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Carolyn Lee

2017 Manufacturing Day Moments

By | Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Now that October—also known as Manufacturing Month in many areas—has come and gone, we want to highlight some of the extraordinary efforts that manufacturers displayed under the MFG Day banner.

First up is the whopping 153 events BASF hosted across the nation throughout the year, engaging an estimated 15,301 people! That’s amazing. We applaud BASF for its ongoing work in promoting the manufacturing industry and encouraging participation from all over the country.

Northrop Grumman hosted an incredible 82 events, celebrating with governors, senators and STEM students. The Maryland site held its annual Manufacturing Wars competition, which challenges students to build a model of an Apache helicopter—that’s an experience those kids will never forget.

Throughout October, Caterpillar facilities across the United States celebrated Manufacturing Day, hosting 11 total events. From team-building exercises to hosting tours for high school students, Caterpillar went above and beyond to make this year’s Manufacturing Day a huge success. Check out Caterpillar employees’ 2017 selfies, describing why manufacturing matters!

PPG and the PPG Foundation marked Manufacturing Day with more than $90,000 in grants going to support STEM programs across the United States. The company also hosted 11 events that included plant tours, manufacturing demonstrations, panel discussions and more!

And continuing to contribute to these impressive efforts, Allegion hosted eight events impacting approximately 600 students, teachers, government officials and community leaders. Allegion showed off its outstanding day-to-day operations, and its employees are always eager to participate on the panels, give the tours and show off to the community what they make and the pride in their work.

These are just a few of the thousands that celebrated Manufacturing Day to inspire next-generation manufacturing workers. Check out the top-five states that hosted the most Manufacturing Day events this year:

  1. Michigan: 299 events
  2. Ohio: 257 events
  3. California: 241 events
  4. Pennsylvania: 192 events
  5. Iowa: 181 events

Manufacturing Day is all about recognizing the amazing work that manufacturers do every day. By working together during and after MFG Day, manufacturers can connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the industry. Thank you to all manufacturers, educators and community organizations working to improve the image of manufacturing and engage students in the industry. We could not have accomplished this success without you!

 

STEPping Up to Advance Women in the Workforce

By | General, Manufacturing Institute | No Comments

Earlier this month, the National Association of Manufacturers, The Manufacturing Institute and Arconic Foundation hosted a STEP Forward Google Hangout, where an expert panel focused on how to attract and retain women in the manufacturing industry. STEP Forward is the Institute’s initiative to empower women in manufacturing and inspire the next generation of female talent to pursue careers in the industry. During this live virtual session, the panelists told their own stories and shared best practices covering a range of topics like the importance of getting men involved in the conversation, showcasing females in leadership positions and exposing young women and parents to modern manufacturing careers.

Manufacturers across the country are struggling to fill open positions. And one critical barrier to filling these jobs is that too often women aren’t seeing that there is a place for them in today’s manufacturing. Many outstanding women leaders are making huge strides in impacting this industry and are demonstrating what modern manufacturing offers—rewarding and fulfilling careers with limitless opportunity for growth. Today’s manufacturing employees are building and designing the future, and women in manufacturing serve as ambassadors to move this industry forward.

Research shows women are more likely to look for careers that offer personal and intellectual growth. In fact, women ranked opportunities for challenging and interesting assignments as a top priority when considering their career. Modern manufacturing provides women with opportunity for advancement and long-lasting careers in a range of sectors. On the STEP Forward Google Hangout, the panelists expressed how rewarding it is to be a maker and create products that Americans use every day to increase our standards of living.

Knowing the importance of a diverse workforce, the Institute is promoting the role of women in manufacturing through the larger STEP Ahead initiative, which serves to mentor and recognize women in this critical sector while also leading research efforts tackling this important topic. STEP Ahead honorees and emerging leaders are motivating women to choose careers in manufacturing, and over the past five years, those awarded have impacted more than 300,000 individuals, from peers in the industry to school-aged children.

