In the final hours before Congress went home for the holidays, it passed a bill that places a priority on innovation and the important role basic research plays in today’s manufacturing economy. The House and Senate both unanimously passed S. 3084, the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act.
Yesterday, two members of the NAM team were recognized for their support as managers and supervisors to members of our National Guard and reserve services. NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Ross Eisenberg and Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling were presented with the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Employer Patriot Award for Supervisors.
Robyn and Ross were nominated by Jason Melton, a policy coordinator at the NAM, who also is a technical sergeant with the Nebraska Air National Guard serving for 11 years and with the military for 16 years.
“Ross, Robyn and the National Association of Manufacturers have been vital in enabling me to serve the great state of Nebraska and my country in the Nebraska Air National Guard,” said Melton. “Moreover, their active support and encouragement has been critical to my success and the mission of the Nebraska National Guard and the security of our country. As supervisors, they go above and beyond in their support for my National Guard duties by providing flexibility and exceptional work accommodations while I am away from the office performing military Guard duties in Nebraska and throughout the world. They are deserving of this award, and I want to thank them for their continuing understanding and support of my service.”
The ESGR is a Department of Defense organization created to work with employers and service members to enhance the understanding of the missions our service members perform. With such a large percentage of the U.S. Armed Forces now being National Guard and Reserve, the employer plays a vital role in our national defense.
More than 80 percent of manufacturers report they cannot find people to fill their skilled production jobs. Meanwhile, thousands of service men and women return home each month, possessing not only an unmatched work ethic but also rigorous technical training and experience.
The NAM and The Manufacturing Institute are committed to connecting veterans to the manufacturing community. Get Skills to Work is a coalition of manufacturing companies and community and technical colleges committed to recruiting, training and retaining veterans in long-term careers in advanced manufacturing and other disciplines.
In partnership with Alcoa Foundation, the Institute has also released an employer playbook on hiring and retaining veterans. The guide, “From Military Front Lines to Manufacturing Front Lines: Veterans and Your Workforce,” contains tips and best practices for manufacturers on resourcing, hiring and retaining veterans.
Linda Dempsey, vice president for international economic affairs with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), testified today at a House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture hearing entitled, “Implications of Potential Retaliatory Measures Taken against the United States in response to Meat Labeling Requirements.”
At the hearing, Dempsey underscored that the United States’ continued failure to bring its Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) rules for muscle cuts of meat into compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations is threatening U.S. manufactured goods exports to Canada and Mexico. The NAM is co-chair of the COOL Reform Coalition, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Read More
The United States House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade hosted an Internet of Things showcase on Capitol Hill today. The showcase was followed by a hearing in the Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade Subcommittee called “The Internet of Things: Exploring the Next Technology Frontier.” NAM members companies Toyota, BigAssSolutions and Corning were front and center at both events sharing with Members of Congress and the general public the transformative impact the IoT will have on our industry.
Big Ass Solutions was one of the demonstrators that brought their technology in from Kentucky to share with lawmakers how the IoT is driving solutions for their customers – and saving them money on their utility bills. ABB shared with Members of Congress its Asset Health Center which allows utilities to leverage new smart grid technology investments. Toyota highlighted the features of its Lexus Enform connected services which enhance the driver experience with new navigation, safety, and maintenance features. Fiber optic manufacturer Corning, Inc. displayed how their latest technology is connecting the IoT and helping to deliver big data to every corner of the manufacturing supply chain. Read More
As part of the Senate’s consideration of the FY 2016 budget, Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and John Thune (R-SD) will offer an amendment opposing the future leveling of a carbon tax on U.S. manufacturers and businesses. The NAM has long warned of the potential negative impacts of an ill-conceived carbon tax program, particularly as other major emitting nations do not face similar cost burdens. Unilateral regulations or additional costs to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will only hurt U.S. manufacturers while accomplishing little, if anything, in the way of global emission reductions.
In 2013, the NAM released an economic study conducted by nonpartisan NERA Economic Consulting, looking at two carbon tax scenarios: one levied at $20 per ton increasing at 4 percent, and the other designed to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 80 percent—an emission reduction level targeted in past legislative proposals. NERA found that any revenue raised by a carbon tax would be far outweighed by the negative impacts to the overall economy. Read More
Manufacturers applaud President Obama’s call for swift action on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) in tonight’s State of the Union address.
