Manufacturing Institute Archives - Shopfloor

State of Manufacturing Tour Day 5 Wrap: Timmons Sees Manufacturing Future at Harper College in Chicago, Illinois

By | General, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

There are some days that are special and stand out even on the 2016 State of Manufacturing Tour, which has been an exciting, rewarding, educational and enlightening experience. Meeting with manufacturers, students and community leaders, talking about issues that matter and how to ensure manufacturers continued success is among the highlights, but today outside of Chicago, Illinois, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons met with the future of manufacturing.

Timmons was joined by Illinois Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) President and CEO Greg Baise, Siemens Foundation CEO David Etzwiler and the Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Jennifer McNelly to meet students and faculty at Palatine High School and Harper College. Both schools offer programs that not only encourage future jobs in manufacturing, but also show students how manufacturing careers can be life changing.

2016 State of Manufacturing Social Media Infographics-17

At the event, Timmons delivered his 2016 State of Manufacturing address and focused on key issues impacting workforce and the perception of manufacturing.

Highlights on Developing America’s Workforce:
“Over the next decade, the United States will need to fill 3.4 million manufacturing jobs. But 2 million of those jobs are likely to remain empty because there’s a shortage of trained workers. It’s what we call the ‘skills gap,’ and it affects all of us…through lost innovation, lower productivity and suppressed economic activity. The problem is especially disheartening given how hard it’s been lately for even college graduates to find good jobs…even though manufacturers have plenty to offer. The average manufacturing worker earns over $79,000 annually…$15,000 more than the national average for other industries. These wages can provide a good life for a family while saving for education and retirement. Why, then, are only 37 percent of parents encouraging their kids to pursue manufacturing careers? And why do only 18 percent of students view manufacturing as a top career choice? Because many people don’t understand modern manufacturing. Images of gritty factory floors of a century ago still hold sway. Manufacturers need to replace those images with visions of what manufacturing is today.”

Highlights on Changing the Perception of Manufacturing:
“Want to feed the world? Manufacturing is transforming agricultural technologies to provide plentiful, nutritious food for a growing population. Want clean energy and a sustainable economy? Well, that’s manufacturing, too—and it will require creativity and innovation. Want to save lives and treat debilitating diseases? Manufacturing includes pharmaceuticals. Want to invent the next revolutionary smart device? That’s manufacturing. More students—and their families, teachers and mentors—need to realize the opportunities that exist in manufacturing.” To read the whole speech, don’t forget to check out the President’s blog.

While at Palatine High School and Harper College, Timmons and the team met with students who have a passion for manufacturing.

IL Blog Wrap2
Leading into today’s event and highlighting the key workforce issues, Timmons and Baise had an op-ed run in a popular Chicago area political blog.

Joint Op-Ed in ReBoot Illinois: U.S., Illinois Manufacturing Depends on Educated Workforce for 21st Century
By Jay Timmons and Greg Baise

No matter what issues the presidential candidates raise in their speeches, this election is about one thing: What will be the future of the United States?

If we want a future that produces better opportunities and raising standards of living, then we need to strengthen our global economic leadership. To do that, we will have to marshal all the human talent available to us.

Unfortunately, there are barriers preventing us from producing a workforce worthy of our people and our potential. To read the full op-ed, check it out here.

Media Wrap
Leading up to the event, Timmons was on Chicago’s WIND AM 560 – The Answer with Dan Proft. Listen to the show here. Timmons also appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” with Rick Santelli live from the Chicago Board of Trade.


Social Media Wrap Day 5
We came to Chicago excited for what the Windy City has to offer. Check out the highlights from our social media and don’t forget to follow @shopfloorNAM on Twitter and Shopfloor on Facebook for the latest updates from the road.

SM Wrap

Want to keep in touch with the NAM as we continue on the 2016 State of Manufacturing Tour? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter @shopfloorNAM and online at www.nam.org/stateofmfg and share your tweets and pics with #stateofmfg and #weareMFG.