Manufacturers today must collaborate and work together to diversify the current and future workforce. Showcasing the reality of manufacturing to young women is a huge step toward bridging the skills gap and allowing the industry to reach its full potential. Watch the STEP Forward Google Hangout to hear the insightful discussion on exposing women and the next generation to the opportunities available in manufacturing and continue to follow the conversation at #MFGwomen.

More to Offer: Manufacturing Careers

By | Shopfloor Main | No Comments

As more and more Americans are losing faith in the value of a four-year degree after grappling with mounting student loan debt and unclear job prospects, manufacturers have the opportunity to show the broad range of careers in our sector that don’t include a large education price tag. Many manufacturing careers that come with family supporting wages are obtainable with a high school diploma and some form of postsecondary education, including an industry-recognized credential. Often, when paired with internships or apprenticeships, students can leave a community or technical college program with no debt and high enough earnings to support homeownership and more. Read More

IRS Hearing Day on Family-Owned Business Estate Tax Regs

By | Regulations, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy, Taxation | No Comments

Family-owned businesses and their advocates are watching closely the hearing happening today at the IRS on the so-called “minority valuation proposed regulations.” These proposed regulations, released in August, would alter how families are able to value minority interests in a family-owned company, in some cases resulting in a tax increase of more than 30 percent.

In comments submitted by the NAM and the Family Business Estate Tax Coalition of which the NAM is a co-director and co-founder, we highlighted the numerous concerns manufacturers and family-owned businesses across the economy have about this proposal. Shortly after the release of the proposal, when the potential impact begun to be understood by the business community and as concerns were beginning to be raised, Treasury’s policy team began to assert that the proposal is not meant to reduce the use of minority valuation discounts for lack of marketability and lack of control that are used in determining the value of shares sold to family members in a closely held business. Instead, they were just seeking to target abuses in the valuation discounts utilized by some simply to avoid taxes. However, as the IRS and Treasury teams will hear from the grand majority of the 30 people testifying at today’s hearing, the impact as understood by the tax- and estate-planning community is very different.

Manufacturers appreciate that Treasury is listening and that today’s hearing affords the public another opportunity to weigh in on this rule. However, the negative impact of these proposed regulations on NAM family-owned businesses cannot be overstated. In a recent letter, the third-generation owner of an active manufacturing enterprise explained the potential impact of the regulations:

“Our board has been working an ownership succession plan for years. Stock valuation and financing stock transfer are an ongoing challenge. Stock is transferred through the sales, gifts and redemptions of shares, and the value of the stock is the fair market value at time of transfer. We are within a couple of years of completing the transfer of ownership from the third to the fourth and fifth generations. Our advisers have informed us the proposed regulations will eliminate discounts that have traditionally been applied. If this happens, the cost of transferring the stock will increase by 43 percent. This will put an additional strain on our capital and would lead us to underinvest the capital required to grow or even sustain our company. It means diminished ability to invest in job creating, value creating and value-retaining projects.”

The last line of our member’s letter says it all, and today’s hearing should reinforce what they’ve already heard in the voluminous comments to Treasury, that they should withdraw these proposed regulations and not harm family-owned businesses.

#SmallBizSaturday: Help Family-Owned Manufacturers Succeed

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

Coming on the heels of Thanksgiving and “Black Friday,” Small Business Saturday is a perfect opportunity for Americans to pause and contemplate the critical role small businesses play in our nation’s economy. Many small businesses are family owned and are responsible for 62 percent of the country’s employment and $5.9 trillion of the nation’s GDP. Often with deep roots, these family-owned businesses play critical roles in the philanthropic and economic heart of local communities. Read More

NAM Calls for Withdrawal of Treasury’s Family-Owned Business Proposed Regs

By | Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Over the summer, the Treasury Department released a fairly aggressive set of proposed regulations dealing with “Estate, Gift and Generation-Skipping Transfer Taxes: Restrictions on Liquidation of an Interest.” In comments by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) filed today, we told Treasury that, “Manufacturers believe that the proposed regulationswhich incorporate some of the most sweeping changes to estate tax policies in the past 25 yearswould unnecessarily increase estate and gift taxes on family-owned manufacturing companies by an estimated 30 percent or more, severely impacting the ability of owners of these family businesses to transfer their companies to the next generations.”

