State of the State Archives - Shopfloor

Manufacturing in State of the State Addresses: Tennessee

By | Briefly Legal, Economy | One Comment

Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee, a Republican elected last November, gave his first State of the State address on Monday in Nashville. Coming in the middle of a legislative session, the speech was heavy on budget and good government issues, with a productive emphasis on education as well. (Transcript)

Gov. Haslam’s inaugural address two months ago really provided a better sense of his vision for improving the state’s business climate. As the head of Pilot Corporation, a successful operator of the Pilot Travel Centers and now the Flying J truck stops, Gov. Haslam has a well-known record and pro-growth philosophy, and Tennessee is already a pretty good place to do business.

Tennessee boasts a strong manufacturing sector, too, which the Governor highlighted in a recent visit to the Chatanooga area, where a new Volkswagen plant will start producing passenger vehicles next month and eventually employee some 2,000 workers. (Video)

We appreciated his mentioning of tort reform, one of the first legislative priorities Haslam announced as governor.

At the Department of Economic and Community Development, I want to recognize the progress being made by Commissioner Bill Hagerty and his team in a top-to-bottom assessment of how to refocus the department’s assets to spread job creation from one corner of the state to the other.

Let me add, I hope that the changes we have proposed in tort reform will make our state even more competitive with our surrounding states in attracting and landing more high quality jobs.

Gov. Haslam speaks next Wednesday at the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s annual meeting in Nashville. NAM President Jay Timmons is also on the agenda.

Manufacturing in State of the State Addresses: Texas

By | Economy | No Comments

Gov. Rick Perry, the longest-serving governor in the country, gave his State of the State address on Wednesday, along with budgetary and legislative discussions emphasizing his familiar federalism and 10th Amendment resistance to the federal government’s overreach on health care and EPA regulation.

Perry, a Republican, also reminded his audience that Texas is doing pretty well, all things considered.

As this session gets rolling, some folks are painting a pretty grim picture of our situation, so we need to balance their pessimism with the good news that continues to flow from our comparatively strong economy.

Have the doomsayers forgotten that Texas added more jobs in 2010 than any other state? Last year, the growth rate of Texas jobs was nearly double that of any other top ten state.

Some partisan commentators have tried to downplay our economic success by giving sole credit to our energy industry. Now, let me tell you, I’m mighty proud of what our energy industry has done and still does for our state, but our economic strength is built on a much broader base.

Our job growth occurred across a wide variety of sectors, including business services, healthcare, construction, manufacturing, hospitality, and, of course, our substantial energy industry.According to the Brookings Institute, Texas had six of the nation’s 20 Strongest-Performing Metros.

Those figures paint a much more encouraging picture, don’t you think?

Our economic strength is no accident. It’s a testimony to our people, our entrepreneurs and, yes, to the decisions made in this building. Employers from across the country and around the world understand that the opportunity they crave can be found in Texas, and they’re headed our way, with jobs in tow.

The bolded paragraph includes the only reference he makes to manufacturing in the speech.

Earlier coverage of State of the State addresses.

Manufacturing in State of the State Addresses: Minnesota

By | Economy, Infrastructure | No Comments

Gov. Mark Dayton name checked great Minnesota manufacturing companies in his first State of the State address on Wednesday, but mostly as a retrospective of how great the state used to be. He also thanked General Mills its support of the state’s Enterprise LEAN business process improvement initiative, a government streamlining effort.

That was it as far as manufacturing goes. The governor, a Democrat, did spend a good portion of his address talking about the productive topic infrastructure.

Roads, highways, and public transit are to our state’s economy, as are arteries to the human body. If the arteries are healthy, and efficiently transport blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body, everything works at its best. If, however, the arteries become decrepit or clogged, the body’s performance suffers.

Minnesota is at a critical juncture with its transportation systems. Our investments are inadequate to maintain their condition or expand them to serve our growing population. Their further deterioration will seriously constrict our future economic growth and damage our social vitality.

That is why I have asked Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel to present to the Legislature his ideas for better roads, highways, and transit systems, and to begin the discussion of how best to finance them. I invite others with transportation and finance expertise in both the private and public sectors to join us in that discussion.

