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NAM and Pfizer Prescribe New Campaign to Close the ‘Skills Gap’

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New Medicine to Protect the American Dream: ‘Creators Wanted’ in Manufacturing 

NAM and Pfizer Prescribe New Campaign to Close the ‘Skills Gap’

Washington, D.C., September 4, 2017 – With more than 3.5 million manufacturing job openings expected over the next decade, according to the National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) affiliate, the Manufacturing Institute, the NAM and Pfizer today unveiled a nationwide media campaign as part of the NAM’s “Creators Wanted” initiative. The national campaign is a sustained effort to answer manufacturers’ workforce challenges by enhancing perceptions of modern manufacturing careers through advertising, digital targeting and storytelling about the people who represent the present and future of the industry.

The campaign features Pfizer colleagues at the company’s site in Kalamazoo, Michigan, showcasing for parents and students what’s achievable through modern manufacturing careers in the biopharmaceutical industry. The unprecedented attention on manufacturing in America—by political leaders and the press—has raised the stakes for America’s leading innovation industry to compete for talent and to spotlight the growing number of opportunities for lifelong careers in modern manufacturing.

“There are myths about manufacturing that we need to dispel,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “This is more than a public relations campaign. ‘Creators Wanted’ is an urgent call to action to inspire kids and their parents to see modern manufacturing anew. Too many Americans have lost confidence that they can lead lives that will exceed the dreams of their grandparents or that hard work pays off in the end. Modern manufacturing can unlock the potential of our people and our country—if parents and kids see what our jobs offer in terms of pay, career longevity, excitement and reward.

“For years, Pfizer has been a company that extends its work and investment far beyond its own interests—to lift up our industry and our people. Pfizer has been a valued partner of the NAM, helping us to be a forceful voice for manufacturing in the United States and the workforce solutions the industry needs. We are grateful to Pfizer again for stepping up and leading by example.”

The campaign is the first showcase of stories by a biopharmaceutical company to the NAM’s “Creators Wanted” initiative. In the eight months since the initiative’s launch, the campaign’s social media efforts have reached nearly 1 million individuals. “Creators Wanted” has brought together some of America’s top innovative brands and small manufacturers to demonstrate that modern manufacturing offers careers that are well-paid, highly skilled and diverse. Manufacturing careers allow individuals to raise their standard of living and make products that have a positive impact in their communities and beyond.

“As a U.S.-based, global leader in the discovery and manufacture of lifesaving medicines, Pfizer is proud to partner with the NAM on this important initiative,” said Kirsten Lund-Jurgensen, Executive Vice President and President, Pfizer Global Supply. “Our Pfizer Global Supply team—which includes skilled tradespeople, production colleagues, line operators, process engineers, quality control professionals, engineers, chemists and countless others—is committed to manufacturing high-quality medicines and making them available to patients when and where they are needed. Our colleagues are changing lives and saving lives, each and every day. I am inspired by our shared mission and honored to see our colleagues’ dedication and commitment highlighted through this program.”

As part of the NAM–Pfizer partnership, the campaign will drive attention to the stories of the Pfizer Kalamazoo “creators” and encourage parents and students to see firsthand what modern manufacturing looks like on Manufacturing Day, October 6, 2017, at the Pfizer site in Sanford, North Carolina.

“Unless we change minds about manufacturing, we will have more than 2 million jobs unfilled over the next 10 years,” said Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee. “Manufacturing Day and ‘Creators Wanted’ are our chance to turn the tide to convince parents and students we need the next generation and we have a lot to offer.”

For more information, visit www.creatorswanted.org.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.17 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

About The Manufacturing Institute

The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. As a nonpartisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation’s manufacturers. The Institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification and development of world-class manufacturing talent. For more information, please visit www.themanufacturinginstitute.org.

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Employers Support Medicare Advantage

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The below joint blog post is authored by Joe Trauger, National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of Human Resources Policy and Katie Mahoney, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Director of Health Policy. 

