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Julia Smekalina

CMA Recognizes Ed Youdell with Annual Leadership Award

By | General | One Comment

Today, the NAM’s Council of Manufacturing Associations (CMA) awarded the annual CMA Leadership Award to Edward Youdell, President and CEO of the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International.

Ed received the award for his vision and drive of the inaugural 2012 Manufacturing Day. The very first Manufacturing Day took place on October 5, 2012 when manufacturers opened their doors to students and educators to expand knowledge about and improve general public perception of manufacturing careers. Ed was instrumental in making sure the national event was a huge success.

“I am humbled that an idea which started as what seemed like a bit of a pipe dream about how to bolster the image of manufacturing in America and draw attention to its great career opportunities led to this recognition,” said Youdell. “The event will continue to grow and prosper because of the dozens of organizations that now support it and the hundreds of participating companies.”

The Leadership Award was unveiled by the CMA Board of Directors in 2001 and is given annually to the chief staff officer who has done the most to further the CMA’s mission. The recipient is selected by the Chairman of the Council and is honored at the annual Winter Leadership Conference. The success of an association depends largely on the involvement of its members and we’re even more grateful to those members who take a leadership role in the CMA.

The CMA Winter Leadership Conference took place in Annapolis, Maryland on January 18 – 19, 2013. Check out photos from the event here and follow the conversation at #NAMCMA.

The Manufacturing Renaissance on NBC Rock Center with Brian Williams

By | General | No Comments

Manufacturers are the pride of this country and they continue to produce the innovations that are integral to each of our lives and the economic security of our country. Last night, NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams reported on the manufacturing renaissance that is happening all across the country and highlighted the efforts of Mary Andringa, NAM Chair and CEO of Vermeer Corporation, a manufacturer of agricultural, environmental and construction equipment in Pella, Iowa.

As the story reports, it is evident that manufacturing has changed, transforming its operations and products to be high tech, clean and efficient. Manufacturing also remains a bright spot in our economic recovery, fighting against unprecedented headwinds to hire skilled workers and invest in high tech facilities.

The Vermeer Corporation is a perfect example of the manufacturing legacy and the future of the industry. Vermeer has for decades supported their local and state economy and is a key player in the global manufacturing economy selling their products in over 70 countries around the world. Andringa also drives Vermeer to live by the company’s founding principle, ‘in search of a better way’, by constantly improving their products and operations to exceed the demands of their customers.

Andringa remarks in the story, “I think successful manufacturers take charge of the opportunities that are out there. They’re innovative in their approaches and they’re also pretty tenacious. They have to stay after better products, better costs and understand what their customers really want and what they’ll pay for.”

The manufacturing renaissance is happening and it’s bringing with it new opportunities for our country, the global economy, and future generations.

Manufacturers Make Investments That Will Save and Improve Lives

By | General | No Comments

Yesterday, Eli Lilly and Company announced a $140 million project that will expand their Indianapolis insulin manufacturing operations by an additional 80,000-square-foot and will enable Eli Lilly to help meet the needs of people with diabetes and the growing demand for insulin cartridges in the U.S. Importantly, the construction project will employ between 250-350 workers and the finished operations will employ more than 100-full-time, high-skilled and specialized technicians, scientists and engineers.

Today’s manufacturers are pioneering the technology and innovation that touches each of our lives. Manufacturers are not just drivers of economic growth and job creation, but they are also leaders in the development of life-saving medical products.

John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., Lilly’s chairman, president, and CEO summarized these efforts by saying, “the need in our country is great – and it is growing. This investment will help us to better meet that need while expanding our advanced manufacturing footprint in our home state – helping to strengthen Indiana’s bioscience industry.”

Fiscal Abyss Guarantees a Lesser America

By | General | No Comments

With congress going out for another recess and both presidential candidates preoccupied with campaign politics, it seems like everyone has all but forgotten about the most serious issue looming over businesses and the US economy – the pending fiscal abyss. If Washington refuses to face reality and doesn’t take action to address this crisis, on January first we will be hit with $500 billion in tax increases and $109.3 billion in automatic, across-the board budget cuts.

Boeing has launched a new website,, to remind lawmakers that this is a serious threat to our economic security and that these devastating cuts and tax increases will affect every industry and every American. The website highlights the NAM’s study on the impact of the defense spending cuts, which found that the cuts will result in a loss of over 1 million private sector jobs up and down the defense industry supply chain. The website also reinforces the CBO warning that going over the fiscal abyss will mean a significant recession in 2013 and a loss of nearly 2 million jobs. These are numbers that Congress cannot continue to ignore.

With all signs pointing to a severe economic blow next year and the looming uncertainty already effecting businesses and investment, Washington must fix this now. Take action through NAM’s Manufacturing Works website and tell Congress to act before we plunge of the fiscal abyss.

What Did You Do on Your Summer Vacation?

By | Education and Training | One Comment

With the summer months behind us and school back in full swing, some students are fortunate enough to return to the classroom with valuable internship experience that will set them up for future academic and professional success. FMC Corporation took on the challenge this summer to increase the number of STEM college internships – a challenge that they more than met, successfully tripling internship placements compared to last summer.

FMC’s internship program placed students at sites across the United States and even abroad in places like Brussels and Shanghai. Interns are able to work on significant projects that directly helped FMC operations. NAM board member and president of FMC Specialty Chemicals, Michael Wilson pointed out that “through internships we can directly impact the future of manufacturing by showing students the many exciting career opportunities open to them in science based companies”.

