Manufacturing Survey: Uncertainty Over Government Policy Holding Back Growth

The NAM/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers for the third quarter of 2013 shows that concerns over rising health care costs, our nation’s long-term fiscal challenges and increasing regulatory burdens continue to hold back robust growth for manufacturers.

Small, medium and large manufacturers all noted the uncertainties surrounding implementation of the Affordable Care Act as a top concern, and many are still unaware of their premium costs for next year. Fixing the long-term federal debt ranks as the top policy fix manufacturers would like to see from Washington.

“Manufacturing leaders continue to worry about the long-term challenges confronting the nation, particularly on fiscal and monetary matters,” commented NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray. “These uncertainties, combined with Washington’s current regulatory agenda, continue to hold back robust growth in the sector.”

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Conditions for New York Manufacturers Slumped Slightly in August.

The New York Federal Reserve’s index of manufacturing conditions deteriorated unexpectedly in August, official data showed on Thursday.

In a report, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said that its general business conditions index fell to 8.2 in August from a reading of 9.5 in July.  Analysts had expected the index to rise to 10.0 in August. On the index, a reading above 0.0 indicates improving conditions, below indicates worsening conditions.

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2.3% Can Add Up – One Billion Dollars and Counting

The Affordable Care Act remains controversial as we approach the October 1st launch of the state exchanges.  Leaving aside (for the time being anyway) the employer mandate and the individual mandate one of the law’s least popular provisions reached a rather dubious milestone earlier this week. The excise tax collected by the IRS on medical devices surpassed the $1 billion mark.

The 2.3% tax  

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Lean Six Sigma Yellow-belt Training: A Transformational Experience

Pleatco’s Valerie Lartchenko discusses solutions to the the scheduling problems their company encounters during its busiest season.

For more than a decade the Council of Industry has been partnering with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and area Community Colleges to present lean and lean six sigma training to our member firms.  We have offered courses from the very basic  “Intro to Lean”  to very comprehensive “Green-Belt” training.

“Yellow-Belt” is a 3 day program that provides  

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HV MFG Magazine is on its way to your mailbox

The inaugural edition of HV MFG the Council of Industry’s Magazine and Membership Directory is complete and in the mail.

Published with the help of Martinelli Custom Publishing and printed by Maar Printing Services, HV MFG is intended to raise awareness of the manufacturing sector in the Hudson Valley region.  It focuses on the people and the technologies that make things in the region.  

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FED Reports “Moderate” Economic Growth Due To Manufacturing, Housing.

Against the backdrop of disappointing recent economic data, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book released Wednesday provided a more upbeat picture of the economy, media outlets report. Bloomberg News (4/18, Kearns, Matthews) reports that the Federal Reserve said Wednesday that the economy continued to be “moderate,” aided by gains in housing, manufacturing and autos.


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Survey Says…..

During the month of March the Council conducted a “Workforce Skills Needs Assessment” of our members.  While the results are still being organized and tabulated here are some highlights:

  • 60% of respondents reported difficulty filling current positions
  • Most vacant positions are in the  areas of production, assembly and customer service which require only a high school

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Advocating for Manufacturers In Albany

Tuesdays are lobby days in Albany and during the budget process the place is especially packed with groups there to ask for support of their programs.  Inside the Legislative Office Building and the Capitol you can’t turn around without seeing a group in colorful t–shirts racing to a meeting, trying to catch one of the few elevators or just lost. Outside there are marching bands and  

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“Made In America Manufacturing Act” Welcome, But Other Issues More Important

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney announced that the first piece of legislation Senator Gillibrand introduced in the 113th Congress is a federal funding competition that encourages states and regional public-private partnerships to design and implement comprehensive strategies that spur growth  

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GDP Contraction in 4th Quarter No Surprise to Manufacturers

The news that the US economy shrunk by 0.1% in the 4th quarter did not catch too many small and medium sized manufacturers by surprise.   They have been living the business roller coaster ride for several years and the last six months of 2012 included some extreme ups and downs.

