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Infrastructure Week, Tax Reform Top The NAM Agenda This Week

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The NAM and its members were all-in during Infrastructure Week this week in Washington, DC. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons kicked off the week by underscoring the ways in which infrastructure investment can be an engine for U.S. growth and doubled down on investment.

Jay Timmons at an Infrastructure Week Kickoff Event

Infrastructure Week Kickoff Event Panel Session

Manitowoc Cranes CEO Barry Pennypacker participated in a roundtable discussion with members of Congress and the Executive Branch on highways and bridges. Pennypacker reinforced the importance of infrastructure spending during a ShopTalk with NAM’s Senior Vice President of Communications Erin Streeter, and a ShopFloor blog.

Lamach took to the airwaves on CNBC for an interview on “Power Lunch” to say America is in an infrastructure crisis, and Drew Greenblatt, CEO of Marlin Steel and NAM SMM Chair, told Fox Business’ Varney & Co. that American manufacturing needs to lead the way for infrastructure.

NAM staff were touting the importance of infrastructure investment from all over the United States. Robyn Boerstling, NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy, spoke at an event in Indiana about updating the nation’s ports, and Ross Eisenberg reminded us not to overlook the need for investment in energy infrastructure in a ShopFloor blog.

David Seaton, Chairman and CEO of Flour and NAM Board Vice Chair, rounded out Investment Week activities with a ShopFloor blog on utilizing public-private partnerships to finance infrastructure projects.

Infrastructure Week Congressional/Executive Roundtable Discussion

Over on Capitol Hill, Emerson CEO and NAM Boar Chair, kicked off the year’s first hearing on tax reform He testified on behalf of the NAM and told the House Ways and Means Committee that changes to the tax code must be permanent.

David N. Farr, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Emerson, Testifies at US House Ways and Means Committee Hearing on How Tax Reform Will Grow Our Economy and Create Jobs.

David N. Farr, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Emerson, Speaks to US House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady.

And Snap-On CEO Nick Pinchuk was on Fox Business with Charles Payne to talk about the skills gap facing the manufacturing industry. Snap-On was one of the first companies President Trump visited after Inauguration Day to talk jobs and manufacturing.

Good News: Bipartisan Regulatory Reform Introduced in Senate

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In the first 100 days of the Trump administration, manufacturers have seen many actions from President Trump to provide regulatory relief. Now, there’s good news coming from the Senate as well. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) have released the Regulatory Accountability Act, which, in their words is “designed to make federal regulations smarter and more effective so they better support businesses, families, and jobs by modernizing the federal regulatory process that hasn’t been significantly reformed in 70 years.”  Read More

What Justice Gorsuch’s Confirmation Means Immediately for Manufacturers

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On Monday, April 17, newly minted Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch took his seat as the 113th justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Following a highly partisan and divisive Senate confirmation process, Justice Gorsuch likely found relief in the more cordial and genteel atmosphere of the court. With no time to spare on first-day jitters, the newest justice heard oral arguments on day one, waiting only 11 minutes before diving into questioning the advocates.

Justice Gorsuch is joining the Supreme Court near the end of the October 2016 term, with 13 arguments packed into the final weeks of April. Among the cases to be heard yet this term are two in which the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA) has played a role: BNSF v. Tyrrell and Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California. Both cases involve the issue of jurisdiction in state court when companies are based outside of that state and have no particular connection to the jurisdiction. The cases provide an opportunity for the court to clarify the reach of its 2014 holding in Daimler AG v. Bauman and to further rein in the problem of plaintiff forum shopping among state courts.

In addition to participating in oral arguments on these jurisdictional cases, Justice Gorsuch will also help to decide whether review will be granted in three cases the MCLA has supported with briefs advocating certiorari. These involve 1) whether states can alter their obligations under the Multistate Tax Compact; 2) whether courts may disrupt the “free and clear” provisions of bankruptcy law to allow claims against the bankrupt entity; and 3) whether due process is violated when jail time is imposed on corporate officers based on strict criminal liability in the absence of criminal intent.

Looking further ahead, three important manufacturing cases are already lined up for argument in the fall when the October 2017 term begins. Justice Gorsuch’s textualist approach will no doubt be felt in all three. These cases deal with the issues of 1) which court has jurisdiction for challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s definitions of bodies of water subject to the Clean Water Act; 2) the permissibility of class waivers in employment arbitration agreements; and 3) the scope of private rights of action under Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure rules.

The outcomes of all of these cases will benefit from consideration by a fully staffed panel of justices. While the court has done its best to keep cases moving over the past 14 months since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the business of the court has no doubt been hampered by the prospect of producing 4–4 ties that diminish the role of the Supreme Court by simply affirming the lower court’s holding while failing to make new law on issues important enough to have reached the court. At a time when political rancor and divisiveness are at a high point, it is a good thing for American democracy to have a full complement of justices and a fully functioning Supreme Court. Welcome Justice Gorsuch!

Increasing Agility with Business Aviation

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Click Bond, Inc. is recognized as an industry pioneer and a leading supplier of advanced assembly solutions to the aerospace industry. Today the company supports global leaders across the civil and military aircraft, unmanned systems and space vehicle manufacturing sectors. Click Bond’s adhesive bonded fastener products permit installation of systems and structural attachments without drilled holes, reducing customers’ manufacturing costs and improving the maintainability and longevity of their products.

General aviation users and passionate pilots from the start, Click Bond’s leaders have leveraged an increasingly capable succession of business aircraft to deliver the company’s signature responsiveness and support to an expanding customer base effectively. Click Bond President and CEO Karl Hutter talks with Member Focus to discuss how aviation works as a value-added business tool for his company and how it can work for others in the manufacturing sector.

