Manufacturing businesses have long been proponents of equality in the workplace. As legislation to codify protections for LGBT individuals passes through the House of Representatives, the National Association of Manufacturers joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, and other members of the business community in advocating its passage, forging coalitions and providing congressional testimony.
Introduced with bipartisan support in the U.S. House and Senate in March, the Equality Act includes federal protections for individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity under the existing framework of the Civil Rights Act, which already provides protection against discrimination on the basis of religion, national origin, race, color or sex. The goal of the legislation is to ensure that no person can face legal discrimination based on their gender or sexual orientation, setting a clear federal standard to enable individuals to succeed based on their abilities and qualifications to perform a job.
“Employers understand the importance of creating an environment in which the very best people can succeed based on merit,” Patrick Hedren, NAM vice president, labor, legal and regulatory policy, said. “At the same time, manufacturers know that discrimination in any form is antithetical to the values that we work to uphold every day: equality of opportunity, individual liberty, free enterprise and competitiveness.”
In March, more than 40 other industry associations rallied to support the Equality Act, providing an important boost for the groundbreaking legislation. In the weeks since, manufacturing representatives have testified before the House Education and Labor Committee and signed a coalition letter to the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services calling for the Act’s passage. As Congress considers the way forward, manufacturers have made clear that they intend to advocate forcefully on behalf of the legislation and uphold their commitment to workers of every gender identity and sexual orientation.
“The Equality Act creates a clear federal standard that matches the sentiments manufacturers already share: gender identity and sexual orientation have no impact on an employee’s abilities and discrimination is not welcome on the manufacturing floor,” Hedren said. “We look forward to working with Congress as this important legislation moves ahead.”
Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after the Department of Labor (DOL) rescinded the 2016 Persuader Rule:
Manufacturers have fought for this victory for many years in the courts, in Congress and with two administrations, using the full weight of our policy, government relations and legal teams, said Timmons. The NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action was able to halt the rule in court in 2016.And in 2017, the Trump administration, as part of its broader regulatory relief agenda, thankfully began the process of unwinding the rule. This overreaching rule threatened to impose serious burdens on manufacturers and upend employee–employer communications. Now manufacturers are relieved that this threat to workplace communications is finally and officially off the books. Commonsense steps like this to rein in onerous regulations are a major reason why manufacturers are reporting record-high business optimism.
The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA) is the leading voice of manufacturers in the courts and engages in a range of activities, including direct party litigation and operating a robust amicus program, as well as educating manufacturers about emerging legal trends. The MCLA is led by NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly and NAM Vice President of Litigation and Deputy General Counsel Peter Tolsdorf. More information on the MCLA can be found here.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.
The NAM and The Manufacturing Institute’s Creators Wanted campaign got a resounding endorsement from The Dallas Morning News, which called the initiative “a smart approach that may be a harbinger of things to come” in a recent editorial (subscription).
Traveling attraction: “‘Creators Wanted’ . . . will visit schools and community gathering places around the country in coming months to attract future workers to that industry. Creators Wanted features a tractor-trailer-mounted escape room and ‘immersive experience’ designed to hold kids’ attention while also overcoming stereotypes that keep students from choosing careers in manufacturing.”
Filling a void: As the editorial notes, Creators Wanted “aims to reduce the skills gap in the U.S. by 600,000 workers by 2025, and increase the number of students enrolling in technical/vocational schools or reselling programs by 25%.”
- While the article focused on the activities of the campaign, the sustained initiatives of The Manufacturing Institute are also important to reaching these goals.
Sign of changing times: The NAM’s and MI’s focus on students is “smart,” says the editorial, in light of changing perceptions among youth about higher education. The pandemic and soaring tuition are causing young people to consider options besides college.
The last word: “Creators Wanted is a clever approach that teens will enjoy. We encourage parents and guidance counselors to consider it. But the larger point here is about the pipeline of workers needed to ensure our economy can continue to grow. NAM has taken the initiative to improve that pipeline, putting them ahead of the competition for now. We hope to see others join that race soon.”
Join in: Interested in supporting Creators Wanted? Contact Creators Wanted Finance Director Barret Kedzior at [email protected].
Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company is a 120-year-old, fifth-generation family-owned business—and it tries to treat its employees like family, too.
“We have a long tradition and history of taking care of our associates,” said Charlotte Pipe Vice President of Marketing Bradford Muller. “We haven’t had a layoff since the early 1980s. Even in the Great Recession, we kept people working as many hours as we could give them.”
When the 2017 tax reform law gave Charlotte Pipe more certainty, the company passed along the good fortune, supporting employees, adding new jobs and investing in the future of the business.
New bonuses: When the legislation passed, Charlotte Pipe gave every employee an additional bonus of $1,000. Over the past few years, it has continued to offer high wages and generous health benefits to its associates as well as contributing to the company’s 401(k) plan. Charlotte Pipe has also absorbed a large portion of the increases in the health care costs of its workers.
New jobs: Tax reform has also allowed Charlotte Pipe to bring on new workers. Since the law passed, the company has hired more than 200 associates as it increases production across the country.
New business: Charlotte Pipe is also investing in its future by building a new foundry, which will create new jobs in its surrounding community. In addition to making the company more efficient and effective, the new cutting-edge foundry will help it keep up with international competitors from places like China. Muller credits tax reform with making that investment possible.
- “The certainty around tax reform and regulatory reform gave us the confidence to be able to proceed with this once-in-a-century, $350 million foundry,” said Muller. “It’s a huge financial commitment, and we needed policy certainty to be able to do that. That was one of the reasons we were able to launch that project.”
Ongoing investment: The foundry may be the biggest example of a capital investment, but it is by no means the only one. In fact, Charlotte Pipe reinvests most of its profits back into the business, allowing it to keep working, innovating and providing new jobs.
- “We reinvest most of our profits into capital projects,” said Muller. “The more revenue we have, the more people we can hire, the more equipment we can buy and the more productive we can be.”
The last word: “When tax reform helps a business provide for its employees and create opportunity well into its second century, you know that reform is worth keeping,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Manufacturers like Charlotte Pipe are building on the foundation of tax reform, and their workers are prospering because of it. That’s why we need to protect against potentially harmful tax hikes.”
With manufacturers facing a skills gap that could result in 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030, retaining qualified and effective employees is critical. But how do manufacturing leaders keep great employees on staff? The Manufacturing Institute’s Center for Manufacturing Research and the American Psychological Association have some answers, collected in their recently published Manufacturing Engagement and Retention Study.
Why people stay: According to the study, the main reasons that employees remain at a company are enjoyment of the work (83%) and stability/job security (79%). Other contributors to satisfaction include the family friendliness of the employer and the way the job fits into their lifestyles outside of work.
- The next generation, however, has slightly different motives: “Although fewer survey respondents overall (42%) identified training and career opportunities as reasons for staying, around two-thirds of those under age 25 said these were motivating factors in their decision to remain with their current employer (69% and 65%, respectively).”
Feeling good: Employees who felt valued by their companies had significant more motivation and job satisfaction.
- Nearly all workers who said they felt valued by their employers (97%) described themselves as highly motivated and satisfied with their jobs. Nearly as many (96%) would recommend their company to others as a good place to work.
- Meanwhile, among employees who did not feel valued by their employers, those numbers dropped to 45% and 25%, respectively.
Fair treatment: Workers who felt that their employers treated them fairly were also less likely to be stressed out on a typical workday (at only 16%). But among workers who said they were treated unfairly, 68% felt stressed on a regular basis.
- Those who felt that they were treated fairly were also much less likely to say they intended to look for a new job within the next year—at just 2% versus 19% among those who felt they were treated unfairly.
Pandemic effects: The MI and APA conducted this study during the COVID-19 pandemic, which notably did not affect employees’ responses to a great degree. In fact, many felt more positive about their employers.
- A majority of employees (58%) said the pandemic and their company’s response to it had not changed their view, and more than one-third (37%) had a more positive view of the company, compared to just 5% who viewed their employer more negatively.
Find out more: Learn more about what motivates people to stay by reading the full study here.
One of manufacturers’ top concerns is the insufficient number of skilled workers available to fill their open jobs. Yet right before us is an often-overlooked pool of millions of potentially strong employees: people with criminal records.