I ask the Legislature to consider creating a Transportation Finance Authority, chaired by the MnDOT Commissioner, to bring together the best minds and their ideas for financing the transportation improvements upon which our future social and economic vitality depend.

Manufacturing in State of the State Addresses: Oklahoma

By | Economy, Energy | No Comments

Gov. Mary Fallin’s first State of the State address was short and to the point, stating a general philosophy of government and economic growth. The former Republican member of the U.S. House made no mention of manufacturing, per se, referring to the agriculture and energy industries.

Excerpt from the prepared text.

Our nation is slowly emerging from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.  Our state has fared better than most during these difficult economic times primarily because of the strength of our energy and agriculture industries.  But, we have been impacted and too many Oklahomans are either unemployed or underemployed. That’s why my administration will focus on policies that create jobs, that build a better and more productive business climate and that get Oklahomans back to work.  And it is crystal clear in my mind from my experience as a public official, we do not need more government, what we need is better government – and more efficient and effective government services. Read More

Manufacturing in State of State Addresses: Maryland

By | Economy, Energy, General | No Comments

Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland delivered a 28-minute State of the State address on Thursday. The second-term governor, a Democrat, mentioned manufacturing several times in the context of building a “new economy” for the state. The word “green” was used.


As President Obama said last week, “We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.”

To make this new economy ours, we must make the right choices and investments to create jobs by spurring innovation: innovation in the classroom; innovation in public safety; innovation in science, discovery, healing, manufacturing, green energy and trade; innovation in public health, innovation in our own experiment in self-governance.

To create more jobs, we must leverage the power of our diversity,… we must leverage the power of our geography,… And we must harness the potential of Maryland’s Innovation Economy: bio-tech, green-tech, clean-tech, cyber security,23 information technology, aerospace, global trade, and next generation manufacturing

Read More

Manufacturing in State of State Addresses: California

By | Economy | One Comment

Gov. Jerry Brown delivered a short State of the State address in Sacramento on Monday evening. In his prepared text, he did not use the words manufacturing, industry, business or competitiveness. Granted, he has a budget crisis to overcome, and is thus proposing cuts in government programs while extending what were supposed to temporary higher tax rates.

The closest he came to a message directed to business was this passage:

My intention is to make California again a leader in job creation, renewable energy and state of the art efficiency, innovation of all kinds and a solid primary and secondary education. Our universities are world renowned and I intend to see that they continue to enjoy the respect of students and scholars throughout the world. We also have to restructure our criminal justice system, carefully realign state and local government functions, and streamline state government. All of this can happen if we find the courage and summon the will to tackle our budget deficit head on and deal with it honestly and without purpose of evasion.

Gov. Brown might consider this chart from the California Manufacturers and Technology Association and then ask himself, why is it this way? Did the policies I promoted as attorney general and pushed by previous governors and legislatures create this unhappy trend? Have I made a sufficient break with past mistakes?

It’s from the CMTA’s policy document, “California Manufacturing Can Thrive Again.”

Manufacturing in State of the State Addresses: Hawaii

By | Economy, Infrastructure | No Comments

There was no mention of manufacturing in new Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s State of the State address delivered last Monday, Jan. 24.

To be fair to the governor, a former U.S. House member, the manufacturing sector in Hawaii is small in comparison to other states. High energy and transportation costs inhibit industrial expansion. Still, in 2009, Hawaii was home to  1,196 manufacturers employing 24,157 workers.

And why wouldn’t the governor at least mention “competitiveness?”

Abercrombie does make infrastructure a priority in order “to ensure broad distribution of economic benefits.”

I propose the New Day Work Projects. In the time I have been in office, our team has been preparing to launch the central part of our economic strategy—a broad ranged series of capital improvement actions to be called the New Day Work Projects.

The New Day Work Projects will directly attack unemployment and jumpstart business activity. It will provide an economic boost that will reverberate throughout the state. We will utilize the bonding power of the state, partner with willing private parties, streamline processes, and provide work that will result in paychecks for families across our islands.

We will take a systematic and integrated approach to the New Day Work Projects to ensure broad distribution of economic benefits, and we will be thoughtful about the projects we select to make sure they match our long-term priorities.

