We’ve begun to see our states and towns return to lockdowns—usually with very different rules than their neighbors. But this time around, manufacturers want to avoid the uncertainty and inconsistency of the spring shutdowns, so the NAM is calling on all state and local leaders to follow federal guidance on designating essential workers. Here’s a quick review of that guidance, put forward by Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
What it is: The “Essential Critical Infrastructure Worker” guidance was initially drafted after shelter-in-place orders contributed to temporary product shortages in the spring, exposing vulnerabilities in U.S. supply chains and essential services. In response, most states directly adopted the CISA guidance to create a measure of stability.
The guidance lists the types of workers supporting critical supply chains and infrastructure in areas like health care, telecommunications, food and agriculture and transportation—basically, a comprehensive explanation of which roles are necessary to keep the country safe and moving.
The latest version: The guidance includes the latest safety recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The most recent update recommends a “risk mitigation strategy” to help employers maintain worker safety, which includes:
- Creating a methodology for understanding potential risks to workers, taking into account factors like close contact between workers and indoor vs. outdoor activities;
- Identifying workers who could potentially work from home;
- Assessing how critical or unique any given worker’s role is in order to limit the number of employees working together onsite; and
- Examining the allocation of scarce resources for workers based on the availability of safety measures like PPE and testing.
The last word: “Manufacturers are the backbone of America’s COVID-19 response and economic recovery, and we are committed to operating in a safe and sustainable way as we weather this crisis,” said NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones. “The CISA guidance provides a clear, useful and uniform mechanism for state and local governments and business leaders to identify what must safely keep running. We urge all state and local governments and businesses to adopt the CISA framework and follow its recommendations.”
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the midterm elections, the National Association of Manufacturers released its policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” a comprehensive blueprint featuring immediate solutions for bolstering manufacturers’ competitiveness. It is also a roadmap for policymakers on the laws and regulations needed to strengthen the manufacturing industry in the months and years ahead.
With the country facing rising prices, snarled supply chains and geopolitical turmoil, manufacturers are outlining an actionable competitiveness agenda that Americans across the political spectrum can support. “Competing to Win” includes the policies manufacturers in America will need in place to continue driving the country forward.
“‘Competing to Win’ offers a path for bringing our country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The NAM is putting forward a plan filled with ideas that policymakers could pursue immediately, including solutions to urgent problems, such as energy security, immigration reform, supply chain disruptions, the ongoing workforce shortage and more. Manufacturers have shown incredible resilience through difficult times, employing more workers now than before the pandemic, but continued resilience is not guaranteed without the policies that are critical to the state of manufacturing in America.”
The NAM and its members will leverage “Competing to Win” to shape policy debates ahead of the midterm elections, in the remainder of the 117th Congress and at the start of the 118th Congress—including in direct engagement with lawmakers, for grassroots activity, across traditional and digital media and through events in key states and districts as we did following the initial rollout of the roadmap in 2016.
The document focuses on 12 areas of action, and all policies are rooted in the values that have made America exceptional and keep manufacturing strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.
Learn more about how manufacturers are leading and about the industry’s competitiveness agenda at nam.org/competing-to-win.
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 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% 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