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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.

Workforce

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 Apartments.com [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.

Policy and Legal

NAM Competes to Win on Taxes

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The NAM is leading the way forward on a range of policies to help boost innovation, opportunity and competitiveness for manufacturers in the United States—and that includes tax policies that ensure manufacturers can continue to compete and win.

The record: During tax reform, the NAM achieved its key priorities—a lower corporate income tax rate, a reduced tax burden on pass-through business income, the adoption of a modern territorial tax system, the retention of the R&D tax credit and the adoption of incentives for capital equipment purchases.

  • Thanks to a more competitive tax code, manufacturers across America have been investing in jobs, facilities and their communities.

The road ahead: Of course, the NAM isn’t taking its eye off the ball. We are committed to protecting our gains and furthering progress—and that means ensuring the tax code continues to incentivize manufacturers’ ability to invest in innovation and growth. We’re focusing on three important tax priorities in the months ahead.

Research and development: On Jan. 1 of this year, a harmful tax change went into effect that makes R&D more expensive in the United States by requiring businesses to deduct their R&D expenses over a period of years.

  • The NAM has been leading the charge to ensure the tax code continues to support innovation by allowing businesses to fully deduct their R&D expenses in the year in which they are incurred. Check out these company stories on the importance of tax policies that support R&D.

Interest deductibility: When manufacturers borrow funds to buy capital equipment, the interest they pay on those loans is tax deductible up to a certain limit. But a recent change in the tax law modified how that limit is calculated—shrinking the deduction, making debt financing more expensive and leaving less capital for job creation and investment.

  • The U.S. is the only OECD country with such a strict interest limitation, so the NAM is working with members of both parties in Congress to reverse the new limit calculation and enhance manufacturers’ ability to compete. Read more about the NAM’s work on this provision here.

Full expensing: Under present law, manufacturers can deduct 100% of their investments in assets with long useful lives, supporting their ability to acquire vital equipment and strengthening their competitiveness. However, the ability to deduct 100% of these costs begins to phase down at the beginning of 2023 and is set to completely expire in 2027.

  • The NAM is leading the business community in advocating for full expensing permanency, joining with members of Congress to support legislation that would create certainty for manufacturers. See how full expensing has benefited small manufacturers in the United States here.

The last word: “The NAM is fighting to protect manufacturers across the country,” said NAM Senior Director of Tax Policy David Eiselsberg. “Protecting R&D, interest deductibility and full expensing will provide the tax certainty necessary for manufacturers to continue to invest in jobs and growth.”

Learn more: Check out the NAM’s full tax agenda in “Competing to Win.”

Workforce

Pfizer’s Refugee Hiring Program Changes Lives

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As Mona Babury tells it, Pfizer’s refugee hiring program was born out of the basic human need to connect during a time of shared anguish.

Wanting to help: Last August, Babury, the pharmaceutical company’s director of global diversity, equity and inclusion, was horrified by news coverage of the Taliban taking over Afghanistan and refugees fleeing.

  • Babury’s husband had fled Afghanistan for the United States with his family at the age of 5, some 40 years before, so she had a personal connection to the events unfolding.
  • She felt an urge to talk to someone who would understand, so she turned to Pfizer Executive Vice President and Chief People Experience Officer Payal Sahni, also a former Afghan refugee. In the course of their conversation, an idea popped into Babury’s head.

Lightbulb moment: “I said, ‘Why don’t we create a refugee hiring program? It will give [refugees] a glimmer of hope when they’re coming here with just the clothes on their backs,’” Babury recalled. “Within minutes, she responded, ‘Go for it.’”

Making it a reality: Pfizer, which had close to 1,000 job openings it was looking to fill, had never created a refugee hiring program before. “We didn’t have a playbook,” Babury said.

  • The team decided to research similar initiatives, and in doing so contacted The Tent Partnership for Refugees, a nonprofit organization established by Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya to help businesses hire and train refugees.
  • Thanks to Tent’s help, Pfizer’s Refugee Leadership Initiative was launched in mere days, with Babury named as its leader.
  • Its goal? Hire a minimum of 100 refugees by the end of 2022 and provide mentorship opportunities to an additional 150—with 50 of these opportunities earmarked for LGBTQ+ refugees.

Following through: In less than a year, the initiative is well on its way to reaching its goal—having hired 68 refugees so far. The enthusiasm from Pfizer’s workforce has been immediate and widespread.

  • After sending an email announcing the program globally, “we had 300 colleagues email back [within a few hours] saying they wanted to volunteer, to support us in any way they could,” said Babury.
  • At Pfizer’s Kalamazoo, Michigan, facility, where the initiative has been most successful, “one [team] leader took this very personally,” hiring 18 Afghan refugees since the beginning of 2022, said Babury. In partnership with a local refugee agency, he has also made “a commitment to continue to further ramp up hiring efforts.” (Learn more here.)

