the manufacturing industry? 

There are a lot of opportunities for anyone to be successful in manufacturing.

Manufacturers in Regulatory Limbo as TWIC Reader Rule Fuels Compliance Crisis

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Across the nation, manufacturers have demonstrated a firm resolve in protecting critical infrastructure, their facilities and key assets from natural disasters, manmade hazards and terrorism. The industry prudently engages in risk management planning and invests in security as a necessary component of its business operations. To achieve this, manufacturers need regulatory certainty to make appropriate, economically justifiable long-term investments to protect facilities’ threat and vulnerability conditions. Unfortunately, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)’s Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Reader Requirements Final Rule (Final Rule) runs counter to manufacturers’ efforts to efficiently and effectively protect their facilities. In four short months, manufacturers must comply with a Final Rule that not only lacks regulatory certainty, but also creates significant logistical challenges for the regulated community.

The TWIC reader rulemaking was a long time in coming, as it took the USCG several years to study readers’ performance, solicit and evaluate stakeholder feedback and develop the rule. But when it emerged, the Final Rule was alarmingly flawed. Without notice, the scope of the Final Rule was expanded beyond what was initially proposed and departed from established Coast Guard policy (PAC 20-04). Specifically, the Final Rule requires electronic TWIC inspections at facilities that only receive Certain Dangerous Cargoes (CDCs) by non-maritime modes of transportation, such as truck or rail. It also requires electronic inspections at facilities that only receive, but do not unload, vessels containing CDCs. These changes did not go through public notice and comment—a clear violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Moreover, the TWIC Reader Rule is out of step with the new administration’s regulatory-reduction efforts. The rule runs counter to the White House executive order to reduce regulation burdens, as it would create substantial new regulatory burdens for manufacturing sites and for thousands of workers nationwide.

Congressionally mandated assessments have called into question the effectiveness of the TWIC reader program. In May 2013, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report (GAO 13-198) that raised concerns about the TWIC reader program’s effectiveness in enhancing security. As a result, the GAO called on Congress to halt the promulgation of a Final Rule until the assessment is completed. In December 2016, Congress passed legislation (PL 114-278) that requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct an assessment of the effectiveness of the TWIC program. The DHS has yet to complete this critical assessment, but it is still moving forward and requiring that more TWIC readers be installed at more facilities and in more locations despite uncertainty about their benefits. This situation is creating logistical challenges for facilities that are already in compliance with TWIC visual inspection requirements.

Importantly, for many months, the industry expressed its concerns to the DHS, the USCG and Congress that the rulemaking process was undeniably flawed. The regulated community has relied on representations by the USCG that it would extend the Final Rule’s compliance date by three years, but this extension has not materialized. The industry is very concerned at the rapidly approaching deadline for the new rule, as manufacturers now lack the required lead time to sufficiently plan and install new equipment, infrastructure and software and to train new employees.

Facility security remains a top priority for manufacturers and they want to ensure that their facilities are in compliance with all DHS and USCG regulations. With the compliance deadline looming, manufacturers’ concerns are growing as they remain in limbo. This flawed rule’s compliance deadline must be delayed while the USCG addresses the critical issues regarding effectiveness of the new requirements and the scope of coverage.

New Interactive Tool, Developed by Esri, Visualizes Importance of NAFTA for U.S. States

By | Shopfloor Main, Trade | No Comments

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is pleased to introduce a new NAFTA-focused web application, prepared by Esri, the world’s most advanced technology provider of GIS and location intelligence. The tool allows manufacturers, workers, policymakers and other individuals to view historical trade flows of manufactured goods across NAFTA countries, including by individual state, groups of states, by year of imports and exports and compared to global trade flows. In the near future, the web app will be expanded to include historical, interactive NAFTA import and export data, at the state level and by product category.

This interactive tool developed by Esri, together with a series of detailed state fact sheets released by the NAM on May 4, helps to underscore the importance of extensive NAFTA relationships for manufacturers of all sizes and sectors across the United States.

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