Business Operations

Fortune Brands Puts Sustainability Front and Center

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When it comes to making strides in sustainability, Fortune Brands Home & Security knows the power of small, steady steps. The company works to improve sustainability in a wide variety of ways, from water conservation to the recycling of ocean plastics and wood. We talked to two of its leaders recently to get the inside scoop.

Mission Moen: In 2020, the company launched Mission Moen, its commitment to conserving 1 trillion gallons of water by 2030. To meet that goal, Moen has employed cutting-edge innovation, explained Fortune Brands Global Plumbing Group Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer Mark-Hans Richer.

  • Its Flo by Moen, for example, is a “smart water security system” that, through a mobile app, standalone sensors, detectors and other tech, allows consumers to monitor their water usage—and detect leaks they may not even know about.
  • “There is an immense amount of water that’s wasted every year in the United States … due to lack of knowledge,” said Richer. “Flo by Moen allows users to see where water use is any minute of any day.”

 “The key to saving water is in small fixes,” Richer emphasized. For example, “a faucet that has a little bit more managed gallon-per-minute flow can add up over the course of its use … to some pretty substantial savings.”

 Cleaning up the oceans: The second pillar of Mission Moen is the company’s commitment to cleaning up the world’s oceans—specifically, 2,000 tons of plastic that’s currently floating in them.

  • “We’ve found a lot of very useful, interesting things” that can be made with ocean-recycled plastic, Richer said. These include product packaging and components in showerheads.
  • “When you commit yourself to a large goal, then you start to look for ways” to meet that goal, he continued.

Recycled wood and plastic: FBHS’s dedication to conservation extends throughout the company. Recycled wood and plastic are used to create its Fiberon Balance composite decking, Fiberon President Fenton Challgren told us. It’s a complex process:

  • First, there is an “intensive search … for the right plastic, which comes in bales by the truckload,” said Challgren.
  • The company then must “sort the contaminants, contain them, grind them, get them into different extruders … and create a stable pellet” that can be used for the decking, he continued.

What should manufacturers learn from FBHS? Manufacturers seeking to reduce the size of their company’s environmental footprint should think of these efforts as a long-term investment, according to Challgren.

  • “On the water recycling side, have a really robust filtration system,” Challgren urged. “Spend the money, get the technology. It’s a big investment, but if you’re doing any type of high-volume water usage,” it will be less expensive in the long run.

The last word: As Challgren summed it up, “The impact your company could have by going down this path … will be worth it both financially and for the greater good.”

News

Still Leading the Way: Manufacturers Make Creators Wanted Live Possible

Through a global pandemic, manufacturers have led the way on health and safety measures, helping keep Americans working—for the U.S. and the world. Now the manufacturing industry continues that leadership while recruiting and inspiring the creators of the future.

On the road: Creators Wanted, the workforce campaign of the NAM and the MI, is getting ready to hit the road. The campaign formalized its COVID-19 safety protocols and is employing state-of-the-art technologies, like Sphere Synexis, provided by legacy sponsor Trane Technologies, to continuously fight viruses, bacteria and other hazards in the air and on surfaces. The mobile experience, along with other programming events and new online resources, will bring the story of modern manufacturing to communities across the country.

  • The experience, recently endorsed by The Dallas Morning News, is designed to capture the imaginations of students, teachers and parents and inspire the next generation of manufacturers.
  • It will complement the upcoming release of the NAM and MI’s innovative online resources for those seeking a career in manufacturing.

Coming to a town near you: The NAM and MI released the following Creators Wanted Live tour dates and stops.

  • Oct. 4–7: Columbus, Ohio
  • Oct. 12–15: Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Oct. 20–22: West Columbia, South Carolina
  • Nov. 8–10: Pella, Iowa
  • Nov. 16–18: Freeport, Texas
  • Nov. 30 – Dec. 3: Dallas, Texas

Wait, there’s more! Community programming stops are also coming to Detroit, Michigan; Guthrie, Kentucky; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Carson City, Nevada. And a new suite of digital and online experiences and tools will bring the campaign to every state.