That’s why The Manufacturing Institute has partnered with Stand Together and the Charles Koch Institute to promote “second chance” hiring—to get these workers who need jobs into jobs that need them. Recently, the MI hosted its first webinar on the importance of this initiative and what manufacturers should know about it.
The data: One in three Americans has a criminal record, and yet this entire population is frequently discounted outright during employer job searches due to societal stigma and general misperceptions. During the webinar, the panelists shared some additional data:
- Of the approximately 19 million Americans with felony convictions on their records, some 1 million are incarcerated and some have aged out of the workforce, said Jeff Korzenik, author of “Untapped Talent: How Second Chance Hiring Works for Your Business and the Community” and chief investment strategist for Fifth Third Bank. “But millions are of working age, [and] virtually all of them are unable to participate to the fullest extent of their possibility, of their talents, because of barriers.”
Talent shortage: 814,000 manufacturing jobs were unfilled as of May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- “Manufacturers continue to tell us that attracting and retaining workers remains one of their top challenges,” said MI Executive Director Carolyn Lee during the webinar.
- 2.1 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by the end of the decade if current trends continue, according to a recent MI and Deloitte study, and that “could mean the loss of up to $1 trillion in lost economic impact for the U.S.”
Worth the work: Employers who identify and support a strong candidate with a criminal record “get an employee who is on average more engaged and more loyal” than other workers, said Korzenik, who called this method of hiring the “second chance model.” This can lead to higher retention rates, saving an organization on turnover costs, he added.
- The model, which Korzenik developed, both identifies characteristics likely to lead to successful employment (strong character, soft and hard skills) and provides support processes (such as help with transportation to and from work) to help bridge gaps.
Living proof: Webinar panelist Cory Webb is a recent graduate of the Cuyahoga County, Ohio–based ACCESS to Manufacturing Careers, a program that trains both young people and people with criminal records for careers in manufacturing. He considers himself a testament to ACCESS’ success.
- “I started this program because I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to gain a career in manufacturing and machine operating,” said Webb, now an auxiliary operator for program participant Jergens Inc. The initiative “did a pretty good job as far as getting me prepared … for machine operating,” he said.
Learn more: The MI has released a host of resources for manufacturers interested in second chance hiring. You can find them here.
The Manufacturing Institute has announced its newest cohort of extraordinary female leaders in manufacturing: the 130 Honorees of the 2021 STEP Ahead Awards. On Nov. 4, the MI will recognize their achievements at an in-person gala in Washington, D.C.
An industry-wide honor: These yearly awards, part of the MI’s STEP Women’s Initiative, recognize women in manufacturing who exemplify excellence from the factory floor to the C-suite.
- To date, the awards have honored 932 exceptional women, and the winners have made an impact—through mentoring, programs and events and more—on 300,000 people, from industry peers to kids in school.
The whole initiative: The STEP (science, technology, engineering and production) Women’s Initiative consists of the STEP Ahead Awards, a professional leadership-development program and regional STEP Forward events that take place throughout the year. It aims to boost women’s representation in manufacturing and support the next generation of female talent.
Why it matters: Women make up close to half the U.S. labor force, yet they account for less than one-third of the manufacturing workforce. Meanwhile, the biggest challenge for manufacturers has long been the lack of skilled workers available to fill open jobs. By employing 10% more women, manufacturers can bridge the skills gap by 50%.
What they’re saying: “Women in manufacturing proved themselves time and time again during the pandemic, driving innovation and progress, and they are now helping our industry build the next, post-pandemic world,” said MI Executive Director Carolyn Lee.
- “As an industry, we are always working to do more to bring more women into manufacturing and encourage their innovative ideas and transformative leadership,” added 2021 STEP Ahead Chair and Johnson & Johnson Executive Vice President and Chief Global Supply Chain Officer Kathy Wengel.
- “The creativity, commitment and passion displayed by each of these women leaders and rising stars drive innovation in our industry forward,” said 2021 STEP Ahead Vice Chair and 3M Senior Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Denise Rutherford.
