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Manufacturers Support Health Insurance for Older Workers

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As the manufacturing industry continues to grow, manufacturers across the country are ensuring that older workers and company retirees have the support they need—including through health care options like Medicare Advantage.

What it is: Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by private insurance companies that have been approved by Medicare. They provide the same hospital and medical insurance as original Medicare, but with additional benefits—often including Part D prescription drug coverage, as well as vision, dental and hearing services. Medicare Advantage Plans also include a maximum out-of-pocket spending limit to offer additional protection.

  • Medicare Advantage beneficiaries spend 40% less annually than those enrolled in Medicare Fee-for-Service, while also experiencing a 43% lower rate of avoidable hospitalizations for preventable complications, according to UnitedHealth Group.
  • Employers have been able to take advantage of this health care model for retirees by offering what is known as Employer Group Waiver Plans.

Why it matters: Attracting and retaining a quality workforce is one of the most important challenges facing the manufacturing industry, especially as the industry confronts a labor shortage. Affordable and competitive health care benefits are one of many retention tools utilized by manufacturers.

  • In 2021, 25.6% of the manufacturing industry’s workforce were 55 or older, while 5.3% were over 65, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • According to the NAM’s latest Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, 80.7% of manufacturers cited the inability to attract and retain a quality workforce as a primary business challenge.
  • The high-quality options provided by Medicare Advantage allow manufacturers to retain their older workers and keep them happy and healthy in their jobs.

What we’re saying: “Ninety-five percent of manufacturing employees were eligible for health insurance benefits in 2020, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, while 99% of NAM members offer health benefits. Manufacturers are supportive of flexibility, expanding coverage options and enabling innovative models of care to maintain a healthy workforce and provide competitive benefits,” said NAM Director of Human Resources and Innovation Policy Julia Bogue.

For details on other ways manufacturers can retain older employees check out insights from the Manufacturing Institute and AARP here.

Press Releases

North American Manufacturing Industry Statement on the Two-Year Anniversary of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement

Washington, D.C. – The leading organizations representing manufacturers and millions of manufacturing workers in the United States, Mexico and Canada released the following statement on the two-year anniversary of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA/T-MEC/CUSMA):

“On this two-year anniversary, we recognize the substantial value that this agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement have represented for our industry’s competitiveness, our economies and North American workers. Manufacturing is critical for the entire North American economy. Our closely integrated supply chains contribute more than $3 trillion annually to the North American economy, and more than $2 billion worth of manufactured goods cross our borders each day.

“The USMCA can only reach its full potential if it is fully implemented in a manner that upholds its letter and spirit. That is why manufacturers across North America continue to strongly and respectfully urge political leaders to work together to live up to the commitments of the agreement, which garnered broad support in all three countries. Full compliance with the agreement will provide certainty for the more than 23 million manufacturing workers in the United States, Mexico and Canada and boost our region’s ability to compete with the rest of the world.

“The Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), the Confederation of Industrial Chambers of Mexico (CONCAMIN) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) reiterate our longstanding commitment to engage with the Canadian, Mexican and U.S. governments to ensure that the USMCA/T-MEC/CUSMA is fully implemented and that it supports our industry’s competitiveness and our workers at this critical time for our economies.”

Background: Earlier this week NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons wrote to President Biden about certain challenges in U.S.-Mexico trade relations.

 

-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 12.7 million men and women, contributes $2.71 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. 

 

-CME-

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is Canada’s largest trade and industry association, and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada. CME directly represents more than 10,000 leading companies nationwide. As Canada’s leading business network, CME – through various initiatives, including the establishment of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition – touches more than 100,000 companies from coast to coast, engaged in manufacturing, global business, and service-related industries.

 

-CONCAMIN-

The Confederation of Industrial Chambers of the United Mexican States, CONCAMIN, established in 1918, is the main organization representing the different industrial sectors and activities of high importance for the economic development of Mexico. The National Confederation of Industrial Chambers, is by law a mandatory consultative body of the State since its creation 104 years ago, it represents 118 Chambers and Associations.

It generates 48 out of every 100 formal jobs in the country. Through 1.2 million Economic Units, we contribute 40% of the GDP and 90% of the country’s exports. 