Thanks to strong support: “Our ability to mount this bold solution to the workforce crisis through the difficulties of a pandemic has been anything but certain,” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and NAM Board Chair Mike Lamach said in a joint message to NAM membership. “It has taken the unwavering and strong support of some of America’s leading enterprises and business leaders to keep this campaign alive.”

See the full list of Creators Wanted sponsors here. Want to support the effort? Get involved—at any price point—here.

Workforce

From a Small Farm to a Global Manufacturing Company: A STEP Honoree Story

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Neha Phadke is a long way from home. Originally from a small farming village in India, Phadke grew sugar cane, onions, wheat and watermelon to support her seven-person family while she completed her bachelor’s degree. She moved to the United States to earn her Ph.D. in organic chemistry when Texas Tech University offered her full funding.

Today, Phadke works as a senior process chemist at Covestro, a high-tech polymer materials manufacturer that makes products used in industries including automotive, construction, health care, cosmetics, energy, electronics and sports. It’s her responsibility to find ways to improve production while maintaining quality.

Focused on manufacturing: Even when she was studying organic chemistry as an undergraduate and grad student, Phadke knew that she was more interested in applied science than academia. Near the end of her Ph.D. program in 2015, she received an internship opportunity at Covestro, which was then called Bayer Material Science. That internship turned into a job offer, and she has been working at Covestro ever since.

  • “I was asked if I wanted to go into research and academia or manufacturing, and I was 100% sure I wanted to go into manufacturing,” said Phadke. “I had a feeling that this was where I belonged.”

Everything’s bigger in Texas: Still, Phadke faced a learning curve when she shifted from academia to manufacturing, including the scale of the work she was doing.

  • “I had never seen big plants and reactors,” said Phadke. “I had worked on my Ph.D. in milligrams, and here I’m making more than 30,000 pounds of material in the reactors. It was fascinating, and I enjoyed the experience, process and learning through the new challenges.”

Standing up: Phadke may work in an environment that’s traditionally been male dominated, but she has never let that stop her before. Even when she was growing up, she knew that her ability to succeed should have nothing to do with her gender.

  • “I was always asked if I had a sibling, and I would say I have a younger sister—and I would get sympathy for not having a brother,” said Phadke. “As a kid, I wouldn’t understand why it should make any difference. And it pushed me to think: why can’t I do anything a guy can do?”

Serving as an example: The Manufacturing Institute recently selected Phadke as a 2021 STEP Ahead Award Honoree—an honor given to women leaders who have excelled both within their companies and in the industry as a whole. She encourages other women to get involved in manufacturing and says that, while the industry might seem daunting, she’s gotten plenty of support from her colleagues and her company.

The last word: “Anything is possible,” said Phadke. “Don’t let anyone stop you from doing what you believe is right. Wear your courage, face your fears, lead your path, follow your passion and inspire others.”

Learn more about the STEP Ahead program, including how to honor remarkable women on your team, here.

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How IPAK’s Diversity Sustained It Through COVID-19

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When COVID-19 swept through Camden, New Jersey, it hit the kit and packaging manufacturer IPAK very hard. The majority of IPAK’s nearly 100 employees are women and people from underserved communities, and like many other similarly situated groups, they suffered from particularly high case rates and economic disruption. But it was the company’s long commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion that helped it get through this global disaster—and even allowed it to thrive.

We spoke to IPAK CEO Karen Primak about all the company did to safeguard its employees and serve its customers. Here’s what she told us.

Keeping employees safe: The early days of the pandemic were terrible; the company had four employees in the hospital on respirators “right from the beginning,” says Primak. But IPAK responded swiftly and comprehensively:

  • IPAK created an extensive COVID-19 action plan to prepare, inform and assist employees. This included an “ambassador” program so team members had a point of contact to ask about their virus-related concerns and receive answers and resources in the five different languages that employees speak.
  • The company rearranged schedules to allow workers without childcare to be home when needed. Managers spent an hour or two every morning discussing how they could accommodate everyone.
  • IPAK stayed current with the latest science and data, so that it could react quickly to the fast-changing pandemic. The company instituted an evolving set of daily cleaning protocols, social distancing measures, remote work provisions, masking and face shield requirements, vaccine information sessions and regular COVID-19 testing.