In particular, manufacturers are concerned that the proposed regulations would severely restrict the availability of well-established minority valuation discounts in intra-family transfers of family-owned enterprises. The concept of a valuation discount for a minority interest in an enterprise that lacks control or marketability is widely accepted throughout the free market. In the case of a family-owned entity, when there is a transfer of an interest that lacks control and that cannot be offered on the open marketplace, the value of the interest is appropriately discounted. This is not a contrivance but a reflection of the economic reality of the interest. Read More

NAM Applauds Introduction of Bills Protecting Family-Owned Businesses

By | Shopfloor Policy, Taxation | No Comments

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) applauds the leadership of Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in introducing legislation to prevent the finalization of proposed regulations affecting the transfer of minority interests in a family-owned business. Since these proposed regulations were released in August, there has been a growing concern among small manufacturers about the potential harmful impact of these proposals on the continuity and succession planning of family-owned enterprises. Thousands of manufacturers across the United States are family-owned businesses. These businesses, often in their second and third generation, are at the heart of the manufacturing supply chain and are a critical piece of the economy.”

The proposed regulations purport to address what Treasury believes to be abusive tax planning. In reality however, as more than 3,800 family-owned businesses and trade associations representing these businesses expressed in an NAM-led letter sent to Treasury last week, “the proposed guidance is one of the most sweeping changes to estate tax policies in the last 25 years and would be detrimental to active enterprises and family-owned businesses that employ millions of workers throughout the nation.” While most taxpayers applaud efforts to target abuses in the tax system, if the proposed regulations are not corrected, they have the potential to threaten “the ability of families to pass businesses on to the next generation of owners.” Manufacturers applaud the leadership of these members in introducing this legislation and will continue to work to protect family-owned manufacturers so that they can continue to compete and succeed.

Tax and Regulatory Burdens Still Top of Manufacturers’ Minds

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

Earlier today, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released the results of its second quarter 2016 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, showing an uptick in overall sentiment. In this survey, 61.7 percent of manufacturers expressed positivity about their own company’s outlook, up from 56.6 percent in March. This marks the most optimistic manufacturers have been since December 2015.

However, NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray said, “While this survey offers a bit of optimism for manufacturers, there is still a dramatic need for improvement before our sector can regain its footing. This survey, coupled with the latest jobs report, should serve as a stark reminder to Congress that policy priorities, including market-opening trade agreements and comprehensive tax reform as well as addressing regulatory barriers, are top of manufacturers’ minds. If lawmakers in Washington take action on these and other items, they could help reverse the pain manufacturers are experiencing, expanding job opportunities and strengthening the broader economy as a result.” Read More

NAM Applauds Sen. Portman’s Leadership on IRS Overreach

By | Shopfloor Policy, Taxation | No Comments

Manufacturers applaud Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-OH) leadership in introducing legislation to roll back recent aggressive IRS audit practices. The bill, S. 2809, would prevent the IRS from denying cooperative taxpayers access to the IRS Appeals Office in order to seek an independent review of the examination. In addition, the bill would limit the use of designated summonses to cases where a taxpayer is not cooperating with the IRS. The bill also would prevent the IRS from unilaterally extending the statute of limitations on an audit. Finally, manufacturers are pleased that the legislation would prevent the IRS from hiring outside law firms to assist in an audit and investigation of a corporate taxpayer. This practice has already been questioned by at least one court. Beyond the concerns about potential conflicts of interest that this practice raises, the fact that the IRS would outsource this inherently governmental function and expose confidential tax information to an outside entity is a real concern to manufacturers. The NAM urges Congress to take up this bill and put an end to these abuses once and for all.