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Manufacturers’ Optimism at 20-Year High, According to New NAM Survey

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As Manufacturers Meet President Trump to Talk Regulations, Taxes and Infrastructure, Industry Is More Confident in Improving Business Climate

Fresh off the heels of the third straight month of manufacturing job growth, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today released the first Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey since President Donald Trump took office. The survey shows a dramatic shift in sentiment, with more than 93 percent of manufacturers feeling positive about their economic outlook. This is the highest in the survey’s 20-year history, up from 56.6 percent one year ago and 77.8 percent in December. The NAM’s release of the survey coincided with a meeting of small and medium-sized manufacturers at the White House today.

“Across America, manufacturers’ optimism is soaring, in no small part because of President Trump’s laser-like focus on pursuing bold action, particularly on rethinking red tape to address regulatory reform, to accelerate a jobs surge in America,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.

“As the survey shows, manufacturers of all sizes are now less concerned about the business climate going forward because they are counting on President Trump to deliver results. Small manufacturers—more than 90 percent of our membership—are among the hardest hit by regulatory obstacles. Regulatory costs for small manufacturers with fewer than 50 employees total almost $35,000 per employee per year—money that could otherwise go to creating jobs. It’s encouraging to see an administration so focused on providing regulatory relief to spur manufacturing growth.

“We are grateful for the chance to meet with the president today as we continue to tell the White House directly which regulations are still the biggest obstacles to a manufacturing surge. There is much work to be done, and manufacturers have the solutions on regulatory reform as well as on infrastructure investment, workforce development, bold comprehensive tax reform and a host of other issues.”

The survey shows not only a positive outlook but also that concerns about the business environment have dropped. When manufacturers were asked to identify top challenges to their business, concerns about the business environment fell to third place. This had previously been respondents’ top concern since the question was added to the survey in 2011.

For the past 20 years, the NAM has surveyed its membership of more than 14,000 large and small manufacturers to gain insight into their economic outlook, hiring and investment decisions and business concerns. The NAM releases these results to the public each quarter.

A full write-up of the survey is available here.

Small and medium-sized manufacturers in attendance at today’s meeting included the following:

 

Drew Greenblatt – NAM Small and Medium Manufacturers Group Chair

President and Owner

Marlin Steel Wire Products LLC

Baltimore, Md.

 

Charles Wetherington – NAM Small and Medium Manufacturers Group Vice Chair

President

BTE Technologies, Inc.

Hanover, Md.

 

Matt Barr

Chairman and CEO

Carolina Color Corporation

Salisbury, N.C.

 

Doug Magyari

CEO

IMMY Inc.

Troy, Mich.

 

Karen Buchwald Wright

Chairman, President and CEO

Ariel Corporation

Mount Vernon, Ohio

Patricia Miller

CEO

Matrix 4, Inc.

Woodstock, Ill.

Julie Copeland

CEO

Arbill

Philadelphia, Pa.

 

Ed Paradowski

President

Apache Stainless Equipment Corporation

Beaver Dam, Wis.

 

Joe Eddy

President and CEO

Eagle Manufacturing Company

Wellsburg, W.Va.

Tom Riordan

President and CEO

Neenah Enterprises, Inc.

Neenah, Wis.

 

Kellie Johnson

President and CEO

ACE Clearwater Enterprises

Torrance, Calif.

 

Steve Staub

President

Staub Manufacturing Solutions

Dayton, Ohio

 

Small and medium-sized manufacturers are the backbone of the manufacturing industry and at the heart of the NAM’s membership. The NAM’s Power of Small campaign spotlights their important role, contributions and concerns. For more information, visit http://nam.org/powerofsmall.

What Do Women in Manufacturing Say?

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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 boringbut 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 workforcea 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.

 

Power of Small Profile: Getting to Know Mesa Industries

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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

ShopTalk Podcast: Under the Hood of Modern Manufacturing

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The National Association of Manufacturers sat down with Honda of America Vice President of Business Operations Pam Heminger to discuss modern manufacturing in America.

Heminger explains how Honda efficiently designs, produces and delivers its products and focuses on meeting its customers’ ever-changing needs. She also describes modern manufacturing as clean, bright and innovative and says that manufacturing has always been a part of her life.

Listen to the full podcast to learn more about Honda of America and modern manufacturing.

My Meeting with President Trump

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This morning at the White House, President Donald Trump convened a group of business leaders to talk about growing the economy and creating jobs. As Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), I told him directly what actions manufacturers want to see from his administration and from Congress.

