Press Releases

Manufacturers Support All Efforts to Get Americans Vaccinated

Timmons: “The lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines were made for us, by people like us—manufacturers in the United States.”

Washington, D.C. – Today, following President Joe Biden’s decision to require vaccinations of all federal employees, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“The lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines were made for us, by people like us—manufacturers in the United States. They are proven, safe and the only way we can save lives, end the pandemic and sustain our economic recovery. Since vaccines became available, manufacturers have been leading by example, helping their employees access vaccines and confidently get vaccinated, and we support all efforts to get more Americans vaccinated so we can beat back COVID-19 and the aggressive delta variant and save lives.

“Through our This Is Our Shot project, the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute have equipped manufacturers with resources to help their teams get vaccinated and protect their communities—ranging from videos, graphics and vaccine locators to FAQs and in-depth communications guides. On our own team, the NAM achieved a voluntary vaccination rate of 98%, and to ensure our staff and those with whom we interact are as safe as possible, we then made the decision to require vaccinations by mid-September.

“Manufacturers will continue to lead by example and work with the administration to promote vaccination and with our employees and communities to provide them the information they need. The recent surge in cases is a reminder that this pandemic is not over, but with these vaccines, it is within our power to dramatically change the trajectory of this virus.”

-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 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 

Workforce

Get Ready for MFG Day 2021!

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We’re just two months away from MFG Day 2021! If you’re a manufacturer and you haven’t done so already, it’s time to start thinking about hosting an event.

Amplifying the “Creators Wanted” message, MFG Day—which officially falls on October 1 but will be celebrated throughout the rest of the month—is manufacturing’s biggest celebration of the year, a chance for parents, students and educators to step inside the industry and see everything it has to offer. It’s nothing less than our biggest annual opportunity to “solve the workforcedevelopment crisis,” as MI Senior Director of Student Engagement Julia Asoni put it during a recent webinar.

Here’s what you need to know.

The crisis: Manufacturers will need to hire 4 million workers between now and 2030 to account for growth and fill positions left open by retiring workers, according to a recent study by Deloitte and the MI. Yet the industry will struggle to fill just 2.1 million of those jobs.

  • “The solution is to inspire the next generation of manufacturers and educate students, parents, teachers and the public on the important role that manufacturers play in our lives,” Asoni said.

Making a difference: In 2019, more than 325,000 MFG Day participants took part in 3,000 events across North America, Asoni noted. Afterward, 72% said they now believed “manufacturing provides an interesting and rewarding career.”

  • MFG Day 2020 moved online due to the pandemic, but this year, it’s back in force and in person.

What can you do? Manufacturers that wish to host an event this MFG Day but don’t know where to start have come to the right place.

  • In-person options: Facility tours, open houses, community gatherings and expos, roundtable discussions and job fairs all make excellent events, Asoni said.
  • Go virtual: Virtual events can be successful, too. Consider Zoom, GoTo Meeting, Instagram Live, Facebook or a specific school platform (if working in partnership with a school). Interested in hosting a 3D-mapped, virtual experience for MFG Day? Contact NAM AVP of Strategic Partnerships Chris Schmitt at [email protected].
  • “What will participants do?” Engaging working employees during onsite tours is crucial, Asoni said. “Personal experience has the greatest impact on perception change, according to research.” So get creative when thinking through your visits and walk-throughs!
  • “Whom do we invite?” Reach out to local schools and community-based organizations, such as nearby Boys & Girls Clubs of America. BGCA can be contacted for partnership purposes at [email protected].
  • Learn more about MFG Day through our full page of MFG Day resources. And listen to prior best practices shared by MFG Day hosts on a webinar hosted last month.

Register your event: Be sure to register your MFG Day events by the end of August. This will help people find them and sign up.

Calls to action: MFG Day event hosts should each have their own calls to action—steps that attendees can take to keep engaging with manufacturing. This could be signing up for a company newsletter, following the company on social-media channels or attending another event, such as a career day.

  • This year, we’re launching a built-in call to action to engage students year-round. Stay tuned for more information in September!

Check it out: As MFG Day nears, keep checking in on CreatorsWanted.org. It will be updated and refreshed continually up to Oct. 1 with new MFG Day resources, along with updates on the broader Creators Wanted campaign to help inspire, educate and empower the next generation of manufacturing talent.

More support: Need a bit more help? Join us for some real-time Q&A during one of our upcoming MFG Day Office Hours.