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposal that would reduce reimbursements to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans by about 1 percent. While that may not seem like a big change, it is on top of more than 10 percent in reductions to the program the previous two years – and 14 percent since 2010. This is troublesome for the MA program and those who support it, including businesses. Read More

Let’s Not Harmfully Politicize the Success of U.S. Businesses

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By Former Senators George Allen (R-VA) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)

In recent months, the reauthorization of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank—a federal organization with longtime bipartisan support—has somehow found its way into the center of a politically fueled debate on international trade.

At the insistence of a few organizations that should know better, certain Republicans are digging in their heels against reauthorizing this important financial credit facility for small, medium and large U.S. businesses. For companies relying on the Ex-Im Bank, this is a very serious threat as the importance of global trade to advancing industry and job growth in the United States is becoming increasingly essential.

With improving productivity of U.S. industry and 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside the United States, exports are more important than ever to American businesses, manufacturers and the overall strength of our nation’s economy, including hundreds of thousands of creative working American men and women. The ability to thrive in the global marketplace is no longer a luxury reserved for only large corporations; it is a vital operating strategy for the dedicated people who work in small and medium-sized businesses.

As our own economy hobbles its way back to pre-recession levels, U.S. businesses are competing ferociously for a share of growing foreign markets. Meanwhile, their competitors overseas receive aggressive government support, from development funding to export financing. In fact, emerging economies, including China and Brazil, are now providing nearly half of all official export financing. While these countries are ignoring the “rules of the road” by which the United States and others play, don’t our own businesses deserve at least a more level playing field when competing against foreign companies seeking to dominate the market share?

That is certainly how business owner and Vietnam veteran Steve Wilburn feels after his company, FirmGreen, recently lost a bid on a $57 million renewable energy contract to a South Korean competitor, primarily based on the uncertainty surrounding the Ex-Im Bank’s reauthorization. With a growing international interest in alternative energy options, Steve relies on the Ex-Im Bank’s financing for his clients abroad to ensure he can compete for these overseas customers. He has leveraged that support to build his small California-based company into a world leader in alternative energy. While $57 million may seem like pocket change to some larger companies, that money would have funded new jobs at FirmGreen, hundreds of jobs through the manufacturing shops with which the company works and significant revenue back into our own country’s coffers. Instead, South Koreans will likely enjoy those benefits rather than Americans.

Yet, some in Washington are still pursuing the argument that the Ex-Im Bank is simply “corporate welfare,” using taxpayer money to fund dead-end companies, despite all the evidence against this theory. That messaging might raise some eyebrows on Capitol Hill, but it sure doesn’t sit well with someone like Steve, who fought for his country and is now only asking for a fair chance to fight for his business.

If there is one thing we know about American entrepreneurs, it is that they are committed to working hard and accepting their own personal risk to see their business succeed. The Ex-Im Bank follows the same guidelines. If a business wants to work with the Ex-Im Bank, they must pay a fee, and foreign customers pay their loans back with interest. As a result, the agency not only pays for itself, but generates a profit to taxpayers. Last year alone, the Ex-Im Bank sent $1 billion in surplus funds to the U.S. Treasury and bolstered more than 205,000 American jobs…the kind of jobs politicians always say they care about.

With the Ex-Im Bank’s charter set to expire just weeks before the November election, this crucial service must not be used as a bargaining chip for some sort of esoteric political gain. Instead, Republicans would be wise to take this opportunity to support working Americans who are looking to expand internationally and recognize how the Ex-Im Bank encourages economic growth, while enabling our country to retain its competitive edge and remain a global leader with products Made in the USA.

Manufacturers Comment on McCabe Nomination

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Manufacturers have worked with Janet McCabe in various capacities in EPA’s air office and we enjoy a constructive working relationship. It’s no secret that we haven’t always seen eye-to-eye on several of the regulations the air office has presided over. Greenhouse gas regulations are at the top of this list, and we hope EPA takes a more moderate approach.

EPA requirements for new power plants and their expected focus for existing power plants are simply not technologically achievable.  We know because our members make the technologies that EPA is basing its standards on.  The result will be to make our electricity supply less diverse, less reliable and more expensive.

