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Manufacturer Racks Up New Product in COVID-19 Response

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Marlin Steel Wire Products team member creates newly designed test-tube racks critical to COVID-19 testing efforts in the U.S.
Marlin Steel Wire Products team member James Branch creates newly designed test-tube racks critical to COVID-19 testing efforts in the U.S.

At 6:15 p.m. on Friday, Marlin Steel Wire Products, a Baltimore-based wire and sheet metal fabricator, received an urgent order. A client conducting coronavirus testing needed a large set of test-tube racks by Monday morning to continue work. Marlin had never designed test-tube racks before, but the company sprang into action.

It was a race against time. During a week when employees had already worked 40 to 60 hours—and on a day when some had begun at 6:00 a.m.—a group volunteered to work through the weekend. After working until 10:30 p.m. on Friday, they started again at 6:00 a.m. on Saturday, working until 10:00 p.m. that evening and resuming early Sunday morning. At 1:40 p.m. on Sunday—just 43 hours from the moment they received the request—the racks were ready to ship.

Still, the work continued. The client asked Marlin to send the racks by plane—but when Marlin’s staff arrived at the airport, their flight was canceled. Undeterred, Marlin loaded the racks into a truck with two drivers to cover the 1,100-mile journey. By Monday morning, they were unloading the racks—fewer than 65 hours after receiving the order.

“This team is extraordinary. They’re manufacturing heroes,” said Drew Greenblatt, Marlin’s president and owner and a member of the National Association of Manufacturers Executive Committee. “Despite working 40 to 60 hours during the week, they dropped everything, pulled together and used an extra 30 hours to get things done. This is Rosie the Riveter stuff.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, the company is taking extra measures to protect employees; keeping workers at least six feet apart, sanitizing workstations and door handles frequently, and ensuring that employees able to work from home can do so. Greenblatt emphasized manufacturers’ importance to the effort against COVID-19 and the need for factories to stay open.

“That lab cannot determine if COVID-19 is in that test tube unless they have that wire rack, and I can’t manufacture that wire rack if I don’t have my steel suppliers in Illinois or my cardboard box manufacturer in Maryland or my employees in our facility,” said Greenblatt. “We’re doing this so they can accomplish their mission. We need to keep factories open because we’re making the goods that keep our world functioning.”

The NAM, working with state association partners, has asked governors and municipal leaders nationwide to declare manufacturing facilities “essential” so that businesses like Marlin Steel can continue their lifesaving work.

“Manufacturers in America are mobilizing to help our nation overcome this historic crisis,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “America’s creators will respond to this challenge, as we have throughout history. We’re in this together as we fight to keep our country healthy and strong.”

“Small manufacturers can help defeat COVID-19,” said Greenblatt. “Many make products that help labs or hospitals. Let the NAM know and let your governor know: your products and team can play a critical role to save lives.”

Press Releases

ICYMI: Timmons Discusses Manufacturers’ Response to COVID-19

“We’re All in This Together”

Washington, D.C. – Today, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons briefed members of the media on manufacturers’ response to COVID-19. Timmons detailed the NAM’s coordinated effort with federal, state and local officials to provide COVID-19 supplies and how manufacturers are stepping up to provide key medical supplies and resources to keep Americans safe and healthy.

Timmons also highlighted many NAM priorities included in the Senate-passed stimulus package and reiterated the need for state and local officials to deem the manufacturing supply chain as essential.

“It’s been said that this is like a war. And in World War II, we were the arsenal of democracy. Today, manufacturers are called to arm our health care workers in the battle with this deadly virus,” said Timmons. “But it goes beyond the front lines at the hospital. Our grocery stores must be stocked. Our electricity must keep running. Our devices must keep us connected. Our lives may be socially distant, but life goes on. And that means manufacturers must keep making daily life possible.”

Key Wins in Senate-Passed Stimulus Package:

“The Senate acted boldly and approved its COVID-19 relief bill. We’ve been working for weeks to ensure many of manufacturers’ key priorities were included. The bill also takes key steps from the NAM plan by increasing the maximum amount of tax deductions for interest on business loans and by creating an incentive, through loan forgiveness, for small manufacturers to retain their employees during this crisis. Quite frankly, with 90% of our members being small businesses, I think this is one of the most critical parts of the legislation.”

Manufacturers’ Response to COVID-19:

“Manufacturers are stepping up to supply desperately needed health care equipment, repurpose their facilities, supply the essentials for daily life and keep our employees and communities safe.”

