“Still a Beacon”: Timmons Discusses Permitting, Immigration and More
Streamlining the nation’s permitting process, filling open manufacturing positions and reforming the U.S. immigration system—these are just a few of the actions the U.S. must take improve American lives and to bolster the economy, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said Tuesday.
America still works: Timmons was one of three panelists at “Building the Workforce of Tomorrow Today,” an event hosted by United For Infrastructure, a program of Accelerator for America Action. He told audience members that manufacturers have before them “a great opportunity.”
- “What really excites me the most is, when you look at [the] CHIPS and Science [Act], when you look at [the] Infrastructure Investment [and Jobs Act] and when you look at—hopefully—permitting reform, what you see is, America still works,” he said.
- “We have this moment in time where I think we have to prove again to the world that America is a beacon, it is a democracy that provides opportunities for everyone and allows individuals to succeed and to rise on that ladder of success. …. For manufacturers, this is a great opportunity.”
Workforce challenge: Timmons discussed the primary workforce challenge before the sector—a projected growth of unfilled jobs—and how the NAM is aiming to overcome it.
- “We have about 800,000 open jobs in the sector today and … we have to hire 4 million people before 2030,” he said, referring to the findings from a joint study by the NAM’s 501 workforce development and education affiliate, the Manufacturing Institute, and Deloitte.
- The NAM and MI are seeking to fill those jobs through the work of several initiatives, Timmons continued. These include perception-changing programs such as Creators Wanted, the Toyota-founded Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education program (now operated by the MI), Women Make America and the promotion of second chance hiring (employment of individuals with previous, non-violent involvement in the criminal-justice system).
Education: The importance of reaching the next generation of manufacturers early cannot be overstated, Timmons told the audience.
- He talked about the high-tech donations—robotics, CNC machines and more—by manufacturers to schools such as Rankin Technical College in St. Louis, Missouri, and Palatine High School in Palatine, Illinois. This machinery is used in programs that aim to interest students in manufacturing careers.
- “I think we have obligation to” make this sort of investment, Timmons said. “I’m very proud of our manufacturers for stepping up to it.”
Immigration: Perhaps the most pressing issue before the U.S., however, is immigration, Timmons told the audience.
- “Today, more so than ever before, we have an economic reality that we have to address,” said Timmons, who referenced the NAM’s policy blueprint on immigration reform, “A Way Forward,” during his talk.
- “We have what, 13 million undocumented folks in this country? … We need to hold our officials accountable for coming up with a plan that is workable and humane and will actually help the economy.”
Manufacturers Unveil Competitiveness Agenda Ahead of Midterm Elections
“Competing to Win” offers a path for bringing the country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the midterm elections, the National Association of Manufacturers released its policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” a comprehensive blueprint featuring immediate solutions for bolstering manufacturers’ competitiveness. It is also a roadmap for policymakers on the laws and regulations needed to strengthen the manufacturing industry in the months and years ahead.
With the country facing rising prices, snarled supply chains and geopolitical turmoil, manufacturers are outlining an actionable competitiveness agenda that Americans across the political spectrum can support. “Competing to Win” includes the policies manufacturers in America will need in place to continue driving the country forward.
“‘Competing to Win’ offers a path for bringing our country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The NAM is putting forward a plan filled with ideas that policymakers could pursue immediately, including solutions to urgent problems, such as energy security, immigration reform, supply chain disruptions, the ongoing workforce shortage and more. Manufacturers have shown incredible resilience through difficult times, employing more workers now than before the pandemic, but continued resilience is not guaranteed without the policies that are critical to the state of manufacturing in America.”
The NAM and its members will leverage “Competing to Win” to shape policy debates ahead of the midterm elections, in the remainder of the 117th Congress and at the start of the 118th Congress—including in direct engagement with lawmakers, for grassroots activity, across traditional and digital media and through events in key states and districts as we did following the initial rollout of the roadmap in 2016.
The document focuses on 12 areas of action, and all policies are rooted in the values that have made America exceptional and keep manufacturing strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.
Learn more about how manufacturers are leading and about the industry’s competitiveness agenda at nam.org/competing-to-win.
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 $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org