All these measures allowed IPAK to remain open and continue to deliver high-quality solutions to its customers throughout the pandemic. And here’s one last impressive detail: “We didn’t furlough or lay off anyone,” said Primak. “Despite all the craziness and the disproportionate impact on our employees and revenue, we remained committed to employing our workforce during this awful time.”

The “secret weapon”: How did IPAK cultivate the flexibility and dedication necessary to get through a global pandemic?

  • “Diversity, equity and inclusion have been our secret weapon,” Primak said. “If you hire people like you, all you get back is you. IPAK is equipped with a range of voices and perspectives, which helps us innovate and creatively solve problems. Our commitment to put employees first and understand their needs allowed us to come together and stay operational during such a difficult time.”

Success during upheaval: IPAK also went above and beyond for its clients, including nonprofit educational-content provider ACT, maker of the well-known college-entrance exam, whose supply chain was upended by COVID-19.

  • ACT was faced with shipping disruptions, shuttered test centers, constantly changing local conditions and testing center capacity constraints. It needed an agile partner who would be able to move quickly, adjust schedules and innovate in real time.
  • As a result, ACT pivoted early in the pandemic and massively expanded its contract with IPAK to include the handling of secure paper-based processing, which includes creating kits and manufacturing and distributing the ACT test.
  • Amid all this disruption and change, IPAK stepped up. Its staff worked tirelessly with ACT to deliver more than 2 million college-entrance exams during the pandemic.

“We worked nights and weekends and even hand-delivered some test booklets to make sure they arrived on time,” said Primak.

A great partnership: “We were the vendor that was willing to make huge and necessary changes alongside ACT during the pandemic so that many deserving students could take the ACT and benefit from the opportunities afforded by their hard work,” Primak said.

  • “IPAK asked so many questions about our organization and offered a unique process optimization perspective,” said ACT CEO Janet Godwin. “It was clear they had deep knowledge of the education marketplace and cared about our mission—not just their bottom line. IPAK knocked its first assignment out of the park, catalyzing ACT to outsource additional critical programs to IPAK.”

NAM involvement: Primak also credits the NAM’s work with Congress and the administration with helping IPAK survive and succeed. She is grateful for government programs such as the employee retention tax credits, economic injury disaster loans and Paycheck Protection Program loans, which the NAM advocated for, and said that without such help, the company “wouldn’t be here.”

The last word: “Helping people achieve success and ensure equity, access and opportunity for all” is ACT’s mission, said Primak. It’s that type of commitment to equity and inclusion that also motivates IPAK’s whole team, in good times and in pandemics.

The NAM and The Manufacturing Institute are committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in the manufacturing industry. Visit the NAM Pledge for Action page to make your own commitment today.

Press Releases

Manufacturers React to Recovery-Stunting Tax Hike Proposal

Newhouse: “There’s no getting past the fact that this tax plan adds up to fewer jobs for American workers.”

Washington, D.C. – Following the release of the House Ways and Means Committee’s plan to increase taxes on manufacturers through the budget reconciliation legislation, National Association of Manufacturers Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse made this statement:

“There’s no getting past the fact that this tax plan adds up to fewer jobs for American workers. We know from experience that competitive tax rates spur job creation, higher wages and investment in communities. That’s exactly what we saw after the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as manufacturers kept their promises. 2018 was the best year for manufacturing job creation in more than two decades. We also know from rigorous economic analysis that reverting to archaic tax policies has the opposite effect. A study of proposed tax increases—including a 25% corporate rate—found that America would lose 1 million jobs in just the first two years.

“Building a strong economy takes more than wishful thinking; it requires a competitive business environment. Manufacturers are committed to rebuilding our economy and sustaining our recovery—even amid the surge of COVID-19 cases. If lawmakers share that commitment, then they would rethink tax proposals like this. Few policies would stall our recovery faster. Now is not the time to pursue policies in Washington that will hurt the families and communities of manufacturers in America.”