Manufacturers Need a Functional Immigration System

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A recent report released by the Manufacturing Institute shows that 82 percent of manufacturers have a moderate to severe shortage of highly skilled applicants and face reduced earnings of up to 11 percent annually due to skills shortages. These facts bear out the plain and simple fact that there are not enough highly-skilled workers to meet the increasingly technological demands of manufacturing. This is true despite manufacturing employees being compensated almost 9 percent more than other industries and manufacturers spending an average of $1500 per employee per year on training.

To help fill this gap, manufacturers may attempt to recruit foreign-born workers through the use of H-1B visas, a limited but valuable method of ensuring that the next generation of innovation comes from the US. This issue affects manufacturers from California to New York in all manufacturing sectors from what people traditionally think of as hi-tech industries to heavy equipment and metal fabricating –  and many of these potential employees are recruited because they are graduating from U.S. universities with the skills and training manufacturers are looking for. Read More

NY Fed: Growth in Manufacturing Activity Slowed Considerably in October

By | Economy | No Comments

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey from the New York Federal Reserve Bank showed growth in manufacturing activity slowing considerably in October. The composite index of general business conditions declined from 27.5 in September to 6.2 in October, its lowest level in six months. Indeed, one –quarter of those taking the survey said that conditions had improved in October, down from 46.0 percent who said the same thing in September.  As such, manufacturers in the New York Fed’s district were clearly more anxious this month, a disappointment after signs of relative strength in the sector from May to September.

A decrease in new orders (down from 16.9 to -1.7) helped to explain the change in sentiment. The percentage of respondents suggesting that sales had increased in the month dropped from 40.1 percent in September to 21.9 percent in October, a shift that produced the change in direction for the new orders index. Growth in shipments (down from 27.1 to 1.1) followed the same pattern, but with the percentage of firms saying that shipments had declined in the month jumping from 16.7 percent to 25.0 percent.

On the positive side, manufacturing activity has now expanded for 21 months, and businesses have reported rebounding levels of activity overall since earlier in the year. In addition, employment (up from 3.3 to 10.2) picked up somewhat in October. Pricing pressures (down from 23.9 to 11.4) have also eased.

Looking ahead six months, manufacturers in the New York Fed region remain mostly optimistic. While many of the forward-looking measures pulled back slightly in October, they still indicate expected strength in the outlook. For instance, 52.9 percent of respondents anticipate higher levels of new orders over the coming months, down from 57.1 percent in the prior survey. Nearly 24 percent expect to add more workers over the next six months, with 34.1 percent planning additional capital expenditures. These figures tend to indicate a brighter future for manufacturers, even if the current sales and shipments data are soft.

Chad Moutray is the chief economist, National Association of Manufacturers. 

Veterans are Strengthening the Manufacturing Workforce

By | Education and Training, Manufacturing Institute | No Comments

Veterans enter the civilian workforce every day.  Unfortunately, there are more veterans than open jobs—as a roughly 8 percent unemployment rate among veterans indicates.

After bravely serving our country, veterans deserve a hero’s welcome. They also deserve a good job, and manufacturers are stepping up to make that happen. Across the country, manufacturers are looking for ways to introduce veterans to manufacturing and get them to work.

Take Hoerbiger Corporation of America. When the Florida-based manufacturer saw a need for skilled machinists, it saw veterans as a natural fit.  As the Sun-Sentinel reports,

 [E]arlier this year the company developed a training program to fill the gap and began recruiting veterans.

They tend to exhibit “maturity, discipline, tenacity and an ability to get the job done,” said David Gonzalez, the company’s human resources manager. He recruited veterans in May at the Paychecks for Patriots job fair in Dania Beach.

The result: Seven of the 12 machinists put through the program are military veterans.

To help train these individuals, Hoerbiger turned to another manufacturer and a cutting-edge educational system.

Hoerbiger trained the group with the help of new machine simulation software by Machining Training Solutions, a Longwood, Fla., company operated by Al Stimac, president of the Manufacturers Association of Florida. Ten to 12 workers can be trained at a time with the interactive software.

“My whole concept was to train using the methods that students are used to, such as today an iPad or a computer. The learning curve is reduced drastically,” Stimac said.