Quickly renewing this proven partnership between Congress and the Executive branch is essential to ensure America continues to lead to negotiating new trade agreements that eliminate barriers and open overseas markets for manufacturers and workers. Read More
This morning the NAM and the Global Business Dialogue hosted a discussion about the Environmental Goods Agreement (EGA) negotiations underway at the World Trade Organization (WTO). NAM’s Linda Dempsey, Vice President for International Economic Affairs, spoke about the benefits to manufacturing of a broad EGA, mentioning that, “increased trade and global engagement is vital for our manufacturers. With only a 9 percent share of the global $11 trillion market in manufactured goods trade outside our borders, manufacturers can and should be able to expand commercial opportunities.
Manufacturers lost a great leader. Minnesota Chamber of Commerce President David Olson will be missed greatly by manufacturers, his fellow NAM Board Members and many more across the country.
David left us after a life not long enough, but long enough for joy and love and laughter and good times – and long enough to leave a lasting footprint on the business community, his state and his country.
He inspired all of us and will be remembered by the countless individuals whose lives he made better. David always had colorful stories to tell, laughs to laugh, words to write, legislators to buttonhole, lobbies to walk and battles to fight. He passionately led the business community in Minnesota for decades with great optimism and strong faith. As a champion for economic growth, he provided pragmatic solutions that transcended party politics.
What most of us remember best is not specifically what David did or said, but how he did it – as a unique, wonderful, patriotic and highly intelligent human being. He connected with each of us in some unusual way to get a job done. Through his words and actions, he made us proud and proud to know him.
He was the epitome of hardworking Minnesotan values and a leader among his peers. I was fortunate enough to count him as my friend.
In an industry that seems to grow more homogenized every day, David had very much his own voice. His lifetime of dedication serves as a monument to the exemplary man he was. His integrity and hard work will encourage those who knew him and will continue to benefit those who make Minnesota their home for years to come. Among the best things David has left behind is his shining example.
The House won’t vote on comprehensive immigration reform this year—that’s the recent word from Speaker Boehner. Manufacturers are disappointed. With each day that passes, Congress misses an opportunity to take an important step forward for our economy and country.
Immigration reform is a priority for manufacturers. With some 80 percent of employers reporting a shortage of skilled workers, reform can provide a bridge so employers can begin to close the skills gap as we simultaneously undertake efforts to improve education and training efforts. And, in addition to the practical considerations, immigration reform is simply the right thing to do.
Of course, while manufacturers are frustrated by the inaction on reform, we’re not giving up. It’s not a matter of if immigration reform will happen; it’s a matter of when. Our country is better than our current, broken immigration system. That’s why manufacturers are committed to advancing immigration reform done right—a comprehensive solution that includes a pathway to citizenship and ensure that those who seek it aren’t denied the American Dream.
Individual cases before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rarely get noticed by anyone other than labor or employment lawyers, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t worth watching. These decisions have broad implications for all employers, not just the one involved directly in the case.
Recently, an NLRB administrative law judge (ALJ) issued a decision that, if allowed to stand, would have significant implications for manufacturers and their intellectual property. The judge concluded that Boeing’s prohibition of cameras—a policy that has been in place for 35 years—constitutes an unfair labor practice because Boeing has no credible business need to protect its manufacturing process. Of course, as technology has developed, the rule has captured additional devices, and today smartphones fall under the ban.
Boeing has good reason to be cautious about allowing unfettered photographic access to its shop floor. For one, its competitors and some foreign governments would love to get their hands on Boeing’s proprietary information. The ALJ would make that easy for corporate spies—just go to an employee’s Facebook page and study photos from inside Boeing. In addition, many of Boeing’s products are subject to strict export controls. Making photos of these products or processes public could violate federal law.
The NLRB’s decision puts Boeing in a tough spot, creating a problem where none existed. And, besides, NLRB lawyers shouldn’t be in the business of creating new rights for employees in the first place.
Because of the dangerous precedent this case could set for future disputes before the NLRB, the NAM filed a brief highlighting this overreach and the impact it would have on businesses, particularly manufacturers. For more information about the case, click here.