Not Unalloyed Good News, But Still

By February 8, 2008Economy, Education and Training, Trade

The February 25th edition of Forbes prominently features a story, “A Pewter Lining.”

Cheer up. There’s a bright spot in the gloom–a revival in the once moribund mill towns of Connecticut, thanks to the low dollar and high technology. Despite signs of a weakening U.S. economy, aerospace component manufacturers are working flat out, machining turbine compressor blades, high-speed bearings and other parts for jet-engine and aircraftmakers.

The biggest constraint seems to be the supply of $60,000-a-year machinists. “Three years ago everybody was scared and not knowing what would happen tomorrow,” says Allen Samuel, executive director of the 55-member Aerospace Components Manufacturers trade association in Rocky Hill, Conn. Now, “they’re all busy and have very good backlogs, and probably could take on more work if not for not having enough employees.”

There are signs of life nationwide. Aerospace, medical equipment, electronics, even pockets of the plastics and rubber products industry are still growing, says the National Association of Manufacturers.

Valuable context in a time when the media seem intent on reporting only the pig iron.

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