Member Focus: Click Bond’s products are found in a multitude of industries. How do you stay connected to your different customer networks?

Hutter: Our customer base is located across the United States, and about 25 percent of our business is with international customers, predominantly in Europe, Asia and South America. Additionally, our growth has expanded our footprint; in addition to our headquarters in Carson City, Nev., we have a design and manufacturing presence in Watertown, Conn., and a small but growing adhesives facility in Saltney, Wales.

From Carson City, we access airline service through Reno, our closest commercial airport, although the number of nonstop destinations from there are limited. Reaching our primary company and customer sites typically requires one or even two stops with commercial travel. Our team, therefore, spends an unnecessary amount of time on the road away from home and at the mercy of connecting flights and delays.

This is a major driving factor in our continuing expansion of our corporate flight operations. Our customers value our commitment to responsiveness and support; it is a source of genuine competitive advantage. Agility is one of Click Bond’s core values, and business aviation is critical to our ability to deliver it.

Member Focus: As your business has grown and changed, how has your use of business aviation changed with it?

Hutter: My father, mother and I are pilots, and early on, we utilized piston propeller aircraft—a Cessna 185 and then an Aerostar twin—for many of the company’s business trips. In the beginning, we’d have two people on a trip and fly short legs along the West Coast, calling on our customers in Los Angeles and Seattle. However, the increasing need to travel to places like Wichita, Kan.; Fort Worth, Texas; and Washington, D.C., demanded longer legs than what the Aerostar could provide practically.

We acquired the Connecticut facility, and our customer footprint continued to expand. Additionally, as programs grew in complexity, new teams of engineers and specialists needed to be in more places while staying connected to our operations in Carson City. That’s when we made the move to a Cessna Citation business jet. Today we make use of a fleet of three aircraft, including a Citation CJ3 jet for those longer coast-to-coast trips from Carson City to Watertown.

What was usually a two-stop, all-day journey—provided everything went right with connections—is now a five-hour, 15-minute nonstop flight departing right from our own backdoor. This aircraft has been a game-changer from a mission profile and economic standpoint, and the reliability for our team—and customers—is unparalleled. 

My father and I are both certified to fly the Citation, and we personally fly many of these trips, either solo or working as a crew with Jere Marble, our pilot and manager of flight operations and maintenance. He keeps the operation running smoothly and safely.

Member Focus: What has business aviation enabled your company to do?

Hutter: With our need to reach across the continent quickly and reliably, it fills the gaps commercial travel can’t, both in terms of efficiency and flexibility. The economics and payload capabilities of the larger Citation have allowed us to include an increasingly diverse group of teammates on board, representing many disciplines.

That means we can go beyond just having a limited group of senior people at a meeting or a plant visit. It allows me to expose more employees to their customers and their work. They’re not only communicating with customers over the phone or corresponding via email, but they’re also on-site, seeing the successes and the challenges firsthand. This valuable face time builds knowledge of the environments where our products are used and enhances the connection between our employees and the customers we serve.

As a company that puts customer support at the center of what we provide—from rapid turnaround of engineered solutions and prototypes to responsive on-site training and customer support—we view the capability that business aviation provides to our team as essential.

Right now we have the perfect aircraft for our mission, at least until our business drives a great need for intercontinental travel.

Member Focus: General aviation is still gaining traction in the manufacturing industry as a useful business tool. How do your customers view your use of aircraft?

Hutter: Many of our customers have roots in the aviation and aerospace industry, and they know and love that we are true aviation enthusiasts. Click Bond’s aircraft ownership and operation demonstrates that passion, but more importantly, puts us in our customers’ shoes. When we meet with Textron Aviation, for example, our contacts in engineering know we bring not only a supplier/partner perspective but also a customer perspective, and that we recognize the importance of the quality and reliability of their product to their customers, and that our own products must enable that.

Member Focus: What’s your advice for a manufacturer considering business aviation to expand its footprint?

Hutter: Definitely be thoughtful about where you are pounding in stakes—the investment in a plant, a workforce and a community is one of the strongest commitments that you will make. Ensure that the place in which you choose to land has the access to customers, material and other resources that you will need to be successful. Don’t rule out wonderful communities that may offer tremendous advantage but don’t have a robust commercial air service. That’s where business aviation proves to be a valuable asset.

A capable general aviation airport, coupled by your company’s use of business aviation, can make them not only practical places to base your operation but also unlock locations that might be the source of competitive advantage that others might never find.

 L to R: Click Bond founders Charles Hutter and Collie Hutter and President and CEO Karl Hutter in front of the company’s Citation CJ3 business jet

President’s Tax Plan Will Create Opportunity, Improve Lives

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Washington, D.C., April 26, 2017 – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s proposed tax reform plan:

“President Trump has listened to those who feel they work harder today for less or are out of a job. The president delivered on his commitment to put the force of the White House behind policies that will grow the manufacturing economy in the United States and raise standards of living for everyone in our country.

“By modernizing our tax code and making it more competitive, manufacturers—and all businesses—will find it easier to invest their next dollar and create their next job here in the United States. It can mean more jobs, better jobs and more money in their paychecks. It means lifting more people up and empowering more Americans to improve their lives.

“This is yet another item on President Trump’s list of accomplishments in his first 100 days. Of course, the work doesn’t end today. Manufacturers are committed to working with the administration and Congress to ensure the best possible pro-growth tax reform plan reaches President Trump’s desk. The NAM has waited decades for tax reform, and the need is more urgent than ever.”

-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.

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