A more balanced regulatory approach – one that is technologically achievable – would ensure American businesses and consumers continue to enjoy the affordability and reliability that results from an ‘all of the above’ approach to energy.  We hope the EPA will more carefully consider these concerns going forward.

A Resilient Manufacturer

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The news today on Toyota shows how resilient manufacturers are to challenges.  The NAM supports their efforts to be more responsive and customer focused through the major changes they have made.  Toyota is a strong manufacturing, technology and innovation company that supports more than 32,000 people in 10 manufacturing plants in the U.S., with a total investment to the U.S. economy of $26 billion.  They spend over $32 billion on parts, goods and services in North America every year, supporting an additional 60,000 supplier jobs, and they partner on education, environmental, and workforce initiatives in every community in which they operate.

They are a committed manufacturer dedicated to communities and families across the nation.

Timmons: Ex-Im Bank Boosts American Products

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Yesterday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch featured an op-ed by NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons on the importance of reauthorizing the Ex-Im Bank to boost American exports and the economy.

The U.S. Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank is a vital tool to help grow U.S. exports and increase American jobs. The House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 2072, a bipartisan bill that would reauthorize the Bank and increase its lending authority. The bill now goes to the Senate for a vote. According to Timmons:

At a time of trillion-dollar deficits and runaway budgets, the Bank is sending money back to the treasury. In fact, over the past few years, it earned $1.9 billion of profit for our nation.

Last year, it helped nearly 4,000 businesses in the U.S. export more than $41 billion worth of goods. Those exports support 290,000 jobs in this country, many of them at small and medium-sized businesses.

Those businesses, in fact, are the big beneficiaries of the Bank’s programs—85 percent of the Bank’s transactions directly support small businesses. If these businesses lose the tools offered by the Bank, their opportunities for growth and job creation will diminish.

In today’s global economy—with 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside the United States—exports are more important than ever.

Ex-Im Bank is operating under an extension that expires on May 31. The NAM is working to pass legislation to reauthorize Ex-Im for the long term and substantially increase its lending authority. Manufacturers need a long-term reauthorization and a significant increase in Ex-Im’s lending cap to restore certainty and create jobs.

Absent congressional approval, the Ex-Im will run out of its funding ability in the coming months, derailing pending sales of U.S.-manufactured products and harming manufacturing companies of all sizes.

Massachusetts Senate Election: Just Like Starting Over

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Reports from Massachusetts indicate unusually high voter turnout in today’s special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) – that is, unusually high for a special election and looking more like general presidential election turnout levels. In this race, it’s hard to say what high turnout means in terms of who wins – Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) or State Sen. Scott Brown (R). Few expected Republicans to have a chance in the Bay State and the race only popped into national news as Brown began to gain ground in polls, eventually pulling ahead in a number of surveys. Heading into Election Day, Brown seemed to have enough momentum to win, or at least to come closer than anyone would have predicted even a few weeks ago.

Clearly, there are local dynamics and policy fights playing into voter sentiment today but the issue that has dominated the national coverage of this race is health care, and it’s worth remembering that there’s probably no other state in the country where health care reform is more in the minds of voters. Former Massachusetts Republican Gov. Mitt Romney signed the first major state-level legislation to attempt universal health care coverage in April 2006. And this issue was pushed by Senator Kennedy during his entire career in the Senate.

A Brown victory, or even a small victory margin for Coakley, should send a clear message to the White House and congressional leaders in Washington that it is time to start over on health care and get it right. If Massachusetts voters are not overwhelmingly convinced that the current health care legislation is important enough to ensure the Democratic majority in the Senate has the 60th vote they need to pass the bill, it is unlikely to have support from the majority of voters in other states. (Lest we forget, the 2010 mid-terms are less than 10 months away and like it or not, health care will be a key issue in the minds of voters everywhere.)

Manufacturers, too, are concerned that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is so fundamentally flawed that we need to “start over” to have a meaningful discussion about reform. The NAM is a member of a broad alliance of business and other groups that want to do health care right, Start Over! You can see the coalition’s membership and TV spots about the Senate health care legislation at http://www.employersforahealthyeconomy.org/.

Teresa DeRoco Cupit is Assistant Vice President, External Affairs, for the NAM.