Business Operations

Manufacturing Leadership Council Recognizes Pfizer CEO

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The Manufacturing Leadership Council—a division of the NAM that helps manufacturers leverage digital transformation—named Pfizer CEO Dr. Albert Bourla the 2022 Manufacturing Leader of the Year at the 18th annual Manufacturing Leadership Awards Gala.

The details: The ML Awards are the U.S. manufacturing industry’s biggest stage for recognizing excellence in digital manufacturing. Since the program’s founding in 2005, more than 1,000 high-performing projects and individual leaders have been honored with an award. Winners represent companies of varying sizes in a wide array of industries.

The big award: The Manufacturing Leader of the Year award was presented to Bourla for Pfizer’s extraordinary and ongoing contributions in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • “Manufacturing in America today is stronger thanks to the leadership of Dr. Bourla and his team at Pfizer, including our Executive Committee member Mike McDermott,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Albert and Mike’s passion and dedication to defeating COVID-19 set an example for thousands of companies as our industry navigated and responded to the evolving pandemic, and their leadership and innovation will make us better prepared to respond to the next crisis.”

Other honorees: Awards were given to companies that excelled in various categories of manufacturing, including Protolabs for collaborative ecosystems, AB InBev for digital network connectivity and operational excellence, Dow for digital supply chains, General Motors for engineering and production technology, Flex and Johnson & Johnson for enterprise integration technology, AUO Corporation for sustainability and ALOM Technologies for transformative cultures.

Manufacturers of the Year: Protolabs was named the Small/Medium Enterprise Manufacturer of the Year, and AB InBev was named the Large Enterprise Manufacturer of the Year.

The last word: “Manufacturers continue to be the driving force for global economic recovery and pandemic response as they establish innovative ways to problem-solve in an increasingly complex environment,” said MLC Co-Founder, Vice President and Executive Director David R. Brousell. “Those recognized tonight have helped establish a roadmap for the future of the sector and highlight the importance of Manufacturing 4.0.”

Press Releases

Manufacturers: Court’s Decision Affirms EPA’s Authority to Issue Appropriate Greenhouse Gas Regulations

Washington, D.C. – Following the Supreme Court’s 6–3 decision in West Virginia vs. EPA, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement:

“Manufacturers share a deep commitment to protecting our planet and our people, and manufacturing innovation holds the key to solving the generational challenge of climate change. The court’s decision affirms the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to issue appropriate greenhouse gas regulations while providing a reminder that the agency must stay within the guardrails delegated by Congress. As some of the largest electricity consumers and as electricity generators, manufacturers are ready to work with the EPA to deliver innovative and balanced solutions that protect our environment and our competitiveness as it considers next steps.”

Background: Earlier this week, the NAM along with 42 state partners sent President Biden a letter highlighting the importance of affordable, reliable electricity for manufacturers to remain competitive. It signals manufacturers’ eagerness to work with policymakers on the important decisions and planning surrounding the future of the electrical grid and broader energy policy.

-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 12.7 million men and women, contributes $2.71 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

Workforce

Calling All Creators: Creators Wanted Live Arrives at Open Call 2022

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This week, the Creators Wanted Tour Live made its eighth national tour stop—at Walmart’s 9th annual open call for entrepreneurs and manufacturers.

Drawing a crowd: On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Creators Wanted mobile experience was onsite in Bentonville, Arkansas, as 1,100 small and medium-sized business owners pitched their products to Walmart and Sam’s Club for Walmart’s Open Call 2022. The ultimate prize for the business owners? A “gold ticket” to get their products into the stores.

  • The two-day Creators Wanted stop drew more than 2,000 people, many of whom jumped at the opportunity to solve puzzles and “race to the future” in the award-winning, immersive escape room.
  • In addition to Walmart, Chart Industries, a leading global manufacturer of highly engineered equipment servicing multiple applications in clean energy and industrial gas markets, helped bring the experience to Open Call attendees and the Bentonville community.
  • The tour, which aims to generate interest in and excitement about manufacturing careers, is a joint project of the NAM and its workforce development and education partner The Manufacturing Institute.

