NAM Weighs In On EPA’s Proposed Cost-Benefit Analysis Reform

By | Environment, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

In June, EPA announced it would solicit public input on whether and how to change the way it considers costs and benefits in making regulatory decisions. As was first reported in Politico on Tuesday, the NAM filed comments outlining manufacturers’ priorities for reform and listed numerous examples of flawed and costly rulemaking.

The NAM’s comments included the following recommendations:

  • If costs and benefits will accrue over a 30-year time horizon, the Agency should provide cost and benefit estimates for the whole time horizon, not simply a snapshot of what costs and benefits would look like in a given year within the range.
  • When compliance with a rule is based on unknown controls, EPA must base its calculation of those unknown controls on realistic assumptions.
  • When costs and benefits will accrue to the whole economy, EPA should model the impact on the whole economy, not just a part of it.
  • The Agency should avoid relying on outdated data, studies and methodologies, and it should similarly avoid being overly speculative.
  • The Agency can achieve the consistency and specificity it seeks through statute-specific rulemakings that allow for more tailored approaches reflecting the unique statutory requirements.

As I wrote in our filing:

Manufacturers strongly support EPA’s mission. Moreover, the benefits of appropriate regulations are clear and supported by the public. The issue is how to enable the regulatory system to address legitimate concerns without unreasonably impeding innovation, research, development and product deployment. Too often in the regulatory process, the vital national public policy objectives of international competitiveness and technological innovation are given short shrift due to other competing mandates. In order to protect public health and the environment, the NAM supports a regulatory process designed to adhere to sound principles of science, risk assessment and robust benefit-cost analysis … In our view, there are three pillars of effective regulatory cost considerations: transparency, scientific integrity and accountability. In other words, the rule-making process should be conducted out in the open and backed up by objective, unimpeachable science, while being overseen by officials who are held accountable.

The NAM’s full comments can be viewed here.

PepsiCo Invests $159M in Indiana Manufacturing Facility, Boosting Production and Creating 50 Jobs

By | General, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

(Photo Credit: Flickr | CC BY 2.0)

Manufacturers continue to invest, innovate, manufacture and distribute right here in the United States, creating new jobs and opportunities. The economy is surging, and the manufacturing industry continues to add jobs while producing more and more for the U.S. economy.

In the latest sign of this exciting growth trend, Frito-Lay, a division of PepsiCo, recently announced plans to invest $159 million in two manufacturing facilities in Frankfort, Indiana:

The Frito-Lay division of PepsiCo, Inc. has made plans to improve its manufacturing capabilities in Frankfort, Ind. The company is investing $159 million into facility enhancements that include adding two new snack production lines and a 210,000-square-foot warehouse expansion.

Two Frito-Lay manufacturing sites currently operate in the town and run 17 production lines. More than 1,100 people work at the facilities. The new investment will allow the company to hire 50 additional employees.

Frito-Lay’s facilities in Frankfort span 650,000 square feet of manufacturing space and employ 1,100 workers.

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GDP Grows at Fastest Rate Since 2014, with Tax Reform Powering Manufacturers Forward

By | Economy, Shopfloor Economics, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that the U.S. economy grew by an annualized 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018, the best reading since the third quarter of 2014 and up from 2.2 percent growth in the first quarter. Robust growth in consumer and business spending and exports boosted the data. Since the end of the Great Recession, the U.S. economy has expanded 2.2 percent on average. Moving forward, real GDP should grow by roughly 3 percent in 2018, which would be the strongest growth rate since 2005.

Indeed, over the past six months, tax reform and regulatory relief have sparked the robust manufacturing job growth manufacturers predicted. The business optimism of our member companies stands at a record high, and 86 percent of them plan to invest in new plants and equipment, 77 percent plan to increase hiring, and 72 percent plan to increase wages and benefits for workers. That is driving the robust growth we are now seeing reflected in today’s report, placing an urgent need to grow and upskill the manufacturing workforce. Read More

Creators Wanted: BASF Testifies on Upskilling America Following Key White House Workforce Announcements

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Last week, I joined President Donald Trump and many of our nation’s workforce leaders as he signed an executive order on a new national workforce strategy. That’s something the National Association of Manufacturers had been urging our country to undertake, particularly the emphasis on apprenticeships and training, to prepare more Americans for the technology-intensive modern manufacturing jobs, some 441,000 of which are currently unfilled. It is a bold, smart and necessary action, at a critical time. And again today, President Trump is continuing the drumbeat at an event in Iowa, speaking with manufacturers and placing a needed spotlight on workforce development.

Think about this: If we don’t change minds about manufacturing and upskill our nation’s workforce, we’re looking at an employee shortage that, according to The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, could be as high as 2 million by 2025.

So today, the urgency to act and do it right took center stage before a Senate committee addressing apprenticeships and future workforce needs, as Glenn Johnson, workforce development leader at BASF Corporation, provided not only his company’s but his own personal perspective.

In the United States, BASF has more than 15,000 employees across 148 locations, of which 74 are production sites and 18 are research and development facilities. BASF is a leader in building the workforce of the future and encouraging STEM careers. Since 2010, more than 410,000 schoolchildren have participated in BASF’s science education programs. And the company is moving aggressively with “Sequence Apprenticeships” and enterprise-wide programs to support future workers.

As Johnson told the committee, he was living in a trailer park with only a high school diploma 22 years ago, when he started his first manufacturing job. He ran assembly lines and stacked cases of product, eventually progressing to leadership roles and taking advantage of a tuition reimbursement program and training and education to climb up the professional ladder. His is a story of how manufacturing and training can change lives for the better.

And his testimony offers a message of how we can do more of that for more Americans. Click here to read the full text of Johnson’s testimony.

President Trump called on the business community to join his effort—to upskill America. Fortunately, our country has manufacturers like BASF already stepping up to help lead, and organizations like The Manufacturing Institute are dedicated to helping manufacturers attract, train and retain the future workforce.

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