. . . and don’t forget, creators are wanted: The NAM and MI’s Creators Wanted project, which aims to close the skills gap and get many more people into manufacturing, will help fund the MI’s workforce-development efforts, including STEP. A full half of the funds raised (which will total millions of dollars) will go toward supporting the MI’s programs into 2025.
Interested in becoming a STEP Ahead sponsor? See opportunities here.
When Kristy Willis moved to Louisiana, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do next. Her 15-year marriage had ended in divorce, and she needed to find a way to support herself and her four children. She began by searching for a college where she could gain additional education and skills—and when she came across The Manufacturing Institute’s FAME program, she knew she had found the right place. In August 2019, she began her fresh start with GeauxFAME.
What it is: The Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME), which was founded by Toyota and is now operated by The Manufacturing Institute, is a career pathway program for current and aspiring manufacturing workers. It provides them with on-the-job training and classroom education, leading to an associate degree and an Advanced Manufacturing Technician (AMT) certificate.
A critical role: Willis viewed manufacturing as a vital part of the American economy, and was excited about the opportunity to feel connected to it.
- “When I came into this program, I didn’t know anything about the manufacturing business—but I wanted to be a part of it,” said Willis. “I saw manufacturing as adding strength to the economy in the United States. Wherever you go, manufacturing is needed, and I wanted to be a part of that industry.”
Personal and professional growth: Willis was wary about returning to school after 10 years, but she was motivated by the need to provide for her children. Ultimately, spending time in the FAME program has changed the way Willis sees herself and her opportunities.
- “The experience has been humbling,” said Willis. “But it has helped build my confidence in myself and given me something to look forward to.”
Of course, Willis had to contend with a particularly challenging year as COVID-19 made traditional learning environments impossible. Still, she found the program and her experience rewarding.
- “The past year has been crazy,” said Willis. “Being a mom of four kids, when they got sent home from school, and I got sent home from school, and everyone was trying to study at the same time—our house was wild. But we grew as a family during all of this, through all these trials.”
Next up: Willis will graduate in July, and her sponsoring employer, Boise Cascade—an Idaho-based wood product manufacturer with a facility in Lena, Louisiana—has already offered her a full-time job and the opportunity to continue her education and pursue her bachelor’s degree. She’s excited about the road ahead.
Good advice: Willis also encourages people who are looking for a new career to give the FAME program a try—even if they have never considered a career in manufacturing before.
- “This program is perfect for that mindset,” said Willis. “If you want to try it out and see how it works, it gives you that opportunity. You get a big picture of the manufacturing process, as well as insights behind standard operating procedures—why these safety practices are performed, or why those machines are serviced the way they are—and then it’s up to you to continue on through the program.”
The last word: “If you’re questioning what to do with your life, stay strong and have courage,” said Willis. “You are strong and smart enough—you take those trials that have brought you down in this life, and use them to make yourself stronger.”
The NAM and The Manufacturing Institute unveiled their Creators Wanted experience last week in Dallas, previewing it for the NAM’s Executive Committee as well as local business leaders, workforce development officials and the media. Visitors got an exclusive look at this “mobile manufacturing experience” that will soon embark on a tour around the country, showing Americans what modern manufacturing is all about.
As NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said, “Creators Wanted will help a new generation of emerging and displaced workers see themselves in a modern manufacturing career, while also adding to the industry’s talent pipeline by engaging veterans, women and communities of color, all critical to expanding the workforce of tomorrow.”
What they saw: Below, ExxonMobil Senior Vice President Neil Chapman, Celanese Corporation Chairman, CEO and President Lori Ryerkerk, Toyota Executive Vice President of Product Support and Chief Quality Officer Chris Nielsen and Trane Technologies Chairman and CEO (and NAM Board chair and co-chair of the Creators Wanted campaign) Mike Lamach get a first look at this interactive, hands-on experience.
An online choose-your-own-adventure version of the mobile experience will be rolling out this summer to reach students, parental figures, teachers and emerging workers nationwide. Here, MI Executive Director Carolyn Lee previews the “Keys to Success” room, where participants will race to solve riddles that will help reinforce key attributes of manufacturing careers, such as teamwork, problem solving, imagination and communication.