Study: Negative Consequences of 25% Tax Rate on Manufacturers:

(Source: Dynamic Estimates of The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Rate Increases and Other Tax Policy Changes)

  • 1 million jobs and $107 billion in GDP lost in first two years
  • 500,000 jobs lost on average each year over the next decade

Manufacturers on Increasing the Tax Burden:

(Source: NAM’s Q3 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey)

  • Nearly 94% of manufacturers said that higher taxes would be harmful to their businesses.
  • Roughly 90% of respondents said that their company would find it more difficult to expand their workforce, invest in new equipment or expand facilities if the tax burden on income from manufacturing activities increased.
  • Nearly 91% said that higher taxes would also make it more difficult to raise employee wages.

Manufacturing growth following the enactment of 2017 tax reform:

  • In 2018, manufacturers added 263,000 new jobs. That was the best year for job creation in manufacturing in 21 years. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • In 2018, manufacturing wages increased 3% and continued going up—by 2.8% in 2019 and 3% in 2020. Those were the fastest rates of annual growth since 2003. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Manufacturing capital spending grew 4.5% and 5.7% in 2018 and 2019, respectively. (U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Overall, manufacturing production grew 2.7% in 2018, with December 2018 being the best month for manufacturing output since May 2008. (Federal Reserve Board)

-NAM-

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 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

Press Releases

Manufacturers Share Commitment to Vaccination

Requirements Must Be Structured in a Way That Does Not Negatively Impact the Operations of Manufacturers

Washington, D.C. – Following President Biden’s speech on new measures to combat COVID-19, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement:

“Americans can be grateful to President Trump for ‘Operation Warp Speed’ that enabled the United States to develop the lifesaving vaccines against COVID-19 and to President Biden for his continued focus on getting Americans vaccinated. We share their steadfast focus, and manufacturers have led the way in promoting the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines. They are safe and effective vaccines made for us, by people like us—manufacturers in America.

“We look forward to working with the administration to ensure any vaccine requirements are structured in a way that does not negatively impact the operations of manufacturers that have been leading through the pandemic to keep Americans safe. It is important that undue compliance costs do not burden manufacturers, large and small alike.

“Getting all eligible Americans vaccinated will, first and foremost, reduce hospitalizations and save lives. But it is also an economic imperative in that our recovery and quality of life depend on our ability to end this pandemic. This is why the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute continue equipping manufacturers of all sizes with resources to promote vaccination through our ‘This Is Our Shot’ project.”

-NAM-

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 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

Press Releases

Manufacturers: Tax Hikes Will Cost Manufacturing Jobs

9 in 10 Manufacturers say higher taxes would make it more difficult to raise employee wages, invest in new equipment and hire more workers

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement following U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s address to the City Club of Cleveland:

“Secretary Raimondo correctly notes that ‘too many Americans feel like they’ve been left behind,’ but returning to archaic tax policies of the past would set Americans back even further. Manufacturers kept their promises to raise wages and invest in their communities after the 2017 tax reform law. Why would anyone want to undo that progress?

“The proposed tax increases would result in 1 million job losses in just the first two years. Manufacturers agree with Secretary Raimondo that we want to give ‘all American workers an opportunity to participate in our economy,’ and we believe in building an opportunity society. But we need continued strong job creation to make that possible—especially as we continue to battle COVID-19.

“The right approach is a bipartisan one—just as President Biden and senators from both parties achieved on infrastructure. Smart investments that don’t impose job-destroying tax increases is the path forward. Lawmakers who choose the more destructive path—the one that jeopardizes family-supporting American manufacturing jobs—will need to explain why they want to undo our historic progress. In 2020, President Biden called on U.S. manufacturing to be ‘part of the Arsenal of Prosperity today.’ We are committed to answering that call, but we need the tools—including competitive tax rates—to achieve that goal.”

Manufacturers on Increasing the Tax Burden:

(Source: NAM’s Q3 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey)

  • Nearly 94% of manufacturers said that higher taxes would be harmful to their businesses.
  • Roughly 90% of respondents said that their company would find it more difficult to expand their workforce, invest in new equipment or expand facilities if the tax burden on income from manufacturing activities increased.
  • Nearly 91% said that higher taxes would also make it more difficult to raise employee wages.