Committed to manufacturing: The aim of bringing Creators Wanted to this year’s Open Call was to bolster the positive perception of modern manufacturing careers, recruit new manufacturers and connect entrepreneurs and manufacturers with the MI’s workforce-shortage solutions.

  • Walmart has committed to spending $350 billion on products made, grown or assembled in the U.S., in addition to the $250 billion the company pledged in 2013 to spend on similar products.
  • Total estimated job growth from these investments: 750,000 new American positions by 2031.

Who was there: MI President Carolyn Lee and Vice President of Program Execution Herb Grant were on hand to give manufacturers greater insight into the MI’s growing set of solutions to the dearth of skilled manufacturing labor.

  • Also onsite was new Creators Wanted partner FactoryFix, whose team members helped attendee manufacturers source new talent for their businesses and taught job seekers how to build rewarding careers in the industry.

 The reaction: “Wherever we go with our Creators Wanted Tour—including here in Bentonville, Arkansas—students, parents, career mentors and even professionals in other industries see what manufacturing can mean and create for futures,” said NAM Managing Vice President of Brand Strategy Chrys Kefalas. “It’s showing there’s dignity, a “cool” factor and massive reward in making things in the United States. Eyes light up.”

The reach: On the second day of the event, more than 3,000 students had already signed up online to learn more about modern manufacturing careers.

Up next: Coinciding with the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational on the LPGA tour, the Creators Wanted Tour Live will make its ninth stop in Midland, Michigan, July 13–16.

Policy and Legal

NAM Outlines Health Care Priorities

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In a message to members of the Congressional Health Care Task Force, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons urged Congress to pursue several health care priorities for manufacturers.

The big picture: Timmons laid out three core principles that guide NAM health care advocacy and engagement.

  • First, the NAM believes that free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity are the values that can successfully push forward the process of simplifying health care and achieving lower costs.
  • Second, the NAM believes that the medical credo “first, do no harm” should guide health care policy efforts.
  • Third, the NAM believes that the health care policy and business environment must allow and encourage unparalleled innovation, investment and manufacturing right here in the U.S.

In accordance with these principles, the NAM is pushing for several specific policy advances.

Transparency: “Manufacturers appreciate ongoing efforts to improve transparency in health care,” Timmons wrote. “Our industry has experienced the impacts of cost variation related to a range of health care services. These impacts can make health coverage more frustrating and expensive, for both consumers and employers who sponsor coverage.”

Connectivity: “The technology is available, and businesses have the capability to deliver and realize the potential of a fully connected health care system,” Timmons wrote. “Privacy laws and regulations need updating so that the deployment and adoption of new innovations to improve connectivity in our health care system can flourish.”

HSAs: The NAM believes Health Savings Accounts allow employees to have more control over their health care spending. To ensure HSAs can increase consumer flexibility and benefit American employees, the NAM supports efforts to increase limits and modernize rules governing HSAs.

Value-based arrangements: “Manufacturers are encouraged by the potential for health care innovation through outcomes-based health care arrangements,” Timmons wrote. “These arrangements would align incentives across a range of parties—health care providers, employers, patients, insurers and pharmaceutical and life sciences manufacturers—so that delivery of care, payment arrangements and clinical outcomes are achieved in an efficient manner.”

Association health plans: The NAM supports efforts to reform, advance and strengthen Association Health Plans. AHPs are beneficial especially to small businesses that struggle to offer affordable health care coverage to their employees. The NAM believes that additional legislation is needed to protect the longevity and sustainability of AHPs as a health care option.

Innovation: The NAM believes strong intellectual property protection is essential to creating a more competitive health care market, bringing down prices and fostering innovation by encouraging research and development.

The last word: “Despite the many challenges and strains facing the health care system, we are a nation that prides itself on first-class, best-in-the-world medical care,” Timmons wrote. “Our institutions, public and private, continue to lead the world on patient care, lifesaving treatments and medical research. We must uphold those successes while seeking to control or lower the cost of health care through market-oriented approaches. Employers are leading a great deal of innovation in health care delivery, and those positive developments must be allowed to flourish.”

