Highlights of the June Empire State Manufacturing Survey

The July Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that manufacturing activity expanded modestly over the month.

Survey Highlights

  • The general business conditions index rose five points to 7.4.
  • New orders declined, as that index slipped into negative territory for the first time since November 2011, falling five points to -2.7.
  • The shipments index increased five points
  

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Toll Hike Leaves New York Anything but “Open for Business”

Twenty business groups, including the Council of Industry, have joined together to oppose the New York State Thruway Authority’s proposed 45% toll increase on commercial vehicles. The groups represent over 13,000 companies of all sizes, ranging from farms and grocery stores, to fuel suppliers, lumber mills and manufacturers, who expect to see a significant negative impact on their business  

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Affordable Care Act – Why Small Business Wants It Gone

The short answer to this question is this: “Because they took a complicated, inefficient and expensive system for financing and delivering health care and made it more complicated, less efficient and more expensive.”

Here’s the longer answer.

For at least 40 years members of the Council of Industry have been frustrated by the health care system.  In the early 1970s we were so frustrated  

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NY Times Reports OEM Growth

Reporting on a trend that we ourselves have noted over the past year the New York Times is reporting today that “Small businesses that make machines and components for other manufacturers are experiencing an upswing that could be a sign of things to come for the broader economy.”

The article notes that industries which are growing (medical device manufacturers and oil & natural gas  

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At NAM Manufacturing Summit and Fly In

We are at the NAM Manufacturing Summit and will soon begin our visits to legislators “On The Hill.”  Our first meetings today are with Senators Gillibrand and Schumer.  Tomorrow we meet with Congressman Gibson and Congresswoman Hayworth.

The message we are delivering is to give manufacturing the tools and resources it needs to grow, and that a growing American manufacturing sector  

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Kudos to Orange County IDA for Pushing Manufacturing Worker Skills Development

For more than a year members of the Orange County (NY) Industrial Development Agency Board of Directors have been researching ways to support Orange County Small and Medium sized manufacturers in their efforts to find skilled workers.  The IDA recognizes the importance of manufacturing to the economy of the county and are trying to support it where they can.

Since first learning that a gap  

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Empire State Manufacturing Survey for April: Modest Growth, Difficulty Finding Workers with Math and Computer Skills

The New York Federal Reserve Bank’s April Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that manufacturing activity in New York State improved modestly. Although the general business conditions index fell fourteen points, it remained positive at 6.6.  Some Other Findings:

  • The new orders and shipments indexes also remained positive, but showed only a small
  

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Federal Worker Training – 49 Programs Limited Success

To our mind there are 2 main areas of workforce development, basic and custom.  By basic we mean the fundamental skills to succeed in any work setting, functional math, simple teamwork, proficient reading and writing.  This area would seem to us to be the purview of the educational system and for those not intending to, or capable of, heading on to post secondary education it would also include  

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BLS Reports: On the Bright Side…. Manufacturing Continues to Drive Productivity Up


The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that manufacturing productivity jumped 5.9 percent in the first quarter, reversing the previous quarter’s slower pace
. Output per hour for all workers in the sector rose 10.8 percent. Durable goods figures were more dramatic, with labor productivity up 10.2 percent and output increasing 15.6  

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Governor Cuomo Announces Education Reform Commission

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today established the New NY Education Reform Commission, bringing together nationally-recognized education, community, and business leaders to recommend reforms to the state’s education system in order to improve performance in the classroom so that all of New York’s students are fully prepared for their futures.

The Commission will examine the current structure  

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The Third Industrial Revolution

This week The Economist writes of a “Third Industrial Revolution” arguing the the latest “digital” Industrial Revolution allows for greater customization and flexibility and may eventually lead to a return to more of the cottage based industries that were replaced by the first industrial revolution in the late 18th century.

Read about it here:

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Council of Industry Announces 2012 Manufacturing Champions

The Council of Industry, the manufacturer’s association of the Hudson Valley, is proud to announce the recipients of the 2012 Manufacturing Champions Award. This honor is bestowed on individuals from both the public and private sector and an organization who through vision, dedication, hard work and tireless involvement have helped to overcome some of the many obstacles faced by manufacturers  

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Jobs Report – Good News / Bad news

First the good news regarding the March Jobs Report, The manufacturing sector added 37,000 jobs in March, and manufacturing, as we all know, is a bell weather of the overall economy so this positive number bodes well for the future.

Now the bad news – everything else in the report is disappointing to say the least. For me the most discouraging number was the precipitous decline in the workforce.  

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The Times Gets it Right (this time) on Innovation and Manufacturing

“Innovation — not manufacturing —has always propelled this country’s progress. A strategy to reward manufacturers who increase their payroll in the United States may not be as effective as one to support the firms whose creations — whether physical stuff or immaterial services — can conquer world markets and pay for the jobs of the rest of us.”

That is the gist of the story  

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Election 2012: Voter Education Is Key to Manufacturing’s Success

By Ned Monroe, NAM, senior vice president, external affairs

This January not only marked the start of a new business year; it also kicked off a critical presidential election year. Candidates are flooding the airwaves and social media sites with their plans to improve the economy and support manufacturers in America. Whether running for the White House or the court house, candidates are discussing  

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Gillibrand Announces Support for Skills Gap Legislation

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand cited the Manufacturing Institute’s Survey in making the case for her support of legislation intended to improve the nation’s manufacturing training infrastructure.

Gillibrand referred to the 2011 survey by the Manufacturing Institute and said that “more than 600,000 manufacturing jobs are unfilled due to a shortage of skilled workers. Two-thirds  

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Survey: Rising Energy and Raw Material Costs Dampen Optimism

A NAM/Industry Week Survey of manufacturers shows that many firms are predicting higher sales and employment in 2012, but that the rising costs of energy and raw materials are cause for concern.

Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers, wrote in the last NAM/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers released in December, “the percentage of manufacturers who were  

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Council speaks up for manufacturing in Albany

The Council of Industry as a member of the Manufacturers Alliance spent two days this month meeting with state lawmakers on issues of importance to our members.  Harold King moderated a panel discussion with Assembly and Senate members.  For a brief video clip from that session or to watch Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos speaking to the group, go to our channel at Vimeo.com, 

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NBC Nightly News Reports of Skills Gap in Manufacturing

NBC Nightly News (3/8, story 4, 2:05, Williams) reported, “Even with so many Americans still unemployed, some companies, manufacturers in particular, are having trouble finding workers.” NBC (LeBeau) added, “Over the last two years American manufacturers have hired more than 400,000 workers. At the same time the number of manufacturing jobs unfilled has more than doubled to 264,000”  

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Skills Gap/Business Climate Dominated Discussions at Manufacturing Days

The fact that manufacturing is vital to the growth of the economy in New York, and to the corollary of improving the state government’s financial situation, seems to have sunk in to the legislators and administration officials who attended and participated in the Manufacturing Alliance of New York States annual Manufacturing Days March 5 and 6 in Albany. What should, and more importantly  

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