“Take, for example, Marlin Steel in Baltimore, a wire products manufacturer. Last Friday, they received an emergency order to make wire racks for test tubes for COVID-19 testing. They hadn’t made test-tube racks before but volunteered to work all weekend to get it done, and they shipped out by Sunday afternoon. That’s the kind of story we’re hearing over and over across the country, on a large and small scale.” 

Overwhelming Support from Manufacturers in Providing Medical Supplies:

  • A manufacturer provided 75,000 gloves, 3,000 Tyvek suits and nearly 20,000 face masks that were sent to New York City.
  • Another company supplied 225,000 gowns and 224,250 over-the-shoe booties to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
  • The NAM also helped facilitate one manufacturer’s ability to provide 38 million gloves to FEMA and other critical medical destinations.

Over the past few days, the NAM has seen:

  • 116 companies provide gloves;
  • 106 companies provide protectives units; and
  • 116 companies provide over-the-shoe booties

On the Defense Production Act:

“Manufacturers are producing as much as we possibly can, and whether the DPA is in effect or not, you know, manufacturers aren’t going to be compelled to do the right thing because we already are. That said, if there is a way for DPA to be helpful, for instance… but the fact of the matter is manufacturers are doing everything we can every single day to meet the significant needs for personal protective equipment medical supplies.”

On the Media:

“I want to thank everybody in the media for the crucial role that you’re playing. I realize that these are tough times. I realize that these are times when tempers flare, but there is no more important freedom that we enjoy than the First Amendment to our Constitution, and I want to personally thank you on behalf of the nation’s 13 million manufacturers and their families. I want to thank you for all you do to protect our nation’s freedoms and to get the news and the word out.”

To watch the full video of the remarks, click 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 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.37 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 Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Call for $1.4 Trillion COVID-19 Resiliency Fund

Includes Desperately Needed Liquidity for Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturers

Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Association of Manufacturers is calling for additional aggressive actions from the federal government to help the industry respond to COVID-19 and future public health emergencies.

Among the additional actions in the NAM’s updated and expanded “COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations,” the NAM is requesting the federal government create the “Manufacturing Resiliency Fund,” which would include $1.4 trillion in loans to provide desperately needed liquidity to manufacturers and small businesses, protecting the nearly 13 million men and women working within the industry and ensuring their financial security. Manufacturers are also calling on the government to adopt a federal designation that deems the manufacturing supply chain “essential” to help mitigate any interruptions in providing the supplies that are critical to the health and safety of America.

“As manufacturers mobilize to protect the health and well being of our communities and country, the NAM is releasing an expanded set of ‘Policy Action Plan Recommendations’ for Congress and federal agencies,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Our leaders have already acted on many of our original proposals, and if they continue to move swiftly and boldly, manufacturers will be able to rise to this challenge and keep our country healthy, all while ensuring the resilience of our workers, our industry and our economy. This is a crisis unlike anything we’ve seen, and it demands a response of historic proportion.”

The NAM’s updated and expanded “COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations” identifies five key policy areas where legislative and administrative action would help combat COVID-19 and future public health emergencies:

  • Recognize Manufacturers’ Critical Role in the COVID-19 Response
  • Protect Manufacturers from Insolvency
  • Ensure Economic Security for Manufacturing Workers
  • Reduce Regulatory Burdens
  • Set the Stage for Economic Growth

The NAM released its original action plan on March 9.

-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 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.37 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 Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Business Operations

Food Manufacturer Details Measures to Combat COVID-19

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To protect the health of workers and customers, food manufacturers in the United States are strict about sanitation every day. But the COVID-19 pandemic has made the issue even more critical as our country works to contain this crisis, and food manufacturers in America are demonstrating how effective workplaces can adjust during emergencies.

New Jersey-based Premio Foods is a maker of specialty Italian sausage products with about 1,000 employees. In addition to continuing its regular rigorous sanitation practices, the manufacturer has stepped up its efforts to sanitize operations and maintain hygienic conditions by increasing the use of protective clothing and ensuring maximum face coverage.

“We’ve stepped up expectations about changing out protective clothing and gloves, so that people cycle through them more quickly,” said Premio Foods Senior Vice President of Operations Eric Fidoten, who is also a member of the Board of Governors of the National Association of Manufacturers’ Manufacturing Leadership Council. “We have our employees sanitize their hands, then sanitize the glove itself—and do all this more frequently than usual. We instructed people to cover their entire head except eyes and forehead. Where we don’t mandate safety glasses, we now encourage our associates to use them.”