Press Releases

New Study: Ports Stoppage Would Be Devastating Hit to Manufacturers’ Competitiveness

Cost Economy Half a Billion Dollars a Day, Destroy 41,000 U.S. Jobs

Washington, D.C. – As negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association and International Longshore and Warehouse Union near a critical deadline, manufacturers are sounding the alarm about potential economic consequences of a port stoppage if disruption were to occur over two weeks at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation’s largest port complex. According to a study by Inforum Economics, a 15-day disruption would cost the U.S. economy nearly half a billion dollars a day—for a total of $7.5 billion—and destroy 41,000 jobs, including more than 6,100 in manufacturing.

As the industry continues to grapple with historic supply chain challenges, inflationary pressures and rising transportation and energy costs, manufacturers are calling on the parties to reach an agreement immediately to avoid this continued uncertainty.

“The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach support a major share of cargo relied upon by American businesses and consumers, supporting supply chains across the entire country. With supply chains already stretched thin, inflation at its highest level in four decades and concerns of a recession rising, any disruption would mean a devastating hit to our economy and to manufacturers’ competitiveness,” said National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The disruption would be felt immediately. Manufacturing jobs will be lost if parts and supplies don’t arrive. New equipment, machinery and products can’t be built when ships are backed up and there is no one available to unload and process cargo. Our overseas customers won’t wait for us to fix these disruptions, either—they’ll simply find other suppliers, weakening U.S. manufacturing competitiveness in the process.

“This is why the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union must not allow a disruption at these ports. Manufacturers, our millions of employees and the countless others whose lives and livelihoods depend on the products we make are counting on the PMA and the ILWU to reach a resolution and keep the ports running.”

Background: At the time of publication, the PMA and ILWU are engaged in labor negotiations. The NAM commissioned an analysis using the Inforum LIFT economic model to quantify the impacts of a 15-day closure at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports. Specifically, it estimates how such a closure would impact U.S. employment, output and income. These ports have experienced historic disruptions and bottlenecks since late 2020, and nearly 84% of manufacturers now list freight and transportation costs as a key driver of inflation.

-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 12.7 million men and women, contributes $2.71 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.

Policy and Legal

New Unionization Changes Could Harm Manufacturers

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An ongoing push for new unionization policies would be damaging for manufacturers and their workforces, and the NAM is leading the fight against them. NAM Director of Labor and Employment Policy Brian Walsh recently laid out what these efforts are and what they mean for the manufacturing industry.

The background: Recent unionization efforts at major corporations like Starbucks and Amazon have gained headlines across the US. But, according to Walsh, these movements are part of a much broader effort:

  • “Where manufacturers should be really concerned…is the possible changes to union-organizing activity through legislation, such as the PRO Act, or through decisions from the National Labor Relations Board that will change current interpretations of labor law and enact card check nationwide,” said Walsh.

Card check: In case you aren’t familiar with it, card check is an alternative to the secret ballot elections that are required to occur with federal oversight.

  • To begin the unionization process, card check efforts require over 50% of employees to sign a card indicating their interest in forming a union. Card check proposals also jeopardize employees’ right to privately cast their ballots and could lead to less secure union elections, according to Walsh.
  • “The NLRB’s General Counsel, Jennifer Abruzzo, aims to overturn longstanding practices surrounding union elections and card check policies,” added Walsh. “She has also called for overruling prior standards that have given employers the right to speak to their employees on union organizing. This would be devastating for employers.”

PRO Act: “Manufacturers support workers’ federally protected right to collectively bargain, but the Protecting the Right to Organize Act would hurt relationships between employers and employees by allowing unions to access personal employee information in union-organizing drives,” said Walsh.

  • “It is also another way to eliminate the secret ballot by taking away the ability for workers to privately cast their votes in a union election. This makes a worker’s vote known on a physical card for union organizers and their co-workers to see—making them susceptible to pressure campaigns.”

The NAM in action: The NAM is advocating against these policies and has been successful at holding back the PRO Act in the Senate.

  • Most recently, the NAM has been leading a campaign to make sure that card check language is not included in Congress’ final China competition bill.

What’s ahead: “Because of the composition of the NLRB, we expect many cases to be decided against employers,” said Walsh. “This is where the work of the NAM Legal Center is going to be really important in our efforts to beat back union tactics. We will be engaged in NLRB proceedings—and are prepared to go to court when necessary.”

