Drew Greenblatt Archives - Shopfloor

Cool Stuff Being Made: Marlin Steel Wire

By | Cool Stuff Being Made | No Comments

Drew Greenblatt, president and CEO of Marlin Steel Wire Products, takes us on a tour of his Baltimore operations and factory floor, highlighting the people, automation and innovation that enable the company to ship its products to 34 different countries.

Take note, please, of his emphasis on the abilities of the people who work for Marlin Steel Wire.

Drew is a member of the National Association of Manufacturers’ Board of Directors and recently testified on behalf of the NAM before a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on manufacturing, competitiveness and innovation. Follow the company via Twitter @SteelWire.

By the way, this is the first full NAM in-house production of a “Cool Stuff Being Made” video. Thanks to Matt Preiss, James Skelly and Christian Moritz for their work to make it happen. Looks good!

A Small Manufacturer Embraces the Opportunities of Trade

By | Taxation, Trade | 2 Comments

Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel Wire in Baltimore, testified on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers today at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, “Made in America: Innovations in Job Creation and Economic Growth.”

His prepared statement covers the wide range of issues facing manufacturing, drawing on the NAM’s Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and Competitiveness. Highlights included his remarks on taxes and regulation, and Drew is always good on trade issues. He speaks from experience on small manufacturers can succeed by competiting in the global marketplace. From his comments:

In today’s global marketplace, manufacturers in Maryland are no longer just competing against Texas companies that compete against Georgia companies. We face competition from around the world. Foreign manufacturers often must comply with fewer regulations and have governments that use every tool at their disposal to give those companies a competitive edge, frequently at the expense of manufacturers in the United States. The solution is to increase access to foreign markets through trade agreements and to ensure the regulatory environment in the U.S does not put manufacturers at a disadvantage.

To do this, manufacturers need an international trade policy that opens global markets, reduces regulatory and tariff barriers and reduces distortions due to currency exchange rates, ownership restrictions and various “national champion strategies.” Congress must enact pending trade agreements, and the Administration must negotiate additional agreements in the Pacific area and elsewhere.

Again, speaking from my own experience, one of Marlin Steel’s core niches is selling custom stainless steel material-handling baskets to Japanese automakers. As we all know, Korean automakers have steadily increased their market share, and I want to sell our custom wire baskets to the Korean automakers as well as the Japanese like we did this week to Mazda. The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, if enacted, will help Marlin Steel compete on a level playing field with Korean wire basket suppliers.

A House Hearing on Manufacturing, Innovation, Jobs

By | Economy, Innovation | No Comments

Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel Wire in Baltimore and a member of the National Association of Manufacturers’ board of directors, testifies Thursday at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on manufacturing. Here’s the hearing notice and witness list:

WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade, chaired by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), will hold a hearing on Thursday, March 3, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. in room 2322 of the Rayburn House Office Building.  The hearing is entitled, “Made in America:  Innovations in Job Creation and Economic Growth.” The subcommittee will be looking at specific steps that can be taken to create new jobs, as well as to bring jobs back to the United States from abroad.  The goal is to strengthen our economy, reduce the deficit, enhance U.S. competiveness, and restore pride in “Made in America.”

The hearing is open to the public and press. Opening statements, witness testimony, and a live webcast will be available online at http://energycommerce.house.gov.


Panel 1
The Honorable John Fernandez
Assistant Secretary
Economic Development Administration
Department of Commerce

Panel 2
Chris Cummisky
Commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development &
Chairman of the Georgia Centers of Innovation Board of Directors

Drew Greenblatt
Marlin Steel Wire

Douglas Holtz-Eakin
American Action Forum Read More

Pennsylvania Jobs, Maryland Exports, Ohio Manufacturing

By | Economy, General, Trade | 2 Comments

A small round-up of manufacturing-related items…

Carlos Cardoso, chairman, president and CEO of Kennametal Inc. in Unity, Penn., writing in today’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “Action plan for jobs“:

Manufacturing and businesses mean jobs. We need to jumpstart job growth in Pennsylvania, and now is the time. As a resident employed as CEO by a manufacturing company, I cannot stay silent while a jobs-destroying public-policy agenda looms.

