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Business Operations

Manufacturers Help Hurricane-Hit Communities

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Hurricane Ian’s devastating landfall in Florida Wednesday afternoon marked the second significant storm to hit the U.S. and territories in less than two weeks. But as is usually the case when catastrophe strikes, manufacturers are already among those leading the charge to help the communities affected.

Manufacturers mobilize: In Puerto Rico, where approximately one-third of all residents remain without power following Hurricane Fiona Sept. 18, manufacturers including Dow, UPS, Coca-Cola, Ecolab and Toyota are funding product donations across the island through NAM partners Good360 and SBP.

What’s happening: These NAM partner organizations are providing on-the-ground updates and working to get products where they’re needed most. Items of greatest need include:

  • Solar-powered power generators;
  • Nonperishable foods and ready-to-eat meals;
  • Mold remediation products;
  • Oxygen tanks;
  • Hygiene kits and supplies;
  • Drinking water;
  • New clothing; and
  • School supplies.

Meanwhile, the work is just beginning in Florida to respond to Hurricane Ian, with anticipated items including drinking water, nonperishable foods, hygiene kits, tarps, blankets and mold remediation products.

NAM in action: The NAM’s Emergency Response Committee is an employee-led, volunteer group that works year-round with nonprofit partners, including Good360, SBP and Project HOPE, to provide NAM members with disaster-preparedness resources and training.

  • These resources, which include e-learning modules, fact sheets and webinars, enable manufacturers to support their employees ahead of, during and in the aftermath of disasters.
  • The NAM’s ERC also helps manufacturers activate to aid their communities when disaster strikes—and it works to identify and highlight members that are leading this critical work.

Be prepared: In a webinar sponsored by the NAM’s ERC, Amanda Gallina, SBP community engagement manager, and Matt Woodruff, vice president of public and government affairs for Texas-based tank barge operator Kirby Corporation, gave their suggestions for hurricane preparation.

For businesses: Woodruff provided some commonsense advice for employers:

  • Have a plan: Have a hurricane-preparedness plan and ensure that all employees understand it—before hurricane season starts.
  • Make a list: Create a checklist of tasks that must be done during the season, starting with the first day.
  • Set up: Create and offer remote work sites for affected communities and employees.
  • Support: Provide support to the families of employees who live in disaster-hit areas.

The last word: “The NAM stands ready to provide resources and support for its manufacturing members and the communities in which they operate in all conditions,” said NAM Director of Member and Board Relations Isabelle Powell.

  • “We urge members to contact their membership directors with questions on how to better prepare their team or support people in their communities.”

For more information on manufacturer disaster preparedness or to be added to the NAM’s ERC mailing list, please email [email protected].

Policy and Legal

Action Needed on Interest Deductibility, NAM Study Shows

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An important new study released by the NAM shows that failure to reverse a new, stricter limit on interest deductibility could cost the United States nearly half a million jobs.

The background: Manufacturing is a capital-intensive industry—and manufacturers often borrow funds to purchase capital equipment and invest in growth. The interest they pay on those loans is tax deductible up to a certain limit. However, a recent change in tax law modified the way that limit is calculated—leaving companies with a smaller deduction and increased costs as they seek to invest in equipment and job creation.

The data: The study published by the NAM paints a bleak picture of the economic impact if Congress fails to take action to fix this problem. According to the EY analysis, keeping a stricter interest deduction in place would increase manufacturers’ cost of capital and lead to reduced investments in the U.S. economy. The result would be lost jobs, reduced employee compensation and lessened U.S. GDP. Specifically, the study finds that the stricter interest limitation will cost the United States:

  • 467,000 jobs;
  • $23.4 billion of employee compensation; and
  • $43.8 billion in GDP.

What’s next: The NAM supports the Permanently Preserving America’s Investment in Manufacturing Act (H.R. 5371/S. 1077), bipartisan legislation that would reverse the stricter limitation and ensure that manufacturers can make critical investments in themselves and their communities.

What we’re saying: “These numbers show the importance of preserving manufacturers’ ability to deduct interest and finance critical job-creating investments,” said NAM Senior Director of Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Charles Crain. “With 467,000 jobs at risk, the NAM is leading the effort to secure a reversal of this harmful change by year’s end.”


Creators Wanted Kicks Off Fall 2022 in Tennessee

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Robertson County, Tennessee, is a battleground—for companies vying for talent. With approximately 14,000 students in the school district, it’s a prime target for manufacturers looking to attract more young workers by shifting perceptions among parents, educators and students themselves.