Get involved: To take action on this issue, go here.

Workforce

Get Ready for MFG Day 2022!

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The Manufacturing Institute, the NAM’s workforce development and education partner, is hard at work preparing for MFG Day 2022, coming up on Oct. 7 and celebrated throughout the month of October. In a recent webinar—led by MI Director of Student Engagement Jen White—participants learned about the importance of MFG Day, as well as best practices for planning an MFG Day event.

What it is: MFG Day, organized nationally by the MI, is the industry’s largest grassroots movement to open doors to manufacturing for students, parents and educators.

  • A major goal of MFG Day is to change common misconceptions and stereotypes about the manufacturing industry, letting participating students see for themselves that manufacturing plants are modern, safe workplaces that use the most technologically advanced processes to create all kinds of crucial goods.
  • Host companies often welcome a mix of students, educators, parents and community leaders and provide them with an inside view of the industry—and the careers available.

Why it matters: MFG Day is crucial to solving the impending workforce crisis in the industry.

  • Manufacturers will need to fill about 4 million jobs by 2030, but right now, more than half of those jobs are projected to be unfilled because of a lack of qualified talent or skills. That shortage could cost the U.S. economy up to $1 trillion!
  • “We have to increase awareness among students, educators, parents and other adults of influence and the public in general of the importance that manufacturers play in our daily lives,” said White.

Planning an event: The MI has a variety of resources available to help companies plan and execute their MFG Day events this year.

  • Past events have ranged from open houses with tours to expos, job fairs and roundtable discussions—and often, companies team up with other manufacturers nearby to create a group event.
  • Check out creatorswanted.org/resources for help.

Best practices: During the webinar, White noted that the key to a successful MFG Day event is knowing who your audience is and what they are interested in—and making sure your company can engage with them.

  • This can include working with local schools, and also “local liaisons, your workforce boards, your chambers of commerce, local associations, community-based organizations like boys and girls clubs or the Girl Scouts,” said White. “There’s so many different organizations out there that already have wonderful relationships with youth and students.”
  • “The key is getting involved and starting to build those partnerships with those schools and those community organizations—and not just to have it be on that one day, but continually. I say MFG Day is every day,” White added.

Timeline: The time to start planning an MFG Day event is today!

  • White recommends that potential MFG day hosts begin planning event logistics and start contacting schools or community groups during the summer months.
  • Once a plan is in place, it can be registered on the Creators Wanted website and officially listed.

The last word: “We must build ongoing partnerships between companies, community, organizations and schools to continue the engagement beyond one single connection opportunity or one day,” said White. “It won’t easy. It won’t be quick, but it is the way ahead, and students are our future.”

Press Releases

Manufacturers Launch Ad Campaign to Protect Manufacturing Competitiveness

Tax Increases Do Nothing to Reduce Energy Costs, Address Supply Chain and Inflation Challenges

Washington, D.C. – Amid historic supply chain challenges and inflationary pressures, along with increasing energy costs, the National Association of Manufacturers is launching a six-figure ad campaign calling on Congress to protect manufacturing jobs by opposing new taxes on the industry, including those meant to punish the very energy manufacturers that are being asked to produce more. The print, radio and digital ads will run in Washington, D.C., and in key states across the country.

“Manufacturers have kept our promises—especially after the 2017 tax reforms—to create jobs, raise wages and benefits and invest in our communities. To keep up this winning record, we need Congress to enact policies consistent with our manufacturing competitiveness agenda. That’s how we’ll strengthen supply chains, expand access to affordable, reliable energy and tamp down inflation. Our industry is ready to keep solving problems and create well-paying jobs—but returning to outdated tax policies will impede our progress,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.

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

  • In 2018, manufacturers added 260,000 new jobs. That was the best year for job creation in manufacturing in 21 years.
  • In 2018, manufacturing wages increased 3.1% and continued going up—by 2.9% in 2019 and 3.0% 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 3.2% in 2018, the best since 2010.

The NAM has published research on the impact of rolling back tax reform (study available here and click here for a summary of the study’s findings) and increasing the U.S. Global Intangible Low-Taxed Income (GILTI) tax burden (study available here).

-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 12.7 million men and women, contributes $2.71 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.

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