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Skills Gap/Business Climate Dominated Discussions at Manufacturing Days

Post: Mar. 8, 2012

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 can, be done to help became the topic of discussion during the event.

Taxes (corporate franchise, energy, highway use) regulations (DOT,DEC, DOL) and other costs of doing business (energy workers’ compensation) remain the greatest impediment to the growth of the manufacturing sector in New York. Legislators participating on our panel discussion felt that the tide was turning on these issues. All believe Governor Cuomo is setting the right tone and moving the bureaucracy in the right direction on these issues.

Rising near the top of issues of concern to NYS manufacturers this year was the Skills gap. An aging workforce, fewer and fewer students pursuing careers in the sector, a secondary educational system tilted toward preparing students for college, and population under the misconception that manufacturing is fading in this country have all led to a dramatic shortage of skilled workers.Throughout the event in Albany manufacturing CEOs one after the other told of orders and growth foregone over the lack of workers to produce the goods.

Lawmakers are especially sympathetic to this issue.