Going above and beyond: Pfizer, which now works directly with the not-for-profit humanitarian organizations Tent for Refugees, Welcome.US, the International Rescue Committee and eight other resettlement agencies to source and hire refugees, does more than extend job offers.

  • Though the new employees do not require sponsorship to work in the United States, owing to their refugee status, they do need help restarting their lives. Pfizer provides up-front bonuses to help cover the costs of transportation to and from work and to help them obtain driver’s licenses.

A winning formula: Seeking out refugees as employees can be an enormously rewarding sourcing strategy for a manufacturing company, Babury said.

  • “The knowledge curve might be a little [steeper], but in the end, there’s so much data that shows refugee hiring pays off immensely,” she said. “They’re very hardworking, loyal and thankful for the opportunity to enter a new workforce.”

A proud moment: “I am so proud of the incredible progress we have made in support of this important and impactful initiative,” said Pfizer Chief Global Supply Officer Mike McDermott. Pfizer Global Supply, Pfizer’s manufacturing and supply organization, has hired the most refugees at Pfizer to date.

  • “Our smart, talented and dedicated new colleagues are already making a difference. We welcome their fresh perspectives and have been motivated by their pride and passion,” he continued.
  • “I’d also like to recognize our PGS colleagues for welcoming these new teammates with open arms, supporting them both professionally and personally,” he added. “Everyone deserves a fresh start, and we consider it an honor and a privilege to play a role in the new chapters for these refugees and their families.”

Success stories: The backgrounds of many of the recent hires are as impressive as they are diverse.

  • The very first refugee hire, a man named Afzal Afzali, had been working for the U.S. embassy and the American University of Afghanistan when the Taliban seized control last summer. “He had to make a decision to escape within a few hours of the invasion,” according to Babury. “On his way out, he rescued four unaccompanied children protected by the U.S. government and reunited them with their mother in the United States.”
  • Afzali, who now lives with his family in Texas and works at Pfizer in procurement, told the company the new job has led him to finding his “life’s purpose in serving others … likewise, Pfizer is all about breakthroughs that change patients’ lives.”
  • Another new employee had previously worked with the Afghan president. She is now a senior associate on Babury’s team. She was recruited through the Pfizer Refugee Leadership Initiative Mentorship program.

The last word: Seeing the success of these new employees energizes those around them, said Babury.

  • “The leader at our Kalamazoo site will speak to you with such a light in his eyes about how … once these hires have a job, they don’t consider themselves refugees anymore. They’re people with jobs. They have a way to take care of their families. There is a sense of pride among all our colleagues because of this program.”
Policy and Legal

Congress Leans into Electoral Count Reform

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Following the events of January 2021, the processes for counting electoral votes has received renewed attention—and some members of Congress are working together to fix it.

The background: The law that governs the counting of electoral votes following a presidential election, called the Electoral Count Act, was written in 1887.

  • Over the course of more than a century, the law has remained the same, even as ambiguities have caused conflicts and upheavals—most notably after the 2020 election.
  • In the past two years, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators, led by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Susan Collins (R-ME), have come together to develop the Electoral Count Reform Act, which is intended to remove ambiguities around the counting of electoral votes.

The proposal: While the ECRA is still being drafted, a few key provisions have been discussed. For example:

  • The ECRA would clarify that the vice president’s role in vote counting is ceremonial, and that he or she is not empowered to throw out or change any state’s electoral votes.
  • The bill raises the threshold for members of Congress to object to a state’s slate of electoral votes.
  • Certain versions of the bill contain provisions that would increase election security, including by increasing penalties against individuals who threaten election officials.
  • The bill would make clear that state legislatures cannot override the popular vote in their states or throw a state’s electors to someone other than the candidate chosen by their voters.
  • The bill would also clear up ambiguities about presidential transition funds, ensuring that these funds can be disbursed to both candidates in the event of a disputed election in order to prevent delays.

Where we are: The current proposal has 17 cosponsors and is bipartisan. It has been through a hearing in the Rules Committee in the Senate, and it seems likely that some form of the ECRA will be considered this fall.

Our take: “The National Association of Manufacturers supports a clear, secure democratic process that doesn’t confer any partisan advantage and reduces opportunities to exploit ambiguities in the law,” said NAM Chief Legal Officer Linda Kelly. “A stable democracy is good for manufacturers and good for the world. That’s something we can all agree upon.”

Workforce

Creators Wanted Gets Set for Fall Tour

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Creators Wanted is gearing up for another season of bolstering positive perceptions of manufacturing careers and inspiring new manufacturers. Its schedule for this fall is now set—and we’re sharing it with you.

The nationwide tour, a joint project of the NAM and its workforce development and education partner The Manufacturing Institute, with significant legacy funding from  Dow, Honda and Trane Technologies as well as contributions from more than 70 manufacturing companies, will stop in Nashville, Tennessee, on Sept. 27–29.