I outlined many of the solutions that the NAM has already compiled in “Competing to Win.” We talked about tax reform, regulatory reform, infrastructure investment and workforce development. But I really hammered home the point on regulations, perhaps the biggest roadblock for manufacturers right now.

For the average small manufacturer with fewer than 50 employees, regulatory compliance costs almost $35,000 per employee per year. And, according to a recent NAM study, manufacturers face more than 297,000 restrictions on our operations from federal rules and regulations. This burden is crazy, and it’s time for smarter and simpler regulations.

It is encouraging to have an administration that will take the time to sit down with manufacturers and hear what we have to say. He was eager to listen, and in private as in public, his commitment to manufacturing was evident. Manufacturers have the solutions. We just need our leaders to get the work done.

The president knows that other countries are beating us with smarter, fairer tax codes, investments in modern infrastructure and a more sensible, navigable regulatory environment. The world can’t match the productivity and innovation of the U.S. workforce, but without meaningful reform, working families will pay the price for our policy mistakes.

Yesterday, I was honored to help launch the State of Manufacturing Tour at Emerson in Austin, Texas. The tour will share with people across this country the same message I took to the president. And that message is that we all must work together if we are going to achieve the goal of making manufacturing—and America—even greater than ever before.

Creators Wanted! Say Hello to the Future of Manufacturing!

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“Creators are wanted,” say many manufacturers across the United States. And the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is taking another step to populate the talent pipeline in America—with a new “Creators Wanted” video and infographic series we’re rolling out during the State of Manufacturing Tour. Over the next week, on the NAM’s digital platforms, you’ll begin to see the makings of the NAM’s new initiative to show parents and teachers, and thereby children, what modern manufacturing really looks like today (and will look like tomorrow). We’re grateful for the participation of Anheuser-Busch, Dell, Emerson, General Motors, Honda and PPG Industries, as well as BTE, Edward Marc Brands, HELM Boots, Marlin Steel and STIHL to help us get this series started.

We hope you’ll share these videos and infographics—because the numbers not only bear out the need but also the opportunity in modern manufacturing. At General Motors, for example, approximately 500 to 600 college graduates are hired every year—and, like the teammates featured in our videos, they might not be what you think of when you envision a “manufacturer.” Picture someone who can develop an app for your smart device. That’s part of an account we heard yesterday in Austin, Texas, when the tour visited GM’s IT Innovation Center—one of four such state-of-the-art operations in the United States. Overall, according to a study by the NAM’s Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, over the next decade, 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will likely need to be filled.

So parents and teachers, let’s get millennials and members of Generation Z heading toward careers in modern manufacturing—a path to not just well-paying jobs but also to career longevity and the pride, and passion, that comes with making something tangible, real for us and our world.

Governor Greg Abbott Declares Modern Manufacturing Week in Texas

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At the kickoff of the 2017 State of Manufacturing Tour at the Emerson Innovation Center, Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos presented National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) officials with a proclamation declaring Modern Manufacturing Week in Texas. The text of the proclamation can be viewed here:

Throughout history manufacturing has played a significant role in creating the foundation for the American and Texas economies. Due to the efforts of great Texans in that industry, manufacturing continues to make significant contributions to the local, state and national economy, positioning itself as a cornerstone of the Texas economy.

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and NAM Board Chair and CEO of Emerson, David Farr receive the proclamation from Texas Sec. of State Rolando Pablos. Photo by David Bohrer

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons (center) and Emerson Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Chair David Farr (right) receive the proclamation from Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos. Photo by David Bohrer

The growth of the industry continues, and advanced manufacturing provides us with new technologies, innovative products and high-paying jobs for Texans. The impact is broad and the contributions of Texas manufacturing companies can be seen in a variety of sectors. The industry remains steady and accounts for 14.5 percent or $238 billion of our state’s total economic output. Further, Texas-based manufacturing operations employ over 800,000 Texans and allow products made in the Lone Star State to be used around the world.

To continue this great legacy, many Texas manufacturing businesses are working to inspire the next generation of innovators. And modern manufacturing, bolstered by technological progress, is creating pathways for enhancing individual talent and increasing wages in Texas and across the country.

At this time, I encourage all Texans to learn more about the vast career opportunities manufacturing provides and the importance of manufacturing to our everyday lives.

Therefore, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim February 22 – March 1, 2017, to be MODERN MANUFACTURING WEEK.