AUSTIN, Texas—In his 1,600-square-foot headquarters, which the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) visited during its 2017 State of Manufacturing Tour, Joshua Bingaman is a whirling dervish—designing, packaging and shipping upscale boots to as many as 150 customers per month. A former singer, shoe store owner and coffee shop proprietor, Bingaman is the founder of HELM Boots, a small but fast-growing company.
Today, Jay Timmons, President and CEO at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), and Terry Scouler, CEO at EEF, the UK-based manufacturers’ organisation, signed a Memorandum of Understanding that seeks to promote greater collaboration and partnerships between the two organizations, and to promote the NAM and EEF’s respective missions to strengthen and grow manufacturing in the United States and the UK. The agreement sets forth a number of activities, ranging from information exchanges on policy, economics, business trends and government regulations to potential joint work on international trade, skills development and other issues.
Guest blog by Heidi Alderman, 2017 STEP Ahead Chairwoman and Senior Vice President, Intermediates North America, BASF Corporation
There is a place for us in manufacturing.
I have worked in the industry for more than 30 years and have seen an increasing number of women join the ranks. However, we still need more!
Manufacturers have difficulty recruiting women because many believe the jobs are physical, repetitive and boring—but none of this is true. Today’s manufacturing jobs are highly technical, well-paying and offer a variety of career options with bright futures.
Manufacturing allows women to use creativity to solve problems, contribute to society and connect with others. Women in manufacturing are given the chance to solve the world’s problems, something that not many can say of their jobs. My work gives me pride in knowing the difference BASF makes by creating chemistry that solves the world’s problems.
Growing up, I saw manufacturing become the backbone of the United States. I studied engineering in college because I excelled at math and science in high school. I didn’t quite know what engineering was, but as it turns out, I made the right choice.
For me, engineering isn’t just a job; it’s a mindset for solving problems, whether they are technical, commercial or life-related. I’ve had roles in research, manufacturing, purchasing, marketing and business management, and the work has always been challenging, exciting and fun. Science, technology, engineering and production (STEP) career fields require the unique skills that women bring to the workforce—a focus not only on achieving results, but also compassion for people, the desire to positively impact culture and the ability to motivate employees.
Although women in manufacturing have come a long way, I know we must work together to enhance the industry image and communicate the new opportunities in this age of change. Whether you’re interested in engineering, design or even marketing, there is a place for YOU in manufacturing.
As exporters and lenders converged in Washington for the annual Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank conference last week, they heard a clear message from National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons.
“At a time when manufacturing has captured the imagination of our leaders and the American people, I know our policymakers are eager to implement a strategy that will make our companies as competitive as possible in every market. I see the Ex-Im Bank as a vital component of that strategy.” – NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons (April 6, 2017)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that total hires in manufacturing in February rose to the highest level since June 2008. The sector hired edged up from 304,000 in January to 305,000 in February. This represented notable progress from just 268,000 six months ago. With that said, the underlying data were mixed in February, with nondurable goods hiring up from 139,000 to 149,000 but hiring for durable goods firms down from 165,000 to 156,000. At the same time, total separations – which include quits, layoffs and retirements – decreased from 304,000 to 292,000. Separations were lower for both durable (down from 163,000 to 155,000) and nondurable (down from 141,000 to 137,000) goods manufacturers. Overall, net hiring (or hires minus separations) improved from zero in February to 13,000 in March, its fastest pace in seven months. Read More
Timmons: March Jobs Numbers Continue Encouraging Trend
Washington, D.C., April 7, 2017 – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued the following statement on the release of the March jobs numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics today:
“As manufacturing leaders discussed with President Donald Trump at the White House last week, manufacturers’ economic optimism is at a record 20-year high. Today’s numbers continue the four-month trend of increasing job growth, which manufacturers have not seen in some time.
“President Trump’s actions have certainly boosted manufacturers’ confidence in the future, and that positive change is coming. The president is rethinking red tape and addressing our regulatory burden, helping us to create American jobs and grow our economy. But we are still far from reaching our full potential. An outdated tax code, crumbling infrastructure and excessive regulations make it unnecessarily difficult to compete and win against overseas competitors.
“Manufacturers expect to see action on bold solutions for regulatory reform, infrastructure investment and tax reform, among other issues. We have shared our proposed path forward with the president and Congress and look forward to continuing to work with them to ensure manufacturing’s best days are still ahead.”
Read more about the NAM’s visit with President Trump last week here.
Media Contact: Jennifer Drogus, (202) 637-3090
The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) Manufacturing PMI expanded rather strongly in March despite a slight easing in the pace from February’s 2½-year high reading. The composite index declined from 57.7 in February, its fastest rate since August 2014, to 57.2 in March. More importantly, it was the seventh straight monthly expansion in the headline number, recognizing definite progress after two years of notable challenges in the sector. Indeed, the sample comments tended to echo improvements in manufacturing activity, citing the better economic conditions and robust sales. This finding also mirrors the most recent NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, which found confidence rising to its highest point in the survey’s nearly 20-year history. Read More
The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that the U.S. economy grew 2.1 percent at the annual rate in the fourth quarter, up from earlier estimates of 1.9 percent. The upward revision stemmed from better data on private inventories and spending on nondurable goods and services. This was somewhat offset, though, by a larger decline than previously reported from net exports and slightly weaker contributions from nonresidential fixed investments.
Nonetheless, the underlying trends were mostly the same. Real GDP growth was buoyed by modest growth in consumer and government spending, but net exports served as a drag on the headline number. Overall, the U.S. economy expanded 1.6 percent in 2016, down from its 2.1 percent post-recessionary average. Moving forward, I would expect 2.6 percent growth in real GDP in 2017 – a figure that will likely be assisted by pro-growth policies emanating from Washington. Read More
The face of modern manufacturing continues to change in America, whether it is with General Motors elevating Mary Barra to chairman and CEO or Alicia Boler Davis to executive vice president of global manufacturing, the distinguished tenure of Denise Morrison as president and CEO of Campbell Soup Company, the achievements of this year’s Manufacturing Institute 2017 STEP Ahead Award Honorees and Emerging Leaders or the rise of more women to lead legacy family manufacturers, such as Terry Segerberg, CEO at Mesa Industries, Inc. These signs of progress point to what is achievable today in modern manufacturing for everyone.
As part of our Member Focus “Power of Small” feature for this month, I had the chance to visit with Terry—to learn more about her journey and the great Cincinnati-based company she’s navigating to long-term success. Read More
The Federal Reserve said that manufacturing production expanded for the sixth consecutive month. Output in the sector was up 0.5 percent in February, mirroring the gain seen in January. These data continue to reflect an improving manufacturing sector, with activity turning a corner after struggling for much of the past two years from a number of economic headwinds. Indeed, manufacturing production has increased 1.2 percent over the past 12 months, up from 0.6 percent in the prior report. To put the recent progress in perspective, the year-over-year rate was -0.5 percent just six months ago. The year-over-year number was also the fastest pace since April 2015. Similarly, manufacturing capacity utilization rose from 75.3 percent to 75.6 percent, a 16-month high. Read More