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NAM Releases a Plan for Significant Infrastructure Investment

From NAM (National Association of Manufacturers) By Michael Short

National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement ahead of tomorrow’s White House infrastructure meeting:

“Every year, America is falling further behind on infrastructure. Investment is currently only one-third of what it was in 1960, and without action on infrastructure, we will lose 5.8 million jobs by 2040. Any serious legislative proposal must fix the Highway Trust Fund—through various user fees—and be transformational in its scope so that manufacturers and the country are positioned for future success. That’s why manufacturers are calling for at least $1 trillion in much needed new investment. Millions of jobs and our nation’s competitiveness are at stake, and it is time for our elected leaders to act.”

Link to NAM’s Press Release

In February, the NAM released “Building to Win”—an ambitious initiative to revitalize our nation’s failing infrastructure. Originally released ahead of the 2016 elections, the updated proposal serves as a blueprint to repair our roads, bridges, rails, airports, ports and waterways and revolutionize the infrastructure that makes the American Dream possible. It represents manufacturers’ vision for the path forward—one that will enhance the competitiveness of manufacturers and improve the lives of manufacturing workers and all Americans.

Read NAM’s report Building to Win

 

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Employee Compensation Continues to Rise

From NAM Input (National Association of Manufacturers)

American workers saw their pay and benefits increase 0.7 percent in the first quarter, reports the AP. More:

  • “The data, released Tuesday by the Labor Department, suggests that growth in workers’ compensation has stalled in recent months. In the first quarter, wages and benefits increased 2.8% compared with a year earlier.”
  • “That’s down slightly from a 2.9% annual gain in the final quarter of 2018. Still, workers’ compensation has picked up slowly. Five years ago, quarterly gains were closer to 0.4%.”
  • “The job market is very tight, with the unemployment rate at 3.8%, near a 50-year low, and there are more open jobs than unemployed workers. That has pushed up wages over time, though the gains aren’t as healthy as they were the last time the jobless rate was this low.”

Meanwhile, a new Gallup poll finds that Americans haven’t been this confident in their personal finances since 2002. More from The Hill:

  • “A Gallup poll released Tuesday found that 56 percent of respondents felt positively about their finances, with 12 percent rating their personal financial holdings as ‘excellent’ and 44 percent rating them as ‘good.’”
  • “That overall confidence score is 10 points higher than in 2015, according to a Gallup poll taken at the time.”
  • “Of those surveyed, 57 percent said that their financial outlook was improving year-to-year, an uptick of 10 points over a Gallup survey taken in 2016, according to a press release. That percentage is also the highest registered in Gallup surveys since 2002.”

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USMCA Passage is Critical for New York Manufacturers and Workers

From The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)

Trade is important for New York, helping New Yorkers sell more of what they make to more customers around the world. More sales equal more well-paying jobs and a stronger economy across the state. New York’s ability to sell more American-made products to Canada and Mexico is tied directly to tariff-free and rules-based trade in North America.

New York Without the U.S.–Mexico–Canada Trade Agreement: Less Manufacturing and Fewer Jobs
Without tariff-free trade across North America secured by a strong trade agreement, New York’s manufactured goods exports to Canada and Mexico could face a minimum of $192 million to $1.5 billion in extra taxes (compared to zero tariffs today). As a result, many of New York’s manufacturers and the workers and communities they support would lose sales as competitors from Europe and Asia continue to enjoy zero tariffs. The result would be less manufacturing production and fewer well-paying American jobs in New York and throughout the United States.

Find out more with this fact sheet from NAM.

 

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North American Trade – The Importance of the USMCA

From The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)

The North American commercial market is the most important market for manufacturers in the United States. Over one-third of U.S. manufactured exports are sold just to Canada and Mexico, which purchase more from the United States than our next 10 foreign country partners combined.

More than 25 years under the original North American Free Trade Agreement entered into force, the three countries came together to modernize this decades old agreement resulting in the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement that was signed in November 2018. The NAM strongly supports passage of the USMCA as soon as possible this year to ensure manufacturers can grow with certainty with our most important commercial trading partners—Canada and Mexico.

