Workforce

CEO Gina Radke Talks Female Leadership—and Restroom Lines

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Who says longer lines for the women’s restroom are a good thing? Manufacturing CEO Gina Radke does. And here’s why—longer lines for the bathroom at manufacturing conferences would mean that more women worked in the industry, where they now only make up a third of the labor force.

Radke used to take photos of the bathroom doors at these conferences and post them to social media, highlighting the absence of other women in line. And if she has anything to say about it, those lines will be growing a lot longer.

The CEO of Galley Support Innovations, Radke likes to say that she got into manufacturing by mistake, and then learned it from the ground up.

  • When she and her husband bought the company—which specializes in interior hardware for aircraft—she thought she’d focus on the marketing side. But as she puts it, she fell in love with the process of turning raw materials into a finished product.
  • They moved the company from California to Arkansas, and soon, she had learned to run all the machines on the floor and immersed herself in every aspect of the business.

Along the way, she couldn’t help but notice that few other women had the same trajectory. Radke was often mistaken for an assistant and rarely encountered other women in leadership positions. She was determined to change that.

  • “If you can see it, you can be it”: Radke has worked to make herself more visible in the manufacturing world, as a role model for other women. The company even designed a calendar in which their female machinists posed as Rosie the Riveter.
  • STEP honoree: In 2019, she was a recipient of the Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Awards—a national honor for accomplished women in the industry. Radke says the conference for honorees was the first time she had been around other women leaders in the industry. It made her feel a sense of relief and encouragement, and she resolved to step up her mentorship so more women would feel the same.
  • “I could write a book”: Inspired by her experience at the STEP conference, Radke wrote a book called “More Than.” In it, she offers guidance to both women and men, so they can achieve a more equitable workforce together.

And there’s more: Under Radke’s leadership, the company has been a pioneer in hiring formerly incarcerated individuals and people who have been involved in the criminal justice system. It also created programs to train kids who age out of foster care, helping them transition into well-paying jobs.

The last word: “To women who haven’t considered manufacturing: consider it,” says Radke. “It’s a great field to be in. We need everything, so you get to be creative and process driven. And you have an opportunity to break stereotypes and shatter the status quo.”

Press Releases

Timmons Congratulates AISI’s Dempsey on Interim CEO Announcement

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement after the American Iron and Steel Institute, a member of the NAM’s Council of Manufacturing Associations, named Kevin Dempsey as interim CEO. This follows the planned retirement of CEO Thomas Gibson, announced in March.

“Kevin Dempsey’s expertise, experience and stellar reputation demonstrate that AISI will be in good hands as he builds on Tom Gibson’s legacy. He’s a proven, trusted and respected leader who will ensure a seamless transition for America’s steelmakers. I look forward to working with Kevin through the NAM’s Council of Manufacturing Associations as the entire manufacturing industry navigates the historic challenges of COVID-19 and helps lead our economic recovery and American renewal. More than ever, the nation is counting on the united efforts of manufacturers—and the entire business community—to move our nation forward.

“Throughout his 12 years at AISI, Tom has been a forceful advocate for America’s manufacturing workers and the steel industry in North America. It has been my privilege to call him a friend, a colleague and a chair of the CMA. I congratulate Tom on an impressive career and wish both Tom and Sheila well as he embarks on a happy and active retirement.”

-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 11.7 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

NAM Launches ‘Wear a Face Covering’ Ad Campaign

Let’s Get America Back to Work and Our Economy Roaring Again

Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Association of Manufacturers launched “Wear a Face Covering,” an ad campaign designed to keep our economy growing and protect American families. It illustrates that face coverings are essential to safeguarding jobs and reopening businesses. The campaign will run in key manufacturing states, such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and others. Upon release of the ad, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons made this statement:

“There is no way to sugarcoat this—we need to get America back to work now and get our economy roaring again. The virus is spreading in a significant way, and if it continues, that will lead to economic devastation the likes of which we have never seen before. If everyone wears a mask outside the home, maintains social distancing with anyone other than the family unit and practices appropriate hygiene procedures, we will get the tens of millions of unemployed Americans back to work. If large groups of people refuse to wear masks, they are condemning their fellow citizens to long-term unemployment and our economy to disaster.

“There are no excuses left. While we have learned more and more about this deadly virus, the guidance from our nation’s health care experts has evolved. Today, we know that the best and most certain way to stop the spread is for everyone to wear a facial covering. It isn’t fun. It isn’t pleasant. But through shared responsibility, we can get this pandemic under control and save small businesses and jobs. That’s why the NAM is taking this message across the country. Our economy depends on it, jobs depend on it and—most importantly—lives depend on it.