  • The tour features an award-winning mobile immersive experience, to help students, emerging workers, parents and other career mentors learn and get excited about opportunities in modern manufacturing.
  • Tour stop attendees will also meet local manufacturers, interact with hands-on technology, attend presentations by stars in the industry and access resources for training and job opportunities.

Building on big impact: The MI and Deloitte have already reported that positive perception of manufacturing careers has soared from 27% when the tour started to 40% today, just shy of the goal of 50% by 2025.

  • The campaign has amassed—and maintained—an email network of more than 320,000 highly engaged students and career mentors.

Destination Tennessee: The Nashville stop will be the 10th since the tour began last year.

  • Hosted by Electrolux and Schneider Electric and co-presented by Robertson County Economic Development, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Tennessee Manufacturers Association and FactoryFix, the stop will take place at White House Heritage High School in the Nashville-adjacent town of White House, Tennessee.
  • More than 500 students, parents, teachers and community leaders are slated to attend.

It’s good to be back! From Oct. 4 to 7, as manufacturers nationwide celebrate MFG Day 2022, Nephron Pharmaceuticals will host the second Creators Wanted tour stop this fall, in West Columbia, South Carolina. FactoryFix and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce will also participate.

  • The tour visited West Columbia and Nephron last October. This year’s encore visit to the city will take place at the Nephron Nitrile Factory.
  • More than 20,000 students and career mentors are expected to sign up online to learn more about modern manufacturing careers.

College visit: Next, the tour will visit Decatur, Illinois, on Oct. 24–26, for a stop that will be hosted by Caterpillar and ADM and co-presented by Illinois Manufacturing and FactoryFix.

  • The events will be held at Shilling Center at Richland Community College. This third fall tour stop is expected to draw many visitors from the local community and add more than 20,000 students and career mentors to our network in Illinois.

Windy City premiere: The last stop on the Creators Wanted fall tour will be at the Rockwell Automation Fair in Chicago, on Nov. 16-17. The Creators Wanted immersive experience will be a main feature on the showroom floor at this gathering of thousands of industrial automation leaders and experts.

Learn more: Tour organizers say that there is still time to join the fall tour stop events. Interested in supporting the cause and the MI’s sustained workforce solutions? Contact Barret Kedzior at [email protected].

Workforce

Second Chance Hiring Works For Union Pacific

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Finding and keeping a job can be challenging for people with criminal records. These jobseekers face exclusionary business practices and logistical obstacles, which result in an unemployment rate for this population that is five times higher than the general US public. To minimize this inequality, The Manufacturing Institute—the workforce development and education partner of the NAM—has joined with Union Pacific to expand candidate pools and bring more outstanding individuals into the manufacturing industry.

A second chance: Union Pacific began working on the second chance initiative last year, and the results have already proven fruitful.

  • In 2022, the company launched a pilot program with local community organizations in Houston to eliminate barriers to employment for the formerly incarcerated and helped ensure the long-term success of these second chance candidates.
  • In its first three months, the program brought in nearly 100 new applications and created positive relationships and support systems.

The steps to success: The Union Pacific team discovered that three components were critical to helping candidates find jobs and succeed:

  • First, companies interested in hiring such candidates must update their own hiring practices and rethink potential barriers for otherwise qualified candidates—whether that means adjusting onerous required credentials or background checks.
  • Second, partnerships and strong relationships with local community partners can help ensure that these candidates have the support they need to be successful. Tools like the MI’s Community Partnership Scorecard helped Union Pacific find partners that fit well with their goals.
  • Third, establishing pilot initiatives in high-demand markets can help a company learn about best practices that can be replicated elsewhere. Plus, sharing experiences with other employers can help additional companies find success.

Expanding the program: Union Pacific’s current focus involves bringing the Second Chance initiative to new markets across the country to replicate the pilot program results.

  • “Everyone I speak with about our success in Houston wants to know how we can take this model and multiply,” said Union Pacific Talent Acquisition Manager Ken Kawamura.

Leaders in the field: With the success of this initiative, Union Pacific has become an industry leader in establishing inclusionary hiring practices and building community partnerships. The company hopes to help establish second chance programs throughout the country.

  • The Manufacturing Institute has been a critical partner in this work, providing information and resources necessary to its success.
  • “The MI is committed to supporting members in the pursuit of effective Second Chance initiatives,” said MI Vice President of Workforce Solutions Gardner Carrick. “Our goal is to leverage those learnings and strategies across the manufacturing industry to expand talent and opportunity in the sector.”

The last word: Union Pacific’s primary goal in pioneering this initiative is to build a more equitable workforce for all employees.

  • “In our eyes, once you are a part of Union Pacific, you are no different than any other employee, regardless of your background,” said Senior Director of Talent Acquisition Dan Culbertson.
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