What’s happening: The Creators Wanted Tour, the NAM and The Manufacturing Institute’s effort to build the workforce of the future, kicked off its fall 2022 tour yesterday in White House, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville. The stop’s premier event offered a glimpse of the advantage the tour gives manufacturers over other industries.

  • “Our mission is to enable all students … to succeed … in a technologically advanced and culturally diverse society,” Dr. Chris Causey, director of schools for Robertson County, said at the kickoff event, calling Creators Wanted “a life-changing experience.”
  • The stop was made possible by support from Dow and Honda, as well as more than 70 other manufacturing companies, including Tennessee stop hosts Electrolux and Schneider Electric.

The pitch and platform: Area manufacturing leaders held students’ attention as they spoke about the resilience of the industry and the reward of manufacturing careers.

  • “Preliminary job numbers for August already show that Tennessee has reached its highest manufacturing employment level in over a decade—that’s over 360,000 Tennesseans,” said Bradley Jackson, president and CEO of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Tennessee Manufacturers Association, the official NAM and MI affiliate organization in Tennessee and key partner in the tour’s first-ever stop in the state.
  • Tony Fraley, the Electrolux plant manager in Springfield, didn’t just trumpet the company’s new, $250 million state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. He explained to students that robots and cobots are increasing the industry’s need for technical skills, which enables workers with these skills to make “family-sustaining wages in a high-demand field.”
  • “We have a lot of job openings, really good jobs,” said Ken Engel, senior vice president, global supply chain – North America at Schneider Electric. He highlighted the company’s advanced development program, where students “fresh out of college have a rotational program” to get experience in supply chain, logistics, lean manufacturing, marketing, finance and other disciplines.

The Creators Wanted experience: “The skills and technology on display here will help change Tennesseans’ understanding of what a manufacturing team does and how they do it,” said MI President Carolyn Lee.

  • “So, for those of you who’ve gone through our mobile experience—did you have fun?” asked NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons, causing students to nod in agreement.
  • Hoping to spur more career exploration, he concluded with this: “Have you learned that you can make a lot of money in manufacturing, doing things you like to do? That’s just a taste of what our industry is about and what manufacturing teams do every day.”

Early returns: More than 200 attendees gathered for the premier event, including students from White House Heritage High School, East Robertson High School and Jo Byrns High School.

  • During the two-and-a-half day stop, the NAM and MI expect more than 700 students to visit and more than 30,000 email signups by students and career mentors interested in manufacturing careers.

The last word: “To strengthen manufacturing’s competitiveness, we must shift perceptions among, and provide opportunities to, students, parents and educators,” said NAM Executive Vice President Erin Streeter. “This stop in Tennessee will provide them with an introduction to the technologies and careers that are defining the future.”

Policy and Legal

Building Infrastructure That Works

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As supply chain disruptions and industrial shipping challenges of the past few years have proven, the U.S. infrastructure network is in dire need of a comprehensive overhaul. That’s why it’s a key focus of the NAM’s “Competing to Win” policy roadmap.

Turnkey fixes: “Competing to Win,” which focuses on immediately implementable solutions for congressional leaders in 12 policy arenas, enumerates a wide range of policies that will bolster manufacturers’ competitiveness.

Historic and bipartisan: With its $1.2 trillion investment, last year’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provided a solid foundation for upgrading roads, airports, bridges, ports, railroads and more.

  • In fact, much of the final legislative text of the IIJA resembled proposals included in “Building to Win,” the NAM’s blueprint for modernizing our transportation, energy, water and digital infrastructure.
  • The legislation contains nearly $550 billion in new federal appropriations for projects ranging from bridge and highway updates to significant broadband expansion and community climate resilience efforts.

The NAM’s plan: The NAM’s latest policy prescriptions are commonsense ideas that will help policymakers make the best use of the IIJA and enhance American competitiveness. Here’s a quick tour of the most important aspects it addresses.

Funding: The first order of business is paying for the upgrades. Policymakers should modernize user fees that support road and runway projects with much-needed funding.

Efficiency: Next up is fixing the all-too-sluggish pace of infrastructure projects. Some of the NAM’s recommendations:

  • Keep improving the broken permitting process to decrease time-consuming reviews and eliminate burdensome costs.
  • Clear the extensive backlog of essential infrastructure projects that are already in the planning process and awaiting final approval.
  • And last, streamline regulatory agencies’ processes so that key transportation projects don’t get tripped up by more red tape.