“The Golden Rule tells us that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Covering our faces in public is a simple but powerful expression of the Golden Rule, and so much more than a mere gesture.”

-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 11.7 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

NAM Strongly Opposes Administration’s Immigration Executive Order

Timmons: Leaders should be working to strengthen manufacturing in the United States, but these actions will make our industry unquestionably weaker

Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement on President Trump’s immigration executive order suspending new nonimmigrant visas.

“Leaders should be working to strengthen manufacturing in the United States, but these actions will make our industry unquestionably weaker. The reality is the visa programs targeted by this executive order boost manufacturing in America and support job creation. We will lose talented individuals to other countries, giving them an added advantage in competing against us. This action will not help manufacturers lead our economic recovery and renewal.

“It is painfully clear that Congress should act to advance the comprehensive immigration reform we desperately need.”

Read the NAM’s plan for comprehensive immigration reform, “A Way Forward.”

-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 11.7 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

How Manufacturers Can Donate Effectively

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During a disaster, up to 60% of product donations are thrown away because they’re the wrong products at the wrong time.

That’s according to philanthropic organization Good360, which solves the problem by soliciting specific products and matching them with its network of 90,000 nonprofits. Now, it’s helping manufacturers provide much-needed supplies to the COVID-19 relief effort and prepare for a hurricane season during a public health crisis.

How it works: As a partner to the NAM, Good360 makes it as easy as possible for manufacturers to donate products.

  • Once a manufacturer makes contact, Good360 will find out what and how much it wishes to donate and where the supplies are located.
  • Then Good360 finds the right nonprofit to receive the donation—and picks it up and moves it where it needs to go.

How long it takes: Pickups happen within the week, with timelines typically closer to 48 hours.

What they need: Good360 is looking for everything from PPE for frontline workers to essential consumer products for families to toys and games for kids stuck at home. Critical needs include the following:

  • N95 masks
  • Face shields
  • Tyvek coveralls/shoe covers
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Thermometers
  • Soap
  • Diapers
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Baby formula
  • Personal hygiene products (dental, cosmetics, soap/conditioner, lotions)
  • Home cleaning supplies
  • Paper products (plates, paper towels, toilet tissue)
  • Boredom breakers (board games, cards, coloring books)
  • Education materials
  • Laptops and computers

Beyond COVID: As the U.S. enters hurricane season, Good360 is also preparing to respond to additional needs for products like shingles, building supplies and other vital materials.

How to help: Manufacturers that have products or financial support to donate should visit Good360’s online portal.

Press Releases

NAM Celebrates Supreme Court Decision on DACA

Timmons: They did not deserve to endure the cruel uncertainty and fear created by the administration’s action to end the program.

National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons issued the following statement on today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program:

“Today, manufacturers celebrate with the nation’s 700,000 Dreamers. America is the only home they know. At least 27,000 DACA recipients are frontline health care workers, many others are filling other critical roles in our nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and all are a critical part of our society. They did not deserve to endure the cruel uncertainty and fear created by the administration’s action to end the program.

“Manufacturers have stepped up again and again to protect Dreamers and defend against actions to end the DACA program, and we will continue to call on Congress to provide long-term certainty for Dreamers and to reform the failed system that has led to horrific humanitarian situations at the border. We encourage our elected officials to use the NAM’s comprehensive immigration plan, “A Way Forward,” to help guide decisions that must be made.”

-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 11.7 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

SCOTUS Protects LGBT Workers’ Rights

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The United States Supreme Court Building at sunset in Washington DC, USA.

The Supreme Court ruled today that civil rights law protects employees from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity, reports the Wall Street Journal (subscription).

The ruling: “The high court, in a 6-3 decision, said the broad language of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlaws workplace discrimination on the basis of sex, should be read to cover sexual orientation as well.”

  • “Conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the opinion, which was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts in addition to the four more liberal members of the court.”

Here’s the legal reasoning behind it:

  • “[The] case was simple, Justice Gorsuch found. He focused on the text of the statute Congress passed in 1964, forbidding workplace discrimination against an individual ‘because of…sex.’”
  • “There was no getting around it, he said: ‘An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it wouldn’t have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.’”

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons welcomed the news and said in a statement:

  • “This ruling, one of the most consequential since Obergefell, not only sends a powerful message of inclusion and equality to millions of Americans but also affirms that LGBT Americans cannot be fired just for being their authentic selves as work.
  • “Too many LGBT Americans go to work every day hiding who they are or whom they love because they believe that simply living authentically would mean losing their jobs and livelihoods. The Supreme Court has begun to lift that heavy emotional burden and made history by affirming that LGBT workers are entitled to federal protections too.
  • “For our part, manufacturers are committed to building diverse and inclusive workplaces, a mission that has taken on renewed importance in recent weeks. We will continue to be advocates for equal opportunity and champions for justice—because ultimately we know that diversity and inclusion makes our workplaces stronger, just as it makes our country stronger.”
Press Releases

Manufacturers Praise SCOTUS Decision on LGBT Worker Rights

Timmons: “Ultimately, we know that diversity and inclusion makes our workplaces stronger, just as it makes our country stronger.”