Lee also gave a presentation on Creators Wanted to the visitors. As she said in a statement, “By 2030, manufacturers need to fill more than 4 million jobs—according to research from the MI and Deloitte—but without initiatives like Creators Wanted, more than half of those jobs could go unfilled. This mobile experience will excite audiences across the country, sparking an interest in modern manufacturing so that we can connect emerging and displaced workers with resources that educate and empower.”
The tour allows you to experience the creativity of manufacturing firsthand and up close. In the gamified experience, participants will work as a team to solve a series of immersive challenges, requiring their full attention to think and compete. As they move through each obstacle, teams will learn more about modern manufacturing careers, the skills required to be successful and how people and technology work together.
We can’t reveal all the surprises, but doesn’t he look excited?
In fact, all of the NAM’s Executive Committee members who toured the exhibition were impressed and amazed by what they saw. Here are some of their reactions:
- “I will admit, I didn’t quite appreciate the opportunity for our industry until I saw the experience in person,” said Chapman. “Seeing is believing in the capacity of this tool to excite the next generation, parents, guardians and teachers about modern manufacturing careers.”
- “It’s clear that Creators Wanted has exactly the message and tools to strengthen our industry’s recruitment for talent. At a time when so many young people seek careers where creativity is valued and prized, we have a chance with this campaign to really drive the best and brightest into our talent pipeline,” said Nielsen.
- “The mobile experience is astounding; it’s unlike anything we’ve done as an industry to reach the next generation and engage emerging and displaced workers. But what makes this campaign worthwhile is that the mobile experience is just one part of a comprehensive plan to create interest and then create opportunity by providing resources to help people launch or grow a career in manufacturing,” said Lamach.
Join in: Last but not least, you too can find out what all the excitement is about. Check out https://creatorswanted.org/ for information about the campaign.
Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers released its Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the second quarter of 2021. “Attracting and retaining a quality workforce” and “rising raw material costs” remain manufacturers’ biggest concerns for the second straight quarter. Despite those concerns, manufacturers predicted some of the highest expected growth rates in the survey’s history and the most positive outlook since the third quarter of 2018.
“Manufacturers see an incredible future on the horizon and are predicting growth numbers unheard of in the more than two-decade history of this survey,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “But yet, a dark cloud still hangs over the industry. Manufacturers face long-term workforce challenges, with a record-high 851,000 open manufacturing jobs right now and more than 4 million to be filled over the next decade. While a very serious concern, manufacturers are doing everything we can to meet this challenge. The NAM and The Manufacturing Institute’s Creators Wanted campaign, including a first-of-its-kind mobile manufacturing experience, will cover thousands of miles in the second half of this year tackling the top two issues facing this critical workforce challenge: a skills gap and misperceptions about modern manufacturing.
“To keep this momentum going, elected leaders in Washington should advance policies that will enhance our competitiveness and strengthen our industry, starting with delivering bipartisan infrastructure investment. Failing to do so will rob generations to come of the opportunity to achieve their highest potential. Conversely, moving forward with proposed tax increases, as our studies have shown, would mean 1 million jobs lost in just the first two years. Anti-worker laws like the forced unionization PRO Act would upend our workplaces. Whether today’s manufacturing optimism is a passing moment or a new normal has a lot to do with the choices our elected leaders make.”
- 90.1% manufacturer optimism, highest since Q3 2018
- 3.7% expected growth in full-time employment, a record high
- 6.1% expected growth in sales over the next 12 months, a record high
- 5.9% expected growth in production over the next 12 months, a record high
Read the full Q2 2021 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey results here.
Background on Creators Wanted:
The NAM, together with the MI, launched the Creators Wanted campaign, an unprecedented national effort to build the modern manufacturing workforce of tomorrow. By 2025, Creators Wanted aims to reduce the skills gap in the United States by 600,000, as well as increase the number of students enrolling in technical and vocational schools or reskilling programs by 25% and increase the positive perception of the industry among parents to 50% from 27%.
Creators Wanted is part of a digital campaign together with a first-of-its-kind mobile traveling manufacturing experience, and it is part of sustained initiatives at the MI targeting youth, veterans, women and other underrepresented communities.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.3 million men and women, contributes $2.35 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector and accounts for 63% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.