“Late last year the National Association of Manufacturers released its Fiscal  

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President Obama’s Recess Appointments to the NLRB Ruled Unconstitutional

This morning, the the D.C. Circuit Court of .Appeals ruled that the three recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) made by President Obama a year ago are unconstitutional. 

The NLRB’s activist and aggressive actions in recent years have raised significant concerns, including challenges to the constitutionality of the Board’s composition. Today’s ruling gives strong  

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Manufacturing In New York Area Shrinks For A Fifth Straight Month In December – Global Slowdown, Not Sandy Key Factor

Manufacturing activity in New York contracted for the fifth month in a row in December, according to the Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The decline, however, could not be attributed to superstorm Sandy as New York manufacturers said the storm’s effect on business has mostly dissipated.

The monthly report of manufacturing activity compiled by the Federal  

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2013 – Challenges Abound For Hudson Valley Manufactures

In 2012 “uncertainty” was the word that best described manufacturers’ thoughts on the economy.  Throughout the year we it seemed we were always waiting for one thing or another; the election results, action on tax and spending cuts, for a solution to the Euro crisis or for action by the Federal Reserve of the European Central Bank.


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Sequestration Already Proving Disastrous for Small Manufacturers in the Defense Supply Chain

Much has been made of the “fiscal cliff” that looms at the end of the year and its effect on small business across the nation.  The tax increases set to take effect will certainly have a negative impact on small manufacturers, many of which file as sub Chapter “S” corporations.

As this  

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Less Optimistic

The New York Federal Reserve’s Empire State Manufacturing Report for September was a real downer.

Factory executives in the New York Fed’s district were less optimistic about the future. The gauge measuring the outlook six months from now fell to 19.4 from 27.2.

The October Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicates that conditions for New York manufacturers  

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NAM Video to Help Manufacturers Impact Election

Americans head to the polls in 35 days. The decisions we make will shape our economic future—not just for the next few years, but for generations to come. Our economy is at stake. America is at stake.

President Obama and Gov. Romney square off in the first presidential debate tomorrow and manufacturers will be watching with much anticipation. While neither candidate wants America to fail or be  

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NAM/NFIB Survey: Businesses, Manufacturers Say They Are Worse Off Than Three Years Ago

On behalf of the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the National Association of Manufacturers, Public Opinion Strategies conducted a survey of 800 small business owners and manufacturers, owners, or C-level decision makers at companies with between 2 and 499 employees.   

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Business Council of Westchester Study: Closing Indian Point $11.5 Billion Negative Impact

Long Before the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and the resulting disaster at the Fukashima plant in japan, nuclear energy had lots of opposition. Growing up in the 1970s in a college “No Nukes” was almost as common a protest chant as “Make Love, Not War.”

The Fukashima disaster has, however, prompted a renewed interest in the safety of nuclear energy, and provided ammunition  

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“Additive” Manufacturing Catching On

Industrial 3-D printing is catching on as the technology advances and costs drop. This article in IndustryWeek talks about some f the milestones the technology has achieved in its 25 year history and how it is likely to reshape manufacturing in the future.

You may want to revisit our post discussing The Economist article on the coming “Third Industrial Revolution” as well.

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Creativity. Innovation. Technology…..Artscience

Collaboration between the arts and sciences has the potential to create new knowledge, ideas and processes beneficial to both fields. Artists and scientists approach creativity, exploration and research in different ways and from different perspectives; when working together they open up new ways of seeing, experiencing and interpreting the world around us.

In this video, Allison Carruth of UCLA  

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One Ford Plan is All About Flexibility and Capacity

Ford Motor Company is taking another cue from its Japanese competitors with its OneFord plan.  By building vehicles the same way in every plant around the world, Ford expects to reduce its manufacturing investment costs by 8% a year while boosting by 25% the number and types of vehicles that can be produced per facility by mid-decade.

Ford wants to be selling 8 million vehicles a year  

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