Washington, D.C. – Following the momentous decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons made this statement:

“This ruling, one of the most consequential since Obergefell, not only sends a powerful message of inclusion and equality to millions of Americans but also affirms that LGBT Americans cannot be fired just for being their authentic selves at work.

“Too many LGBT Americans go to work every day hiding who they are or whom they love because they believe that simply living authentically would mean losing their jobs and livelihoods. The Supreme Court has begun to lift that heavy emotional burden and made history by affirming that LGBT workers are entitled to federal protections, too.

“For our part, manufacturers are committed to building diverse and inclusive workplaces, a mission that has taken on renewed importance in recent weeks. We will continue to be advocates for equal opportunity and champions for justice—because ultimately, we know that diversity and inclusion makes our workplaces stronger, just as it makes our country stronger.”

-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 11.7 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

NAM Executive Committee Passes Resolution to Support All People Who Face Injustice

Manufacturing Leaders Take Action to Advance Justice, Equality and Opportunity for Underrepresented Communities and Across Sector

Washington, D.C. – In the wake of the May 25 murder of George Floyd under the knee of a white police officer in Minneapolis, the National Association of Manufacturers’ Executive Committee unanimously voted to pass the Pledge for Action, an 11-point commitment plan for manufacturers to advance justice, equality and opportunity for black people and all people of color.

“My heart is heavy with recent events,” said Michael W. Lamach, chairman and CEO of Trane Technologies and chair of the NAM Board of Directors. “While the killing of George Floyd sparked this outcry, this is a crisis that has gone unaddressed for far too long. We introduced this Pledge for Action to demonstrate our companies’, our association’s and our industry’s commitment to being part of the solution and to stand against injustice and create a better future for the black community and all communities of color.”

Around the country and throughout the world, George Floyd’s death has spurred protest and action, highlighting the inescapable inequities that are too often downplayed and brushed aside by those with the power to make a difference.

Merck Chairman and CEO Ken Frazier addressed the June 11 Executive Committee meeting. He noted that, “Opportunity and equality have the power to change the course of not only an individual’s life, but of history. Through education, I was given the chance to overcome the opportunity gap that exists in this country, and I believe that this pledge, if taken to heart by the NAM members, can do the same for thousands of Americans and in particular African Americans.”

The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce and education partner of the NAM, will continue to support manufacturers’ efforts to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace and to deliver on these new commitments. The MI, via its Diversity and Inclusion Pillar, will be deploying tools, resources and knowledge to help manufacturers put actions to their words and build more inclusive workplaces.

“This is a difficult time for our country, and manufacturers all have a role to be part of the solution—in our homes, in our companies and in our local communities,” said Chuck Wetherington, BTE Technologies president, NAM Executive Committee member and Small and Medium Manufacturers Group chair. “Our businesses are the hearts and souls of the communities where we live, and we have a responsibility to act. With this pledge, we are making a commitment to do what is right and urgently needed.”

As leaders who represent manufacturers in the United States, the NAM recognizes the integral role our industry has historically played in lifting up people and communities, and the opportunity and obligation we have now to stand with and support all people who face injustice.

“Manufacturers will do our part. All of us must recognize the systemic inequality and racism that black people in America face—and the role we must play in ending it. This industry is committed to delivering the change our nation needs,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.

Highlights from the Pledge for Action include the following:

  • We will strengthen our workplaces as spaces where black people and all people of color will be heard, respected and celebrated.
  • We will work to improve and increase representation of black people and all people of color at all levels of our companies and organizations—entry level, midlevel and senior level.
  • We will expand education, training and scholarship opportunities in the manufacturing industry for black people and all people of color.
  • We will remove barriers and open doors to modern manufacturing careers for those inside prisons and for those reentering society.
  • We will encourage increased minority participation in democracy through voting, advocacy and other opportunities for influence.
  • We will diversify the supply chain by providing equal opportunity for black-owned and minority-owned enterprises to do business with us.

To read the full Pledge for Action, visit nam.org/pledgeforaction.

-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 11.7 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

Watch: The Economic Impacts of COVID-19 and Getting Back to Work

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In a recent NAM webinar, three experts broke down the economic effects of COVID-19 and how companies can respond. Here’s a selection:

You can sign up to watch the full webinar here.

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