View the USMCA Fact Sheet

Over half of manufacturing voters said in recent polls that they want their member of Congress to approve the USMCA. But manufacturers need to do more to build understanding of how the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) strengthens the partnership we have with Mexico and Canada to modernize North American trade agreements.

Take Action Now

Link to NAM North American Trade 

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NAM Outlook Survey Results Show Record Breaking Optimism in 2018

 

For the last 20 years the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has conducted the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey with the help of their over 14,000 large and small manufacturing members. The survey is conducted once a quarter to gain insight on manufacturers’ economic outlook, hiring and investment decisions, and business concerns. This year manufacturers reported record breaking optimism.

In the fourth quarter of 2018 there were 539 manufacturing companies who responded to the survey, which was conducted from November 28th to December 12th. The amount of responses from small, medium and large sized manufactures was nearly even, with a slight majority coming from medium sized companies.

The average percentage of respondents that were positive about their own company’s outlook was 92.4% in 2018, an all-time high. Manufacturers are also predicting positive growth rates in sales (4.3 percent), production (4.3 percent), capital investments (2.6 percent) and full-time employment (2.2 percent) over the next 12 months. Manufacturers are very optimistic about business conditions overall, which is likely influenced by their expectation of pro-growth policies like tax reform and regulatory certainty. You can view the full survey results here.

It was no surprise that the major concern of manufacturers was the inability to attract and retain a quality workforce. In the fourth quarter 68.2 percent of companies reported that this was their top concern. Other top concerns included the increasing cost of raw materials and trade uncertainties. According to government data there are now 522,000 open manufacturing jobs in America, which some manufacturers reported as the reason for turning down new business opportunities this year.

If this workforce crisis isn’t resolved the United States is on track to have as many as 2.4 million manufacturing jobs unfilled by 2028. This challenge will continue to have an impact on manufacturing companies in the years to come. For now we are optimistically looking forward to 2019 and all of the growth that is to come.

Read the full article here.

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MFG Day Inspires Americans to Imagine Themselves as Manufacturing Workers

 

Our blogs often discuss the ongoing manufacturing skills gaps and the need for quality and capable workers throughout the manufacturing industry. Manufactures face these struggles daily and although “90 percent of manufacturers are expressing optimism about the future nearly as many, about 75 percent, are expressing deep concerns about their ability to attract and retain a quality workforce moving forward.”

Luckily this is an issue that NAM and the overall industry is working together to overcome. One of the ways their doing this is through the organization of Manufacturing Day across the county. Kicking off at the beginning of October each year, Manufacturing Day is a great way to inspire young Americans to imagine themselves working in the manufacturing industry. MFG Day is when thousands of manufacturers and schools come together and open their doors to students, teachers, and family members.

This is the kind of opportunity that many manufacturers have been looking for to change the old perceptions about manufacturing and show the public what modern manufacturing really looks like. People who are attending these MFG Day events are learning that manufacturing careers are often high-skill and typically pay better than jobs in other industries. Teaching students that there are other options outside of college that can lead to a fulfilling career is important, and these events are helping spread that message.

The Council of Industry helped to coordinate several Manufacturing Day events throughout the Hudson Valley in early October with the help of our members. On October 5th the Council of Industry, in partnership with Pine Bush High School, hosted the Manufacturing Career Exploration Night. The event was filled with engaging demonstrations, displays and conversations. Over 200 people attended Manufacturing Career Exploration Night at Pine Bush High School including students, facility, parents and community members.

Many of our members got involved in the event including Schatz Bearing Corporation, MPI, Cambridge Security Seals, EFCO and FALA Technologies to name a few. Each company engaging the young students of Pine Bush High School and teaching them what a career in manufacturing could look like right here in the Hudson Valley. Our members at Sono-Tek, Ametek Rotron and Meyer Tool also hosted events of their own, inviting Hudson Valley students to tour their facilities and get an up close and personal view of manufacturing.

The Council of Industry plans to continue their involvement in MFG Day each year and continuously increase member involvement. If you’re interested in getting involved in next years events you can contact us at jhansen@councilofindustry.org. Together we can show the community how the Hudson Valley does manufacturing!

For more information about Manufacturing Day read the full article here.

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