Press Releases

Infrastructure Legislation is History in the Making

Washington, D.C. – Today, following the Senate’s vote to invoke cloture on the bipartisan infrastructure legislation, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“This is history in the making, and manufacturers celebrate the leadership of the bipartisan group of senators who, along with President Biden and his administration, got us to this moment. We will continue to work with leaders in both parties to get a final bill passed by Congress and on to President Biden’s desk.

“For many years and across multiple administrations and Congresses, the NAM has led the charge for bold, historic infrastructure investment. We’re not done yet, but we’re closer than ever. This bill will not just support our economic recovery; it will provide the foundation for decades of American economic leadership. It will save lives and improve the American quality of life. It will help manufacturers in America compete in the world and create jobs here at home. And it will do all that without rolling back all the tax reforms that have allowed manufacturers to hire more workers, raise wages and benefits and invest in our communities. This is truly how we build to win.

“Manufacturers of all sizes, across this entire country, now call on the Senate and then the House to swiftly pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill—to show the world we plan to lead in the 21st century and into the 22nd and to show the American people that our government can still do great things.”

-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 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.

Workforce

To the Moon and Then Mars: An Interview with a STEP Honoree

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Jennifer Boland-Masterson originally got excited about manufacturing because of the robots. The Indiana native later graduated from Purdue University with a degree in electrical engineering, then worked in the automotive and boat industries before joining Boeing. Today, she is Boeing’s director of operations, Space Launch System, and leads the team that is building NASA’s SLS rocket—the most powerful rocket in development today.

“The plan is to get us back to the moon, and then to Mars, and this rocket has the payload to make it happen,” says Boland-Masterson. “We’re building the next generation of the space program, and that’s my day-to-day.”

A manufacturing advocate: Boland-Masterson was recently selected by The Manufacturing Institute 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 sees sharing stories as an important way of encouraging other young women to go into manufacturing and frequently attends science, technology, engineering and math events in her community to demystify the industry for young people and their parents.

  • “The earlier that girls and their parents understand that STEM events are not just for boys, and [the earlier] they see role models in the fields they aspire to be in, the better,” says Boland-Masterson. “It gives them that energy. They realize, hey, I can do that too.”

  • “It might look male-dominated, but the dynamics are changing,” she adds. “You’re seeing more diversity in these engineering, tech, science areas. It’s exciting to see that change.”

It takes a village—and some confidence: Boland-Masterson emphasizes the importance of teamwork and of being able to build a community among your friends and colleagues.

  • “Make sure you have a good support system,” she advises young people. “We can’t do it by ourselves. We have to have people we can ask for advice or help. Whether you’re a woman or a man, everyone needs that support system.”
  • “We all will have challenges, but that’s okay,” she adds. “You’re your number one fan, and when you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything and everything you want.”

An unexpected journey: Even as someone who hoped to go into manufacturing from an early age, Boland-Masterson was surprised by the range of opportunities she encountered in the industry. Her work has turned out to be both international and interplanetary.

  • “I would never have imagined as a kid that I would be building a rocket that will carry astronauts into deep space,” says Boland-Masterson. “I would never have guessed. Growing up in Indiana, I thought I would stay in Indiana my whole life. But getting into manufacturing, I’ve had an opportunity to go across the country and around the world.”

And does she work with robots?: “Believe it or not, I don’t work with any robots,” Boland-Masterson says, laughing. “My day-to-day is all about human interaction. But I say keep an open mind and that will take you to wonderful, unexpected places.”

Policy and Legal

New Tax Bill Poses Threat to Manufacturers

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This week, the Senate’s top tax writer, Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), introduced the Small Business Tax Fairness Act, which would significantly limit the existing 20% deduction for manufacturers organized as “pass-through” entities.

The background: The 2017 tax reform law created a 20% deduction for business income earned through pass-through entities such as S-corporations or partnerships. The lower tax burden provides manufacturers with additional capital to hire workers, increase wages and expand operations.

  • The Small Business Tax Fairness Act, however, would essentially eliminate the pass-through deduction for all but the very smallest of companies by phasing out the deduction for taxpayers with income above $400,000 – completely eliminating it as income reaches $500,000.
  • Moreover, the bill would negatively impact family-owned businesses by denying the deduction for business held in trusts and estates.

The NAM’s view: As the vast majority of manufacturers are small and organized as pass-through entities, phasing out the deduction as proposed under the bill would ultimately hurt the men and women who make things in America.