Flexibility: Public–private partnerships and innovative collaboration between industry and government should play a large role in these upgrades, but not every approach is universal. Policymakers should maintain key funding sources and keep the federal government involved but retain a results-oriented focus to improve our nation’s infrastructure.

The last word: “‘Competing to Win’ builds on the historic gains made through last year’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and presents policymakers with a roadmap for improving American economic prosperity,” said NAM Vice President of Infrastructure, Innovation and Human Resources Policy Robyn Boerstling.

  • “Manufacturers are the backbone of our national industrial base and rely on all parts of the transportation supply chain to create, assemble and ship to market essential products and consumer goods. The steps outlined in this plan are commonsense and will generate the economic growth needed to enhance American companies’ competitiveness in a global marketplace.”

Dr. Ashish Jha on the Next Phase of Pandemic Response

This winter, we might be facing both a difficult flu season and another surge of COVID-19. How can manufacturers help protect workers and all Americans from illness, hospitalization or worse? Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House COVID-19 response coordinator, gave a comprehensive answer at an NAM gathering of manufacturing leaders last week. Here’s what he had to say.

The situation today: Though both COVID-19 infections and deaths are down, Jha noted that if we keep steady at today’s numbers, we’ll be seeing 100,000 to 150,000 deaths per year—three to five times worse than the average flu season.

  • However, “almost every one of those deaths is preventable,” he emphasized. In fact, we are better able to fight COVID-19 than the flu, as we have more effective treatments for the former.
  • If we take some proactive measures, Jha added, we can “drive the death number down 90%.”

What to expect: The near future is rather worrying, according to Jha. The combination of COVID-19 and flu stands to hit us hard this winter.

  • We’ve had two seasons in a row with “little to no flu”—in large part thanks to COVID-19 mitigation measures like masking and avoiding large gatherings.
  • This year, however, people have largely stopped masking and are back to congregating in person. And there is reason to expect a COVID-19 wave anyway, as infections spiked during both the past two winters.
  • Meanwhile, there are alarming indications that this flu season will be harsh. Jha noted that public health officials watch the southern hemisphere during our summer (their winter) to see what our flu season may be like—and this year, the southern hemisphere had an “early and robust flu season.”
  • In addition, the health care workforce is truly exhausted after more than two years of the pandemic. “There’s no question that this is potentially challenging,” Jha concluded.

What to do: As alarming as the situation might be, Jha says there is “good news” as well. “We can actually control and prevent a large chunk of what might be coming down the path,” he said, as long as we focus on three key measures.

Vaccines: This is the big one. Getting people vaccinated against COVID-19 and flu is essential, said Jha, and the new BA.5-specific COVID-19 shots will make a big difference.

  • The U.S. is the first country to authorize such a shot, and that means we now have a “vaccine that exactly matches the dominant variant” and that offers much better protection for today’s environment than the original vaccines.
  • Jha praised manufacturers’ and the NAM’s efforts to encourage workers to get vaccinated and urged manufacturers to continue their efforts this season, including by offering paid time off for workers getting vaccinated.

Treatment: The second essential element is treatment. As Jha explained, we have very effective treatments for COVID-19, including antivirals and monoclonal antibodies. We must make sure that people have easy access to them, via test-and-treat sites and telehealth, for example. Employers can also help workers get these lifesaving treatments, he added.

  • These medicines not only prevent hospitalizations and deaths, but also help people “clear the infection faster, so they feel better faster.”
  • “There is some preliminary evidence that they also prevent long-term complications like long COVID as well,” Jha added.

Air quality: Last, Jha cited the importance of improving air quality to combat all respiratory infections, whether COVID-19, influenza or RSV (a common respiratory virus).

  • Most Americans spend 90% of their time indoors, but don’t really think about the quality of the air they’re breathing, he noted.
  • Yet, that air quality helps determine your likelihood of getting sick, and even “makes a difference to your cognition,” he pointed out. Research shows that improving air quality raised students’ test scores in schools and reduced worker absences.
  • We can improve indoor air quality by upgrading filters, improving air exchanges with the outdoors or using air purifiers, he advised.

The long term: “The virus will continue evolving, and that means we need a long-term strategy for building people’s immunity,” said Jha.