FMC’s accomplishment is an important step in the effort to increase attention to STEM education. With 600 thousand manufacturing jobs going unfilled, the Manufacturing Institute has taken the lead on addressing the deficits in manufacturing education and training. Getting students exposed to exciting careers available in manufacturing is a great place to start and we commend FMC on their efforts!

Making Light of Fiscal Cliff is Unacceptable

By | General | No Comments

Today’s Washington Post article, which cites a speech delivered by Sen. Patty Murray (Wash) where she indicated that her party is willing to allow the U.S. to go over the fiscal cliff, is yet another sign of Washington dysfunction. Politicians must uphold their promise to implement policies that will improve the business climate and drive our economic recovery – instead we see unnecessary ultimatums and demagoguery that bring us closer to the impending fiscal cliff.

We are seeing the effects of this political posturing as optimism among manufacturers continues to slip in a recent NAM/IndustryWeek Survey. A weakening in the manufacturing sector will mean a slower economic recovery and perhaps another recession. At a time when our economy is attempting to emerge from a recession, manufacturers need certainty from the tax code and federal budget.

The prosperity of all Americans hinges on Washington acting quickly to avoid the looming fiscal cliff at the end of this year. These explicit threats further add to the economic uncertainty and prevent businesses from being able to grow the economy and create jobs. The economic security of the United States must take precedence above all else – especially the political agendas of either party.

NAM Board Member Tom Easterday On ACA Ruling

By | Health Care | No Comments

NAM board member Tom Easterday was quoted over the weekend in an article by the Lafayette Journal and Courier that discussed the implications of Thursday’s US Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Easterday, who is the executive vice president of Subaru of Indiana Automotive, pointed out the addition costs that employers will incur as a result of the ACA changes and the impact this will have on our global competitiveness:

“The high cost of health care, government regulations and the highest corporate income taxes among developed nations put U.S. companies at a disadvantage with companies in other countries around the world.”

It is already twenty percent more expensive to do business in the United States when compared to our largest trading partners. Unfortunately, the ACA does not lower health care costs and is just another road block that will make it more difficult for manufacturers to invest in their business and workforce.

Educational Day Camp Gets Kids Excited About Manufacturing

By | General | No Comments

Yesterday, the Rockford Register Star ran an article highlighting an educational day camp on manufacturing for 12 to 18 year olds organized by Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajig, the foundation arm of the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, International (FMA). The FMA is a professional organization that works to improve the metal forming and fabricating industry and is a member of the NAM’s Council of Manufacturing Associations.

The camp’s 14 students will spend a week learning more about manufacturing and engaging in hands on projects that include building scale models, touring local manufacturing facilities, learning basic entrepreneurship principles, and working with actual manufacturing equipment. The camp is a unique way to get kids excited about manufacturing and expose them to the technical skills necessary for success in the industry.

Manufacturing is now more exciting and complex than ever before and the industry continues to drive high-tech advancements and innovations. With close to 60,000 manufacturing jobs going unfilled, it is important to continue efforts like the FMA’s day camp to make sure students learn about the many opportunities and careers available in manufacturing.


NAM Board Chair Mary Andringa of Vermeer on the Cover of Industry Week

By | General | No Comments

Shopfloor was delighted to see NAM Board Chair Mary Andringa on the June cover of Industry Week out today.  In addition to leading the NAM’s advocacy efforts, Mary is president and CEO of Vermeer Corporation in Pella, Iowa.  Vermeer’s leadership in lean manufacturing – eliminating waste and improving efficiencies in every aspect of the business to boost competitiveness – is the focus of Industry Week’s cover story.

Mary spoke about Vermeer’s best practices in lean manufacturing in her opening keynote speech, “Let Us Lead: Overcoming the Challenges of Manufacturing in the U.S.,” at Industry Week’s 2012 Best Plants Conference.

Manufacturers Returning Jobs from Overseas

By | General | No Comments

Today’s Wall Street Journal article, “Once Made in China: Jobs Trickle Back to U.S. Plants”, detailed the growing “reshoring” trend in manufacturing as more and more companies are deciding to bring facilitates and jobs back from overseas. This trend is another indicator of the positive manufacturing activity we’ve seen over the past several months.

The article highlighted several manufacturers that have collectively created a few thousand positions here in the U.S. as a result of returning certain work.

“U.S. manufacturing has become attractive for some companies as Asian wages have surged over recent years and the wage gap between the U.S. and China has narrowed. The drop in the dollar over the past decade has also made U.S.-produced goods more competitive. And higher oil prices have increased the cost of shipping goods across oceans, making domestic manufacturing more appealing.”

Even with these positive indicators, manufacturers are still finding that it is 20 percent more expensive to do business in the U.S. compared to our major trading partners. Companies are deciding on a case-by-case basis where it makes more financial sense for them to manufacture.

Manufacturers have added 167,000 net new jobs over just the past five months and 489,000 since January 2010. But we must do more. We need polices to help level the playing field to enable manufacturers to export more. We need a predictable and consistent tax code, an “all of the above” energy strategy, and a highly skilled workforce. These are just some policy changes that will help keep manufacturers in the U.S competitive, allowing them to grow and create new jobs.