Background on manufacturing growth following the enactment of 2017 tax reform:

  • In 2018, manufacturers added 263,000 new jobs. That was the best year for job creation in manufacturing in 21 years.
  • In 2018, manufacturing wages increased 3% and continued going up—by 2.8% in 2019 and 3% in 2020. Those were the fastest rates of annual growth since 2003.
  • Manufacturing capital spending grew 4.5% and 5.7% in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
  • Overall, manufacturing production grew 2.7% in 2018, with December 2018 being the best month for manufacturing output since May 2008.

-NAM-

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 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

Press Releases

New NAM Report Highlights the Impact and Importance of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Timmons: Pharmaceutical manufacturers are essential to America’s health and well-being and to the success of our economy.

Washington, D.C. – After the publication today of the National Association of Manufacturers’ latest report, Ensuring a Healthy Future: The Impact and Importance of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing,” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“Pharmaceutical manufacturers are essential to America’s health and well-being and to the success of our economy. They have helped lead our country through crisis, fight the pandemic and drive our recovery. The sector creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, and the work its quarter of a million employees perform is literally lifesaving, improving society in ways that are almost impossible to overstate.”

The report finds that not only have pharmaceutical manufacturers been pioneers in improving the human condition, but the industry also fuels other sectors of the economy.

According to the report:

  • Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing directly employs an estimated 267,000 workers in the United States and supports nearly 1.9 million more jobs across the country.
  • One job in the industry helps support six other jobs in the overall workforce.
  • Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing generates nearly $339 billion in output. Further, $1.00 in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing output generates $1.09 in output elsewhere in the economy.
  • For every $1.00 earned by an employee within the industry, $2.42 is earned by others elsewhere in the economy.

“The American public and policymakers too often overlook these accomplishments,” Timmons added. “Traditional economic analysis ignores the way this industry extends and enriches lives, and the public is not fully aware of pharmaceutical manufacturers’ constant focus on innovation and improving the quality of life for everyone. Pharmaceutical manufacturers are always researching, discovering and developing new medicines and treatments, operating at the core of our modern health care system. Their products make it possible for medical professionals to introduce and manage innovative new therapies, and of course, these manufacturers helped create lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines. Moreover, the industry has high economic multipliers that drive production and job creation in other industries.”

Additional Key Findings:

  • A successful pharmaceutical ecosystem requires strong private-sector investment. 
    • In 2019, American pharmaceutical companies invested more than $83 billion in research and development, topping off nearly $1 trillion in R&D investment over the past 20 years. A recent study from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics estimates that the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing sector alone accounts for roughly 17% of total R&D investment in the United States.
    • The pharmaceutical industry invests nearly 11.4% of its sales back into R&D. Indeed, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry invests on average roughly three times more in R&D as a percentage of sales than all other manufacturing industries.
  • The industry creates valuable STEM jobs.
    • While roughly 6.7% of the U.S. workforce has a STEM occupation, 29.9% of all jobs in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing are STEM related. The pharmaceutical manufacturing sector employs more than four times the percentage of STEM workers employed in the overall workforce.
  • Industry employees are highly productive.
    • Industry employees produce $1.3 million in output per employee. This is nearly seven times greater than the U.S. economy’s average output per employee ($188,000).

-NAM-

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 12.4 million men and women, contributes $2.44 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and has the largest economic multiplier of any major sector 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.

Press Releases

Tax Hikes, Workforce Challenges Top of Mind for Manufacturers

NAM Launches Campaign to Oppose Tax Hikes

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers released its Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the third quarter of 2021, showing manufacturers remain mostly optimistic in their economic outlook (87.5%, down from 90.1% in Q2). Consistent with Wednesday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report showing a record 889,000 job openings in manufacturing, respondents named workforce shortages (81.5%) as their top downside risk. Manufacturers also indicated the many ways that proposed tax increases threaten jobs, investment and growth in the sector.

The NAM is also launching a six-figure ad campaign calling on Congress to protect manufacturing jobs by opposing tax increases in the budget resolution. The print, radio and digital ads will run in Washington, D.C., and in key states across the country.

“This survey delivers an urgent warning for lawmakers: if you raise taxes on manufacturers, there will be no avoiding widespread job losses, slower growth and wage stagnation,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “At a time when paychecks for manufacturing families are growing at the highest rate in nearly 40 years, the tax increases under consideration by Congress will directly harm the men and women who make things in America. Like the New York manufacturer that hired 50 new workers, doubled the size of their manufacturing facilities and increased employee wages by nearly 5%, manufacturers across the country are keeping our promises after the 2017 tax reforms, investing in our people and our communities. To protect our recovery, we should all want to protect these reforms.