  • The next generation of vaccines—including nasal vaccines that block transmission and “variant-proof” vaccines—will truly put COVID-19 behind us. And we need to develop these vaccines fast, via a partnership between the government and private sector, he said.
  • Improving indoor air quality will also have a huge long-term impact, he added, as the economy loses tens of millions of dollars from worker absences due to illness.
  • “We should use this moment, with all that we have learned from this pandemic, to build a healthier society,” he said.

The last word: In conclusion, Jha said, “Let me wrap up by saying thank you for the incredible leadership so many of you have shown in bringing our country as far forward as it has come.”

  • “This next set of challenges is every bit as big as the original,” he warned. Yet, when the public and private sector work together, they “can accomplish enormous things,” like the development and deployment of the COVID-19 vaccines.
  • “My hope is that we can continue doing that work together. And if we do, we can certainly get through this fall and winter without disruption, without a lot more sickness . . . and get our country to a much better, healthier and more productive place.”
Business Operations

What’s the Next Phase of Digital Evolution?

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In late 2021, the Manufacturing Leadership Council launched the Manufacturing in 2030 Project, a comprehensive examination of the factors that will influence the industry leading up to the year 2030 and beyond. The latest milestone in this sweeping project is the release of The Next Phase of Digital Evolution.

This groundbreaking white paper examines the global megatrends like population, the economy, sustainability demands, and technology development – all of which will impact business decisions and are essential for manufacturing competitiveness.

Data’s Growing Role: Data is perhaps manufacturing’s most important asset, tracking everything from individual machine performance to the status of global supply chains. Developments in digital systems for factories, high-powered industrial networks and advanced communication technologies are giving rise to the ability to collect data.

Combined with a rise in analytics capabilities, manufacturers are now able to apply that data in powerful ways to improve processes, speed innovation, find new business opportunities and ultimately create conditions for greater competitiveness.

A Rising Middle Class: Population trends will influence where manufacturers build new factories, who they hire, the products that they make, organization for supply chains and who they are selling to.

Africa and Asia are projected to have the strongest population growth, and while traditional middle-class markets in the U.S., Europe and Japan are expected to grow at only modest rates, 88% of the next billion entrants into the middle class will be from Africa.

What’s to Come: Manufacturers will also need to consider their role in creating sustainable business practices and how they will overcome persistent workforce challenges. Institutional investors are pressuring businesses to significantly improve environmental practices, while the already yawning gap in skilled workers is expected to skyrocket to 2.1 million unfilled openings by 2030.

Technology could have a role in solving both of those issues. On the sustainability front, data can be key to monitoring emissions, utility consumption and waste, while also giving rise to new processes that improve on those metrics. For the workforce, data can empower workers to make more informed decisions, automation can eliminate repetitive tasks, and technologies like augmented and virtual reality can enhance training and upskilling.

To learn more about these and other insights, download the full white paper here.

Policy and Legal

Kigali Ratification a Win for Manufacturers

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The Senate voted yesterday to ratify the Kigali Amendment—an international greenhouse gas–reduction accord that is more meaningful than any the U.S. had agreed to before. Long advocated by the NAM, this ratification is a major step forward for manufacturers and their ability to compete effectively and sustainably.

A climate-action model: In a strong bipartisan 69–27 vote, the Senate approved the amendment, a change to the 1987 Montreal Protocol that phases down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (commonly used refrigerants) in favor of more efficient next-generation alternatives.

  • The measure, which the NAM called for in its climate change roadmap, “The Promise Ahead,” “could help avoid a half-degree Celsius of global temperature increases by the end of this century,” according to POLITICO Pro’s E&E News (subscription).
  • The ratification builds on a move for which manufacturers also pushed, the 2020 legislation requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to issue rules to phase down nonessential HFCs by 85% by 2036.

Manufacturers approve: Many manufacturers were delighted by this move. “Trane Technologies applauds senators on both sides of the aisle for voting to ratify the Kigali Amendment,” Trane Technologies Chair and CEO Dave Regnery told Input.

  • “In addition to creating 33,000 U.S. jobs, stimulating $12.5 billion in new investment in the U.S. economy and boosting U.S. exports by 25%, ratifying Kigali aligns with our bold commitments to reduce emissions through sustainable innovation.”

Accountability for China, India: Critically, the legislation fortifies “our global leadership and put[s] the U.S. in a position to hold countries like China and India accountable,” NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones said in a communique to Congress—which was quoted by Environment & Public Works Committee Chairman Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) on the Senate floor Tuesday.