Hugo Hinojosa loved being in the military. He served 22 years in the U.S. Army, with time in eight different duty stations. His service gave him the opportunity to get a degree, travel the world, see different places and forge close-knit friendships that he says will last a lifetime. When it came time for him to transition out of the military, he was open to ideas—and during a career skills program briefing at Fort Hood’s Copeland Center, a presentation from Heroes MAKE America captured his attention.
Endless opportunities: After a career spent moving around the globe, Hinojosa was hoping to stay in his home state of Texas for the long term. During the presentation from a representative of Heroes MAKE America, he was struck by the breadth of roles the manufacturing industry offered.
- “When they came out and told me about opportunities and other jobs in the surrounding area, I said, wow, this might be for me,” said Hinojosa. “With the certifications the program offered, you could work anywhere in the industry. I wasn’t limiting myself to a certain, specific job. I could work anywhere, you name it. The opportunities are endless.”
A unique experience: Hinojosa began his time in the program in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which meant that some elements had to be adjusted to fit the logistical reality. But participants still received plenty of engagement: classroom lessons were shifted to a virtual format, and students met with program managers two at a time for a few hours every week. While it required a fair amount of self-direction and motivation, Hinojosa said that the program supported him as he learned at his own pace.
A powerful network: Hinojosa found the networking aspect of the program to be especially valuable once he began looking for work.
- “Every time we would have potential employers in team meetings, I would search them on LinkedIn and connect with them,” said Hinojosa. “I said, I saw you today during class, I’d like to connect. I started building my own network from there.”
The right stuff: The work paid off. Hinojosa received several offers and ended up getting hired by WestRock Company through meetings that were set up by Heroes MAKE America. He began as a member of the company’s management trainee program and was quickly recruited to work as a business partner in the human resources department. He sees his new career as a natural extension of his time as a service member.
- “Everywhere I go, I’m a steward of the Army,” said Hinojosa. “I’m working in a place where the values are in line with what I was brought up with in the military—integrity, respect, accountability and excellence.”
Today, Hinojosa encourages other transitioning service members to see themselves in a manufacturing career—and most importantly, to recognize their own skills.
The last word: “Don’t sell yourself short,” said Hinojosa. “Believe in the skills the military has given you. You’ve been trained and given skills that will pay dividends out here in the manufacturing industry. And the work ethic that’s instilled from day one is going to show.”
Klaussner Home Furnishings has made three increases in its workers’ wages over the past 10 months, while also adding benefits. Yet, the company’s ability to invest in workers and add much-needed equipment may be in danger if Congress proceeds with proposed tax hikes, according to President and CEO Terry McNew. These increases could do real harm to manufacturers at a time when the economy is starting to recover from the pandemic.
Benefits for workers: McNew, who has led Klaussner for about a year and a half, explains that he’s working hard to take the company from the 19th century to the 21st century—“skipping over the 20th,” he says—by eliminating the use of piecework and ensuring that all current workers have full 40-hour workweeks.
- That transition included the wage increases mentioned above, as well as an expansion of benefits, such as a reduction in health insurance deductibles and the addition of mental and behavioral health benefits.
- “If taxes go up, I have fewer choices,” says McNew. “I’ll have even more limited resources” for raises and other benefits.
Facility expansion: McNew also credits tax reform with helping Klaussner improve its facilities and buy much-needed equipment.
- Late last year, the company installed new roofs, and it is currently in the market for new sewing machines. Its new CIO is looking to invest in enterprise resource planning and materials requirements planning software, which will cost about $5 million.
- McNew says these plans were made possible by a tax provision called full expensing, which allows companies to deduct the full cost of capital expenditures in a single year.
The economic context: McNew points out that manufacturers are dealing with a number of difficulties right now, including higher materials and shipping costs, which are amplifying their worries about potential tax changes.
- In light of all these factors, McNew says, “I told my executive staff we are not getting raises this year, but instead giving raises to employees.”
The last word: NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said, “As we emerge from the economic catastrophe caused by COVID-19, American businesses are at a pivotal point in our nation’s history. Manufacturers like Klaussner are helping to lead the economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic. But increasing the tax burden on companies in America would mean fewer American jobs, lower wages and a smaller economy.”