The NAM applauds Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), David Vitter (R-LA) and the group of 15 other bipartisan Senators for accomplishing what is a far-too-rare feat in Washington: lawmakers working together to find compromises and put forth legislation to improve our nation’s laws. The Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), is the nation’s most outdated environmental statute and for years lawmakers and stakeholders from all sides have recognized the need for reform. However, it was not until Senators Vitter and the late-Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) came together in early 2013, that there was any real hope that comprehensive reform was possible. Today, with strong bipartisan support, a big and important step towards reform was taken as the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act was introduced. (continue reading…)
Twelve cities. Three weeks. One message.
“Today, the state of manufacturing is as resilient and robust as ever—and that’s why, once again, America is rising.”
To unveil the nation’s latest manufacturing innovation hub in Clinton, Tennessee, President Obama and Vice President Biden selected a manufacturer as renowned for its products as it is for the cutting-edge technology that powers its shop floor. Techmer PM, a longtime member of the NAM, provided not only a setting for President Obama’s speech but also a first-hand view of manufacturing in the United States.
“At the end of the speech, the president closed his prepared notes, and he spoke extemporaneously and mentioned me by name,” Techmer PM President and CEO John Manuck tells Shopfloor. “When I toured him and the vice president around, he asked me about how I had started the company. He went on to quote that I had graduated as an engineer out of college, went to work for a large company and then just decided I could do it better myself. And then he said, ‘And that story of entrepreneurship and taking a chance, that’s what built this country.’”
Such drive and innovation distinguish manufacturing from other sectors—and sets manufacturers like Techmer PM apart. Techmer PM collaborates with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Department of Energy facility that recommended the company to the Obama Administration, on projects such as full-sized, 3-D printed cars.
These types of projects would not be possible without Manuck’s vision of what manufacturing could be with a motivated workforce and continuous investment. Manuck founded Techmer PM with just six employees and one small manufacturing facility in 1981. Thanks in large part to his commitment to building a workplace where employees feel challenged, secure and proud of being a member of the team, the company has since grown to more than 600 employees at seven facilities across the country.
Even greater potential exists for manufacturing if Washington supports the right policies, as outlined by NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons during this year’s State of Manufacturing Tour. Manuck pointed toward comprehensive tax reform that includes Techmer PM and the nearly two-thirds of manufacturers organized as subchapter S corporations that pay taxes at the individual rate and policies that support and expand global trade, such as Trade Promotion Authority and new trade agreements to reach the 95 percent of consumers who live outside our borders. Manufacturers also need policymakers to take a hard look at the more than $2 trillion in complex, inconsistent and duplicative federal regulations that hinder manufacturers in the United States.
Manuck hopes that by observing manufacturing in action, President Obama will take note of the policies that strengthen our more than $2 trillion sector—the policies that the NAM advocates each and every day. “We need to keep pushing these issues,” Manuck says.
Here is the summary for this week’s Monday Economic Report:
According to the latest NAM/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers, which will be released this morning, business leaders remain mostly confident about activity over the coming months. In fact, 88.5 percent of respondents said they were either somewhat or very positive about the own company’s outlook, and the data are consistent with 3 percent growth in manufacturing production over the next two quarters. Yet, manufacturers who replied to this survey were slightly less upbeat than they were three months ago, when 91.2 percent of respondents were positive in their outlook. Sales, exports and hiring expectations over the next 12 months also decelerated slightly, even as they remain improved from the paces seen a year ago. (continue reading…)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics said that manufacturers added 8,000 net new workers in February. This was slower than the pace seen in the past four months (October to January), which averaged 27,000 per month. Yet, it was with consistent softer demand and production data, with weaknesses in export markets, strength in the U.S. dollar, the West Coast ports slowdown and reduced energy prices dampening activity as we begin the new year. On the positive side, manufacturers have now added to their workforce for 19 straight months, with 877,000 additional employees in the sector since March 2010, its lowest point after the recession. (continue reading…)
Manufacturers are technology companies. Dispel all thoughts of dirty, dusty shop floors and walk into the state of the art facilities our manufacturers use today. With the advent on the internet and now the internet of things, technology is seamlessly integrated throughout modern manufacturing products and processes. With this integration comes the responsibility to keep that technology, the data it creates, and the communication around it secure and private. (continue reading…)
This week, the NAM Board of Directors gathered in Scottsdale, Arizona to discuss the work manufacturers are doing to ensure a resilient and robust sector and to address the challenges we face, including a growing regulatory burden and mounting uncertainty. At the meeting, two new videos highlighting last month’s impactful State of Manufacturing Tour, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons’ President’s Report to the Board and the introduction of the NAM’s new Board Chair Gregg Sherrill’s Chairman’s Plan were unveiled: (continue reading…)
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. (continue reading…)
The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said that growth in manufacturing activity has continued to slow over the past few months, starting 2015 off on a weaker note. The headline purchasing managers’ index (PMI) has fallen from 57.9 in October to 52.9 in February, its slowest pace since January 2014, when severe winter storms dampened activity across-the-board. The sample comments suggest that the West Coast ports slowdown and falling energy prices were top-of-mind for many of the respondents, helping to explain much of this easing. At the same time, the stronger U.S. dollar and sluggish growth abroad were also likely factors, with export orders (down from 49.5 to 48.5) declining for the second straight month. (continue reading…)
The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that personal spending decreased by 0.2 percent in January, falling for the second straight month. Durable and nondurable goods spending were also lower in both December and January, and these data suggest that Americans remain cautious in their spending. Of course, there could also be other factors at play, such as lower gasoline prices and heavy snow storms in some regions of the country. Still, on a year-over-year basis, personal spending has increased 3.6 percent, a fairly decent growth rate. (continue reading…)