  • The amendment will also “protect American workers, grow the economy and improve our trade balance all while encouraging further innovation to strengthen America’s technology leadership,” Jones wrote.

Inside the NAM’s advocacy: “We were able to leverage our longstanding policy experience, strategic partnerships and our depth of relationships in the Senate to adeptly navigate the ever-changing and challenging politics,” said NAM Senior Vice President of Policy & Government Relations Aric Newhouse.

  • “Ultimately, the NAM’s support and long-term engagement was able to shepherd this crucial priority for manufacturers across the finish line in a bipartisan way that doesn’t force a false choice between environmental protection and economic growth.”

The last word: “This action proves that if we work together—if we rise above politics and partisanship and focus on solving problems—we can make our vision of a brighter tomorrow into reality,” Jones said in a statement.


How One Manufacturer Is Reinvigorating a Small Nebraska Town

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Deshler, Nebraska, has a population of 747. It has one grocery store and one gas station, and its local high school graduates approximately 18 seniors each spring. It’s also the global headquarters of international irrigation firm Reinke Manufacturing, which employs a large number (about 600) of the town’s residents.

A great job: Working at Reinke has many perks, including generous pay and benefits, but until recently, the company had a hiring challenge to overcome in one specific area: housing.

  • “We are so rural that we were having difficulty getting people,” Reinke Manufacturing President Chris Roth said. “We could recruit them easily, but then it was like, ‘Well, where am I going to live?’”

A solution—with an added perk: Around 2012, Roth and other leaders at Reinke came up with a fix: The company would purchase a house for a new employee and rent it to him at a reasonable fee.

  • After that, the firm was on a roll. “We started to buy up lots with homes that needed to be torn down, homes that have been vacant for years … and put up something else” in which employees could live, Roth said. The move has “improved the town, too,” he added.
  • The first build was a fourplex with efficiency apartments. “There’s a bedroom in the back, a bathroom and a kitchenette. People like those; they’re really nice.”

Expanding a vision: The efficiencies are mostly for single people, however, and Reinke wanted to have options for prospective employees with families, too. So, it began thinking bigger.

  • “Our second fourplex was a building with two duplexes,” Roth said. “These are two-bedroom units, and small families live there.”
  • Soon the company began purchasing single-family homes, too. It currently rents out seven such houses—all available for sale to the employees.

Even bigger: In early 2021, Reinke made its biggest investment in affordable employee housing yet. It purchased an entire motel in nearby Hebron, Nebraska, and turned it into apartments.

  • The building now houses 40 people, some of them families. “It was run down when we bought it, but all brick and had a newish roof, so we were able to save a lot of it,” Roth said.
  • In addition, the company recently broke ground in Deshler on a two-story, eight-unit housing complex of two-bedroom apartments that will be ready in spring 2023.

Game changer: Since Reinke got in on the housing game, recruitment and retention of top employees “is easier now,” Roth said. “They’re willing to move because they know we’ll have housing. If you’re going to move several states, you want to know where you are going to live … There really isn’t anything on [in Deshler].”

  • Another benefit for Reinke employees has been that their new landlord requires less up-front outlay. “A deposit and first and last months’ rent is a lot, and it can be a problem for a lot of folks,” Roth said. “We don’t necessarily need all that.”
  • The program is so popular, Roth said, there’s currently a waiting list for the units.

Other efforts: In addition to employee housing, Reinke is increasing its presence and education efforts at the local schools in a bid to recruit talent sooner.

  • The company started an employee-taught welding program at Deshler High School, which allowed the company to develop its own curriculum using American Welding Society Standards.
  • “It gives us the opportunity to get in front of kids and teach them skills that we need,” Roth said. Reinke offers a similar program to adults through a cooperative effort at a community college.
  • A Reinke-run middle school program helps students learn to use CNC machinery, with which the company manufactures parts. Through another program at the middle school, the company teaches a class on AutoCAD, software that allows users to create detailed two- and three-dimensional drawings, as well as courses on basic electrical and hydraulics skills.

 The last word: Worker housing and manufacturing classes for young people will do more than create a top-notch workforce for the company, Roth said.