  • The current-law provision links wages with the deduction: the more you pay your workers, the larger the benefit for the manufacturer. The proposal does away with this formula, which would break the important link between wages and the deduction.
  • Earlier this year, the NAM released a major tax study on the effects of proposed tax increases, including a repeal of the pass-through deduction. That study found that one million jobs would be lost in just the first two years if those increases were to be implemented.

The last word: “This pass-through deduction is a critical pro-growth tool enabling manufacturers to hire more workers and grow their operations,” said NAM’s Senior Director of Tax Policy David Eiselsberg. “Make no mistake, this legislation would amount to a major tax increase and effectively punish manufacturers that are doing the right thing by hiring workers and paying good wages with a higher tax bill.”

Business Operations

UL Helps Manufacturers Keep Their Air Healthy

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With the highly infectious Delta variant causing concern even among vaccinated people in the U.S., manufacturers are thinking about the quality of their air yet again.

Now they can benefit from additional expert advice. In a recent webinar, the NAM’s Leading Edge program hosted an expert from global safety company UL to discuss how manufacturers can keep their air (and their employees) safe. Here are some of his recommendations.

In their own category: “Manufacturing facilities … are unique, in many respects,” UL Director of Assets and Sustainability, Real Estate and Properties Sean McCrady said. “You have all of these activities where there’s going to be regulatory safeguards in place for worker protection that are likely going to [act as] guidance for IEQ [indoor environmental quality].”

  • In fact, many manufacturers worked quickly to improve their air quality when the pandemic started, the webinar’s moderator, NAM Director of Labor and Employment Policy Drew Schneider, noted. But though manufacturers may be ahead of the game on air quality, there’s more still to consider.

UL’s work: In response to the pandemic, UL developed what Fast Company magazine has called “LEED for the COVID-19 era”: its Verified Healthy Buildings program.

  • To date, hundreds of buildings, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Cira Centre in Philadelphia, have had their IAQ (indoor air quality) tested, along with water purity, ventilation efficacy and other environmental factors.
  • With UL’s guidance, building owners have made systemic changes, such as HVAC-system mold remediation, ventilation upgrades, air-filter unclogging and more.

So what can manufacturers do? “There’s a lot of opportunity to maintain that positive momentum” from behaviors that arose in response to COVID-19, McCrady said during the webinar.

  • For manufacturers, this includes extending the IAQ- and IEQ-safety measures in place on the facility floor to their administrative areas, which may not be as well-ventilated, McCrady advised.
  • “People know a lot more these days,” he said. They “want transparency” about their air quality.

Tips and tricks: McCrady offered additional advice for manufacturers:

  • “Number one is ventilation. You want to make sure you’re bringing in enough fresh air” from outside, as well as doing proper and routine maintenance of ventilation systems.
  • “Focus on source control,” McCrady added, referring to the elimination of individual sources of pollution. “And limit the migration of harmful contaminants”—for example, by carefully maintaining HVAC systems.
  • Lastly, it’s important to fit air filters properly. Filters that have gaps or are otherwise incorrectly installed “won’t work,” McCrady said.

Not a magic pill: While high-quality filtration, ventilation and purification can go a long way toward stopping the spread of disease (particularly airborne illnesses such as the coronavirus), people must take other precautionary measures, too, McCrady noted. These include getting vaccinated and washing hands frequently and thoroughly.

The final say: “The things that can and should be done aren’t new, they’re just kind of under a spotlight right now,” McCrady said. “Focus on the fundamentals.”

Interested in hearing more from UL? Register for our Leading Edge Growth Series: Preparing for the Future of Manufacturing.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Encourage Congress to Find Pathway for Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation

Timmons: Bold, historic infrastructure investment will improve all of our lives

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the failure of the cloture vote on the bipartisan Senate infrastructure legislation.

“Bold, historic infrastructure investment will improve all of our lives, but it is especially critical to the future of manufacturing in America and to the livelihoods of America’s manufacturing workers. Making these investments in a bipartisan way will also help restore faith in our institutions. Of course, such historic achievements are never easy, so lawmakers should keep talking and continue their work. The more than 12 million men and women of the manufacturing workforce have confidence that our elected officials can show Americans and the world that they can lead and that the United States is going to keep moving forward so we can build to win.”

-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 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.

Workforce

Creators Wanted Gets an Endorsement

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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].

Policy and Legal

Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Keeps Promises to Employees

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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.”

Workforce

How Manufacturers Can Retain Employees

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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.

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