For eight years, we’ve had a governor who seriously underestimated the value of businesses and manufacturing to a healthy state economy. Now, under new leadership, we have an opportunity to turn this around.

The economic environment in our region, combined with the fact that we are at a critical juncture in forming state and national policies, means that no one who makes a living from manufacturing can afford to sit on the sidelines.

Cardoso is on the board of directors of the National Association of Manufacturers.

Drew Greenblatt is also an NAM director, and he and his company, Marlin Steelwire, were featured in an online article and excellent video (embedded below) at Slate.com, “How a small factory survives and thrives, thanks to overseas sales.Read More

Billionaires? Talk to This Small Manufacturer about Impact of Tax Hikes

By | General, Small Business, Taxation | One Comment

Fox Business News talks to a middle-class business owner whose company is going to be hit hard if Congress extends only part of the 2001 and 2003 tax rates, raising taxes on small businesses and higher-income individuals. It’s Drew Greenblatt, owner of Marlin Steel Wire, a board member of the National Association of Manufacturers and a vocal advocate for small business.

The segment explain the investments and commitment that have made the company a success, even as the Chinese stepped up their competition for the market. The tax increases would bring its growth to a halt, Drew says.

The reporter talks to an employee, Nathan Myers, who describes the company’s progress: “It’s grown considerably since when I started. It was kind of small and we did things in a very odd way, and now we’re up in the 21st century now.”

The narrator provides context: “Remember, now, we’re talking about a man who makes less than $500,000 a year, his small business employs 30 Americans, growing because of tax cuts, hard work, and innovation in the face of global headwinds….”

And Drew concludes, “It’s very important for the policymakers to slow it down and realize they’re having big impacts on people who are trying to do things…”

Also Holding Back the Recovery, the Lack of Skilled Employees

By | Human Resources, Manufacturing Institute | No Comments

Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel Wire Products and an NAM board member, talked about the economy, competitiveness, and the need for skilled employees in a segment Friday on the PBS Show, Nightly Business Report. From the transcript:

DARREN GERSH, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT CORRESPONDENT: After what you just heard, you are going to find this hard to believe. There are employers out there who say they are having trouble finding good people to hire even in this economy. Employers like Drew Greenblatt at Marlin Steel Wire. How can you have high unemployment and you got good jobs going unfilled?

DREW GREENBLATT, PRESIDENT, MARLIN STEEL WIRE: We have a mismatch. We have people out there that are skilled and trained, let`s say, to work in a retail showroom or to work in a MacDonalds or a restaurant. They are not necessarily trained to be able to know what a radius is or to know how to read a tape measure or to know how to read a blueprint or know how to change a bearing, or a die set in a robot.

GERSH: You can see Marlin Steel Wire`s challenge right here — 51 minutes. That`s how much longer this machine will run before it shuts down and has to be set up again. Now the operator who set up this machine has already gone home for the night. His shift is over. If they could find somebody else to come in and set up this machine, it could run all night long. Greenblatt says he is even having some trouble finding a bookkeeper. After getting more than 250 resumes, he found just four candidates who know manufacturing and job costing. One toured the floor while we visited. And, yes, Greenblatt is offering more money — 20 percent more — to find the right person.

GREENBLATT: So we thought it was going to be really easy to fill this position. So we`re actually surprised about how much of a challenge it`s been for us.

Also discussing workplace skills in the segment was Jerry Jasinowski, former president of the National Association of Manufacturers and current member of the Manufacturing Institute’s board of trustees.

Video of the program is here, and kudos to PBS and the Nightly Business Report for its speedy transcriptions.

A Manufacturer Speaks on Ledbetter, Paycheck Bills

By | Briefly Legal, Economy, Labor Unions | No Comments

From Bloomberg, “House to Vote on Employment Bills; Business Says Costs to Rise “:

Business groups say the measures, if enacted, would increase costs and expose companies to more lawsuits.