There are similar stories across the country. The National Association of Manufacturers through the Manufacturing Institute is working with a number of manufacturers are part of the Get Skills to Work program.  This initiative matches the skills veterans received in the military to skills coveted by manufacturers. If veterans need to learn new skills, the Institute and its partners can help them earn those credentials through partnerships with community colleges and other educational institutions.

Manufacturers are helping veterans transition from the military in other ways as well. In addition to its efforts to recruit veterans to its workforce, Whirlpool Corporation recently became the official appliance sponsor of Homes for Our Troops, a non-profit initiative dedicated to building homes for severely injured veterans.

It’s the least manufacturers can do for the men and women who make great sacrifices to safeguard our freedom.

Time to Fix our Broken Visa System

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April 1 is the start date for the Citizenship and Immigration Services to accept H1B petitions for the new fiscal year. Today is also April Fool’s Day and if a company needs a high-tech worker, but doesn’t apply within the next couple of days, the chances of them getting a visa are the joke.

Petitions are expected to exceed the annual the cap of 65,000 either today or in the next few days. That means that anyone looking to hire a highly-skilled foreign-born candidate who has not applied on April 1 will likely not be able to hire that talented individual this year – and this is not a new phenomenon.

Each year, even during the darkest days of the economic turndown, the cap was reached before the end of the year. As a result, the U.S. is losing highly-educated and highly-skilled talent to other countries. Thousands of students come to the U.S. from around the world to enroll in our colleges and universities, but when they’re done with their programs we send them back home to compete against us due to a lack of visas.  This system needs to be fixed and we are on the verge of making that happen.

In February, Senators Hatch, Klobuchar, Rubio and Coons introduced the Innovation Immigration Act or I-Squared Act. The bill focuses on this problem as well as the long-time back-log of green cards. The NAM sent a letter in support of this legislation and is now submitting a letter along with nearly 60 companies and organizations that see the need for reform and see the I-squared bill as the best way forward.

Today is the annual milestone that often marks the broken system and we are putting forward our support for legislation that will change it. We need to stop playing the fool and start focusing on policies that will strengthen our economy – enacting I-Squared through a common-sense immigration reform package will do just that.

Joe Trauger is vice president of human resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.

Presidential Candidates Talk Manufacturing

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With all eyes shifting from Iowa to New Hampshire, the six remaining Republican presidential candidates gathered for two debates in the Granite State this past weekend.

Both debates featured the full ensemble – Speaker Newt Gingrich, Gov. Jon Huntsman, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Rick Santorum and Gov. Mitt Romney.

Saturday night’s ABC News and Yahoo! News debate encompassed a variety of issues, the obstacles to growing our economy and creating jobs. Sen. Santorum highlighted the NAM’s cost study, which shows that it is 20 percent more expensive to do business in the United States. This figure excludes labor costs. The cost burden rose from a 2008 report which put it at 17.6 percent. The report indicates the increase is due to widening gaps in regards to corporate tax rates and employee benefits.

While we have emerged from the economic recession, we are still facing challenging times. Unemployment remains at 8.5 percent and employers frequently cite “uncertainty” as their reasons for not expanding. This in turn, lowers our competitive edge. These topics were also echoed during Sunday’s NBC News and Facebook debate.

Several other candidates, including Gov. Romney and Gov. Huntsman discussed the need to become more competitive and Speaker Gingrich reiterated his plan to lower the corporate tax rate.

Manufacturing needs to be at the forefront of our economic recovery and it is encouraging to see presidential hopefuls talk about the need for a “manufacturing renaissance.” The National Association of Manufacturers is hopeful that the candidates will continue to discuss their manufacturing plans during the upcoming South Carolina and Florida debates.

Update: More Concern over IWG Guidelines

By | Regulations | No Comments

Earlier this week we told you about the letters expressing increasing concern from members of Congress about the new Interagency Working Group (IWG) guidelines for food marketing to children.  This week two additional letters have been sent to the IWG agencies from freshman Republicans and moderate Democrats, respectively, outlining their concerns.