“The worsening workforce crisis, demonstrated in this and many previous surveys, is the driving motivation behind the NAM and Manufacturing Institute’s Creators Wanted campaign, which we will be ramping up even further in the coming months to tackle this challenge. With a record 889,000 open jobs in manufacturing and 4 million to fill by 2030, this is the largest campaign ever to build the workforce of tomorrow and inspire, educate and empower a new generation of manufacturers in America.”

Other survey highlights:

  • Nearly 94% of manufacturers said that higher taxes would be harmful to their businesses.
  • Roughly 90% of respondents said that their company would find it more difficult to expand their workforce, invest in new equipment or expand facilities if the tax burden on income from manufacturing activities increased.
  • Nearly 91% said that higher taxes would also make it more difficult to raise employee wages.
  • The top three challenges facing manufacturers are increased raw material costs (86.4%), attracting and retaining a quality workforce (80.0%) and supply chain challenges (79.8%).
  • Respondents predicted employment and wage growth to rise at the fastest rates in the survey’s 24-year history.

Read the full Q3 2021 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey results here.

Background on manufacturing growth following the enactment of 2017 tax reform:

  • In 2018, manufacturers added 263,000 new jobs. That was the best year for job creation in manufacturing in 21 years.
  • In 2018, manufacturing wages increased 3% and continued going up—by 2.8% in 2019 and 3% in 2020. Those were the fastest rates of annual growth since 2003.
  • Manufacturing capital spending grew by 4.5% and 5.7% in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
  • Overall, manufacturing production grew 2.7% in 2018, with December 2018 being the best month for manufacturing output since May 2008.

-NAM-

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 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

Workforce

Manufacturers’ Job Training Gets a Federal Boost

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The Economic Development Administration has $3 billion to spend on job training—and manufacturers should start preparing now to attract some of that funding to their regions.

What’s happening: The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law by President Biden in March, set aside $3 billion for a historic investment by the EDA in bottom-up economic development, according to a recent information session hosted by The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce development and education partner of the NAM.

  • Part of that money includes $500 million for the EDA’s Good Jobs Challenge, which helps fund job-training programs from design and development through implementation.

Applicants wanted: Applications for the funding—which can be spent by eligible recipients on a wide variety of expenses, including curriculum development, equipment purchases and training-facility leases—are due Jan. 26, 2022. (Read the Notice of Funding Opportunity here.)

“One of the key things we’re looking for in these proposals is a commitment to hire,” said EDA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Michele Chang. “We are in a time where we want to get folks back into jobs quickly.”

Who’s eligible? While nearly all types of public and private nonprofit groups are eligible, the EDA is seeking organizations that have strong credibility with employers and a proven track record of success.

  • How manufacturers can help: Raise this grant opportunity with your trusted economic development or workforce partner and encourage them to contact the MI at [email protected] to learn more.
  • A good fit: The EDA program is a natural fit for the MI’s efforts, according to MI Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Gardner Carrick. As he put it, “We are all working to attract more individuals to manufacturing.”

Boot Camp: Those who want to put their best foot forward during the EDA application process should consider the MI Boot Camp. These eight coaching sessions, which will run from mid-September to mid-December, will include workshops, discussions and expert mentorship designed to help applicants compete for the funds.

  • The MI Boot Camp is provided free of charge, but attendees will be selected via an application process. Email [email protected] for more information and how to apply.

Why it matters: Manufacturers are dealing with a worrying lack of skilled workers. As of July, the industry had a total of 889,000 job openings, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This vacuum could grow to 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030, according to a recent study by Deloitte and the MI—an excellent reason to expand training programs as fast as possible.

The last word: The MI encourages all those who meet eligibility requirements to apply for funds to support their job-training programs. Said Carrick: “The EDA has to be commended for what is really a very impressive grant program.”

Interested in more of the NAM and MI’s work to attract workers to the manufacturing industry? Check out our Creators Wanted campaign.

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