The company has held meetings to demonstrate proper procedures and conducted “audits” throughout the day to check that employees are thoroughly protected. It has also instituted rotating breaks and lunches to reduce large gatherings at its facilities and is ensuring high-use surfaces in breakrooms and lunch areas are frequently sanitized.

“Manufacturers across the country are committed to the highest standards of safety and sanitation,” said David R. Brousell, Vice President and Executive Director of the NAM’s Manufacturing Leadership Council. “Businesses like Premio Foods are a great example of the way manufacturers lead during times of need, implementing critical measures to keep workers and communities safe and healthy. As we grapple with this global health challenge, that example is more important than ever.”

In addition to leading by example, Premio Foods has recommended that other businesses and organizations work to step up their responses as well. They can do so by taking steps such as contacting a sanitation consulting company for a tailored sanitation plan, restricting vendors and other visitors from entering the facility and offering a brief how-to on sanitation procedures to any necessary visitors.

Of course, the standard measures are the most important—and achievable by anyone: wash your hands frequently, eliminate physical contact at work and observe social distancing, sanitize frequently-used surfaces and rooms and ensure that anyone who shows signs of illness stays home.

For more information, including best practices, CDC resources and more, go to nam.org/coronavirus.

Demystifying Data

How Coronavirus is Affecting Manufacturers

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Manufacturers across the country are working to keep their teams and communities safe and healthy and also contending with the full range of effects—to the economy, to their supply chains, to their operations and more—of the COVID-19 outbreak. A newly released survey of manufacturing leaders conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers reveals the state of the industry as the situation unfolds.

In the survey, which was in the field from Feb. 28 to March 9, 78.3% of respondents say that the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to have a financial impact on their businesses; 53.1% of manufacturers are anticipating a change in their operations in the coming months; and 35.5% say that they are already facing supply chain disruptions.

When asked about resources that they need, survey respondents cite reliable information, including nonpolitical and non-sensationalized facts; clear and timely updates on new restrictions and health advisories; information about how other companies are reacting; clear guidelines from expert agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health; and early detection resources to help stop the spread of the virus.

The survey findings helped inform the NAM’s “COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations,” released earlier this week, with policy proposals for lawmakers to help contain the spread of coronavirus and ensure economic resilience.

“Already, manufacturers are grappling with disruptions to their businesses due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with many anticipating financial and operational consequences—even before some of the developments of this week,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The federal government can take steps to further equip manufacturers to deal with COVID-19 by implementing the NAM’s ‘COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations.’ Across the country, manufacturers are stepping up to keep their employees and their communities safe and healthy, and working closely with elected officials, we can ensure the resilience not only of our companies but also our country.”

Within a day of the plan’s release, leading members of Congress began pushing for one of its key elements, tariff relief, and both the administration and members of Congress voiced their support for key legal protections for manufacturers of protective N95 masks.

As policymakers address these issues, the NAM is continuing to convene coronavirus resources for manufacturers, connecting these businesses with guidance from appropriate government officials and agencies and providing updates on the state of the manufacturing industry.

For more information, including best practices, CDC resources and more, go to nam.org/coronavirus.

Press Releases

Manufacturers’ Survey Reveals Current Industry Impact of COVID-19

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers released the findings of a survey of manufacturing leaders examining the economic and operational impacts of COVID-19. This survey informed the NAM’s “COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations” released earlier this week, which highlighted key policy areas where legislative and administration action would help combat COVID-19 and future public health emergencies successfully.

Survey highlights include the following:

  • 78.3% of manufacturers anticipate a financial impact
  • 53.1% of manufacturers anticipate a change in operations
  • 35.5% of manufacturers are facing supply chain disruptions

“Already, manufacturers are grappling with disruptions to their businesses due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with many anticipating financial and operational consequences—even before some of the developments of this week. The federal government can take steps to further equip manufacturers to deal with COVID-19 by implementing the NAM’s ‘COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations,’” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Across the country, manufacturers are stepping up to keep their employees and their communities safe and healthy, and working closely with elected officials, we can ensure the resilience not only of our companies but also our country.”

Read the full survey results 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 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.37 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 Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Manufacturers Release Policy Action Plan in Response to COVID-19

“We hope our elected leaders can unite to meet this moment.”

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers is calling on the federal government to take legislative and administrative steps to equip manufacturers to respond to COVID-19 and future public health emergencies, including specific actions in five key policy areas.