“This scares the heck out of me,” said Drew Greenblatt, owner of Marlin Steel Wire Products LLC in Baltimore. The privately held company makes wire baskets for manufacturers such as Toyota Motor Corp. and drugmaker Roche Holding AG.

Greenblatt, who has testified to Congress about small- business issues, said he expects the wage legislation to lead to higher premiums for his insurance protecting against lawsuits. His premium costs about 2 percent of his total payroll, he said.

“I have my health insurance going up and all these other costs going up,” Greenblatt said. “I just want to make wire baskets.”

Senator Majority Leader Reid has indicated that the Senate may vote next week on the bills, or at least H.R. 11, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. If passed, that means the first major bills of the 111th Congress will be those that discourage hiring by raising the marginal costs of labor, as Drew’s statement demonstrates. Odd priorities at a time of rising unemployment.

Andrew M. Grossman at the Heritage Foundation has written an excellent piece explaining the legal issues involved in the Ledbetter legislation, that is, how the bill would end statutes of limitations in filing wage claims. He makes the critical point that, contrary to the claims of the sponsors, the Ledbetter legislation goes far beyond merely reversing the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber.

From “The Ledbetter Act: Sacrificing Justice for ‘Fair” Pay’“:

It was a surprise to many legal observers a year and a half ago that the Ledbetter case–an unremarkable application of a rule settled 20 years prior–would attract any interest at all. But on closer examination, the course of events leading up to the Supreme Court’s decision, and the reaction since, have not been by chance but by design, part of a “perfect storm” orchestrated by trial lawyers, wrongheaded civil rights organizations, and labor groups to achieve a radical shift in employment law.[29] These special interests have an extensive agenda planned for the current Congress. Yet Members should consider each plank of it on the merits.

Far beyond reversing the result of a single Supreme Court decision–one that, viewed fairly, was consistent with precedent and fairly represented Congress’s intentions–the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act would open the door to a flood of lawsuits, some frivolous, that employers would find difficult or impossible to defend against, no matter their ultimate merit. Rather than help employees, the bill could end up hurting them by reducing wages and job opportunities–at a time when unemployment is rising and many are nervous about their job prospects. Instead, Congress should recognize that statutes of limitations serve many important and legitimate purposes and reject proposals that would allow litigants to evade them.

Earlier posts this week:

When One Manufacturer Made the Case

By | Economy, Taxation | No Comments

Nice story at Baltimore TV station WJZ recounting last week’s decision-making process of Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) as he changed his Monday vote against the financial stabilization bill to a yes vote on Friday. A visit from his constituent, Drew Greenblatt of Marlin Steel Wire Products, made a big difference.

From “Cummings Votes To Support Bailout Bill“:

Weijia Jiang reports on Thursday, it seemed there was no doubt Congressman Elijah Cummings would reject the federal bailout package.  Then he had a change of heart.

“We have a gentleman that visited my office yesterday, Mr. Greenblatt,” said Cummings.

And it’s at his office WJZ met that Mr. Greenblatt, the president of a steel manufacturing company in Baltimore who was determined to sway his congressman to vote “yes,” which he did.

“The country is in pain. It looks like we’re on the verge of all kinds of problems, and what we’ve got to do is stop the bleeding,” said Cummings.

“It’s very scary what could have happened. I think there would have been mass layoffs in Baltimore City, and there would have been a lot of unnecessary carnage. That’s not good for us. That’s not productive,” said Drew Greenblatt.

Drew is an NAM board member, was in town — not that far from South Baltimore, granted — for the annual board of directors meeting, and like other directors, went to the Hill to make his case. Congratulations to Drew, and congratulations and thanks to Rep. Cummings for weighing all sides of the issue.

And good job to WJZ, too, which also offered a web extra, the news conference with Rep. Cummings. (Earlier story here.)