  • “A lot of times kids will graduate and go to Omaha or Lincoln, and they don’t come back,” he said. “This is a way, hopefully, to keep people here in Deshler. They make very good money, have great benefits, so we hope they stay … and keep the town going.”
Policy and Legal

What Manufacturers Need from Regulatory Reform

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While smart regulations can enhance manufacturers’ competitiveness, there are far too many cases of unwieldy or unnecessary rules getting in their way. That’s why the NAM is standing up for regulatory reform and providing policymakers with a list of solutions to pursue today.

The challenge: The annual regulatory cost burden for an average U.S. firm represents 21% of its payroll, forcing manufacturers to divert resources away from important investments. For smaller manufacturers, the burden can be disproportionately painful, creating barriers to growth and development.

Our work: At the NAM, we’re advocating for a predictable regulatory agenda that is based on science and facts and that offers flexibility for innovation.

  • The NAM’s agenda, contained in its policy blueprint Competing to Win, seeks to combat the fundamental problems in our outdated regulatory system.
  • That includes ensuring that regulations focus on outcomes and rely on data; improving regulatory analysis; minimizing unnecessary burdens; strengthening industry outreach; preserving the ability of companies to grow; and reducing the abuse of our legal system.

What we’re saying: “Manufacturers in the United States should be able to grow, compete and win without being stymied by outdated and unnecessary regulations,” said NAM Director of Regulatory, Tax and Domestic Economic Policy Alex Monié.

  • “We are proud of the work that the NAM has done to reduce the burden on businesses while also protecting the men and women who make things in America.”
  • “We are committed to pressing forward so that every manufacturer can support their workforce, participate in market innovation, contribute to their communities, promote competitiveness and advance U.S. leadership.”

Learn more: Check out the NAM’s full regulatory reform agenda in Competing to Win—a strategic blueprint for the policies that manufacturers in America need to compete with the rest of the world.

Business Operations

Lincoln Electric Tour Showcases Innovation

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A word of caution about the Manufacturing Leadership Council’s plant tours: Attending one could make you rethink your manufacturing operations.

Inspiration abounds: The MLC, the digital transformation arm of the NAM, recently hosted a plant tour of Lincoln Electric’s headquarters in Cleveland. Inspired by the innovation on display, one attendee vowed “to go back to my own company and start asking what’s stopping us from implementing similar technologies and practices.”

  • The two-day Lincoln Electric event included visits to the company’s welding and training center, its machine division, its 3D printing facility and its automation-solutions center.
  • Tour participants also learned how the business is overcoming workforce shortages through culture and technology solutions.

What is Lincoln Electric? Lincoln Electric was founded in 1895 as an electric-motors manufacturer. Today it is a global industry leader in welding equipment and consumables, additive manufacturing and automation solutions. The company has locations in 19 countries and serves customers in more than 160.

Welding school: The first stop on the tour was Lincoln Electric’s world-class welding school, first opened in 1917 and relaunched in 2018 as the 130,000-square-foot Welding Technology & Training Center.

  • Students at this state-of-the-art facility begin their training at virtual welding stations before moving to one of 150 training booths to use the real “arc.”
  • Lincoln Electric also offers virtual classes, a turnkey curriculum for customers and “train the trainer” courses for welding instructors.

3D printing: Tour participants also got a look at the company’s Additive Solutions Center, the largest platform of its kind, which boasts 18 3D printing cells. It serves customers in the automotive, aerospace, marine and energy industries.

  • The equipment prints replacement parts, molds, tooling and prototypes measuring up to eight feet long and weighing more than 8,000 pounds.
  • It can print in a variety of metals, including mild steel, stainless steel, nickel alloys, bronze and Inconel.

Automation solutions: The Automation Solutions Center tour stop demonstrated Lincoln Electric’s twin answers to the manufacturing skills gap: innovation and tech solutions that increase productivity.

  • The technology on offer includes automated arc welding products, collaborative robots, metal fabrication and assembly line solutions.
  • Demand for Lincoln Electric’s collaborative robots is up as manufacturers cope with workforce shortages, tour participants learned.

High-performance culture: Tour attendees also learned about Lincoln Electric’s high-performance culture, which rewards success and provides employees with opportunities for growth and development.

  • The company’s Incentive Management System for the production workforce includes output-based pay to maximize personal earnings potential, an annual profit-sharing bonus, a no-layoffs policy and an open-door policy.
  • “I found the networking time to be highly valuable and came away with several ideas on employee retention,” said a tour participant.

Future focus: Looking ahead, Lincoln Electric leadership said the company’s core focus must and will be on its people—to continue to build a pipeline of talent and attract and develop the next generation of leaders.

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