“When our country faces difficult challenges, manufacturers strive to be the solution,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “For the good of our communities and our country, we are committed to bringing people together as we battle the COVID-19 outbreak. Neither government nor industry can solve this challenge alone. This is a path forward to ensure Americans’ health, our business stability and our economic resilience, and we hope our elected leaders can unite to meet this moment.”

The NAM’s “COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations” identify five key policy areas where legislative and administration action would help combat COVID-19 and future public health emergencies successfully:

  • Keeping Our Workforce Safe and Healthy
  • Protecting Our Communities
  • Providing Economic Stability
  • Encouraging Resilient Growth in the United States
  • Encouraging Long-Term Job Growth

Read the full policy action plan 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 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.37 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 Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Workforce

Siemens USA’s CEO on Bringing More Women into Manufacturing

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The NAM’s Makers Series is an exclusive interview series featuring creators, innovators and trailblazers in the industry sharing their insights and advice. Each month, we ask founders, executives and leaders of innovative firms what it takes to be a leader for manufacturers and makers in America.

Meet Barbara Humpton, CEO of Siemens USA. In this edition of NAM’s Makers Series, she explains why women are essential to manufacturing’s workforce.

Press Releases

Manufacturers: Congressional Action Needed to Aid COVID-19 Response

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on the federal government’s response to the presence of the COVID-19 virus in the United States:

Congress can immediately help manufacturers respond to the COVID-19 virus by passing critical liability protections for manufacturers of health care equipment recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Across America, manufacturers are already working to support the response to this public health challenge and to find additional ways to expand those efforts. With the inclusion of these vital legal protections in the supplemental appropriations bill, manufacturers can confidently increase new production of even more desperately needed equipment to save lives and keep our communities—and our world—safe, secure and healthy.”

BACKGROUND: The NAM supports efforts to apply liability protections for National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health–certified respiratory protective devices used in the current public health emergency by amending the PREP Act. Under a PREP Act declaration, the federal government assumes liability for covered items identified as countermeasures in a public health emergency. Currently, only FDA-regulated items, such as vaccines, drugs and other products, are eligible for PREP Act coverage. NIOSH-certified respirators are not covered but are recommended by the CDC to keep health workers safe from airborne exposures. Additional legal certainty provides the necessary incentives to the market in the effort to add manufacturing capacity by diversifying and expanding the current supply.

-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 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.37 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 Manufacturers or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

 

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Call for IP Protections to Secure Innovation

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On Wednesday, National Association of Manufacturers Director of International Business Policy Ryan Ong testified before the Special 301 Subcommittee of the Trade Policy Staff Committee on the global intellectual property challenges and priorities for manufacturers in the United States. While manufacturers have long called for stronger intellectual property protection, Ong’s testimony comes at a time when IP theft has been on the rise; a 2017 report by the Commission on the Theft of Intellectual Property found that stolen ideas, brands and inventions drain up to $600 billion from the U.S. economy—nearly double the amount found just four years previously.

In his testimony, Ong highlighted a growing tide of fake products sold in the United States, which has been estimated to cost the U.S. economy between $29 billion and $41 billion every year. He also detailed sophisticated attempts by bad actors to steal U.S. companies’ trade secrets; one 2014 study estimated that the economic loss from trade secret theft is between $180 billion and $500 billion. In addition, he discussed attempts at international organizations to weaken IP protections in the name of other policy priorities, from public health to environmental protection, and explained how these actions overlook the importance of innovation and create barriers to progress.

“The United States has long made vigorous protection of IP rights at home and abroad a cornerstone of our manufacturing competitiveness, but we must do more in the face of these and other challenges,” said Ong. “It is more critical now than ever before that the United States strongly defend intellectual property and innovation around the world in all available forums.”

Ong’s testimony was accompanied by a full list of recommendations on a country-by-country basis to protect the full scope of threats to manufacturers’ intellectual property.

Manufacturers have recently made important progress on intellectual property protections. For example, the “phase one” trade deal between China and the United States—which was a major victory for manufacturers—included Chinese commitments on trade secret protection, patent protection, trademark issues and judicial enforcement. Still, manufacturers continue to fight for robust support of American innovation.

“Every day, manufacturers across the country are transforming their operations to achieve greater efficiency, productivity and competitiveness while working to create a better tomorrow,” said Ong. “None of that is possible without U.S. leadership, driving strong rules to protect our IP and robust enforcement efforts. The success of our industry—and the strength of our economy—depend on it.”

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