  • July 27: 65 freshman Republicans urge the IWG agencies to consider withdrawing the proposed guidelines.  The letter highlights how healthy foods such as 2% milk, soups, cereals and breads could not be marketed to children based on the IWG proposal.  The Representatives urge the IWG to complete a study as Congress directed. They write: “Absent such a study, it would be irresponsible to continue promoting the Interagency Working Group’s principles without sufficient research and analysis.”
  • July 26: 34 moderate Democrats sent a letter to IWG agency heads expressing concern over the data used in the group’s analysis. The Reps. write:  “[W]e believe that additional information is needed on the economic costs and benefits in order to make a proper assessment of this proposal.”

President Obama to Host Event on Improving the Manufacturing Workforce

By | Education and Training | No Comments

This morning at 11:30 President Obama will speak an event at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria to announce an industry led initiative to improve partnerships with community colleges to help develop a better skilled workforce for today’s manufacturing jobs. The President will highlight the Manufacturing Institute’s NAM-Endorsed Skills Certification System as a solution to meeting the goal of credentialing 500,000 community college students in the next five years.

The event will be streamed live online at nam.org.

Read the statement from NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and from Manufacturing Institute President Emily DeRocco.

Democracy’s Colleges, Skills and the Manufacturing Sector

By | Education and Training, Manufacturing Institute | One Comment

George R. Boggs, president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), prepared a briefing paper for the White House Summit on Community Colleges, “Democracy’s Colleges: The Evolution of the Community College in America.”

Page 10 is headed, “A Skilled Workforce Is Key to Economic Recovery and Future Competitiveness.” Excerpt:

The current economic recession has underscored the essential role that community colleges play in preparing the nation’s workforce. As the economy faltered, community college enrollment surged by close to 17% nationwide between fall 2007 and fall 2009, comprising both new high school graduates seeking affordable entry into college and adult learners looking for training to allow them to keep their jobs or move into new careers. In communities where whole industries have been lose through plant closures, community colleges have focused on intensive customized services and classes for displaced workers. Colleges have developed partnerships and training alternative to help resuscitate their communities. The rise in student numbers, while shrinking revenues force state and local policymakers to reduce support colleges, presents a need for large and small colleges to do more with less. Read More

H.R. 4072, Improving Workforce Training, Skills

By | Education and Training, General, Manufacturing Institute | 3 Comments

One bill that should definitely not be overlooked among the 85 measures on today’s House suspension calendar is H.R.4072, the AMERICA Works Act. In fact, this bill stands out for embracing an important approach toward training that offers opportunities both to manufacturers and manufacturing employees.

Each year the federal government invests billions of dollars in workforce training programs with a limited impact. This bill responds by giving priority to education and training funds that lead toward skills credentials that offer real value in the workplace for both workers and employers. The legislation also recognizes the need for a strong technical workforce in America and the value of industry-recognized, nationally portable credentials such as the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System developed by The Manufacturing Institute.

Employers rely on workers with the right skills to drive innovation, productivity and global competitiveness. As manufacturers continue to lead the economic recovery and job creation in the United States, they need a skilled workforce. The Manufacturing Skills Certification System provides new and transitioning workers a clear pathway to in-demand skills so they can prepare for good, high-paying jobs in manufacturing. We urge the House to pass this legislation and the Senate to act quickly on this important legislation.

More …

Introductory statement by Rep. Walter Minnick (D-ID), Nov. 18, 2009, “Minnick authors major job-training bill,” which included a statement of support from Emily DeRocco, NAM senior vice president and head of the Manufacturing Institute.

In tough economic times with high unemployment and the loss of jobs, it is difficult to focus on workforce-skills development. In reality, we have no better time. True economic reform means not only righting our economic ship, but also pursuing the strategies that will ensure we maintain our manufacturing competitiveness and provide the best possible pathways to employment in high-quality, middle-class jobs for all workers. We commend Congressman Minnick and his colleagues for introducing this bill, which will help ensure both new and transitioning workers have the education and skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century manufacturing economy.