Otherwise, it looks like the business of Hawaii is government. Read More

Missouri Governor Uses State of State to Promote New Nuclear Power Plant

By | Around the States, Energy, Infrastructure | One Comment

America’s workers and manufacturers need the jobs and electricity that nuclear power produces, so kudos to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who highlighted his plans for a new nuclear power plant in his State of the State address on Wednesday.

In November, I announced a historic agreement that will transform the economy of our state – creating thousands of jobs and benefiting millions of Missouri consumers of electric power.

That agreement put the wheels in motion for the construction of a second, state-of-the-art nuclear power plant in Callaway County.

Missouri has some of the lowest electric rates in the nation. That’s attractive to businesses and families. But as our energy needs grow, we need to be looking now for new sources of clean, abundant and affordable power.

Building a second nuclear plant will create thousands of good-paying jobs for all our construction trades: iron and sheet metal workers; carpenters and cement masons; boilermakers and bricklayers; plumbers and pipefitters; teamsters and laborers; electrical workers and operating engineers.

They built Callaway One. And they will build Callaway Two.

Recent news coverage … Read More

Manufacturing in State of the State Addresses: Missouri

By | Around the States, Economy, Taxation | 2 Comments

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon built much of his State of the State address Wednesday around economic success stories and lists of company expansions, with manufacturing (and Ford Motor Co.) leading the way.

Nordic Windpower USA, is relocating from California to Kansas City. It plans to invest $16 million and create 200 jobs, making wind turbines that produce clean, renewable energy.

Express Scripts is investing $73 million to expand in St. Louis. That will preserve more than 1,000 jobs, and create 150 more.

Pioneer Hi-Bred has broken ground on a $55 million soybean research plant in New Madrid County, creating 50 new jobs and helping thousands of Missouri farmers grow better beans.

Going forward, we will fight every day to help established Missouri businesses grow, and help new ones take root. We’re going to make things in Missouri, and keep the “P” for products in GDP.

Products like:

  • Boots at Redwing in Potosi;
  • Batteries at Energizer in Maryville;
  • Windows at Quaker Windows in Freeburg;
  • Aluminum at Noranda in Marston;
  • Engine parts at Bodine in Troy;
  • Bullets and brakes, aircraft and appliances.

And Missouri will keep on building things, and that includes automobiles.

Here the governor, a Democrat, was able to turn to a huge success story, that one he can tell in parternship wtih Ford Motor Co. Gov. Nixon reminded the audience of Missouri’s tradition strengths as an automative state, an industry supports nearly 26,000 jobs in the state. But given the downturn of the auto sector, there was real concern last year that Ford’s Claycomo plant might close.

So last summer, I called the General Assembly into special session to strengthen Missouri’s automotive industry. We fought for every man and woman whose job was on the line. And I’m proud to announce that working together, we won that fight. Read More

Manufacturing in State of the State Addresses: Delaware

By | Around the States | No Comments

Gov. Jack Markell of Delaware made more specific references to manufacturing in his State of the State address Thursday than any other of his gubernatorial peers we’ve checked on this year. (Transcript) After talking briefly about several government programs targeted at business — the Delaware Strategic Fund and a proposed Job Creation Infrastructure Investment Fund — the Democrat continued:

[To] drive home the message that Delaware is the best place to start and grow a business, we must promote job-creating capital investment. For businesses large or small that are willing to put Delawareans to work in a new or expanded manufacturing facility — whether it be for traditional manufacturing, or for clean energy — we will provide tax credits to support that job growth. We must continue to create a business climate that puts our neighbors back to work and that puts Delaware back at the forefront of making things again.

Historically, Delaware has been defined by what we make — from Dupont’s mills in the 19th Century, to the Pontiac and Chrysler plants of the 20th, to, today, Atlantis Industries in Milton, providing advanced parts design and tooling for customers all over the country, and TA Instruments in New Castle, designing and manufacturing highly sophisticated measurement devices. Manufacturing jobs have provided a ladder to economic independence for countless families and they must remain part of our economic future.

That is why our administration is joining with the Delaware Manufacturing Association, led by Chamber of Commerce President Jim Wolfe. This partnership will build on effective past outreach to local manufacturers on topics ranging from lean manufacturing techniques to energy savings programs. Together, we will work to develop and implement new ways to expand manufacturing jobs.

Excellent decision, Governor, with tremendous potential for substantive follow-up.