Workforce

Manufacturers do the jobs of the future. That’s why we train our employees to take on new challenges and why we need motivated, exceptional workers to start careers in modern manufacturing. To advance that goal industry-wide, we support innovative policy and on-the-ground programs to attract, train and retain the next generation workforce.

Workforce

STEP Award Winner Leads Teams, Saves Lives

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Elaine Thibodeau accepts award at 2019 STEP Ahead Awards

As the North America Deliver Operations Lead at Johnson & Johnson, Elaine Thibodeau’s work helps ensure quality, continuity, preparedness and resiliency across the supply chain. She also serves as an advocate for women in the manufacturing industry and a voice of encouragement for millions of young women and girls who might enter the industry one day.

“I think we need to keep fighting the myth that a manufacturing career doesn’t marry well with having a family,” Thibodeau said. “We need to find opportunities to bring young women into our factories and give them early, positive experiences with the industry.”

Her 30 years of experience at Johnson & Johnson includes time in orthopedics, diagnostics, pharmaceutical manufacturing and consumer medical devices – roles that have come with all sorts of challenges. Earlier in her career, Thibodeau led a team that was tasked with taking over a third-party plant to continue producing an oncology medication that was on the FDAs drug shortage list. By making a deal with a supplier to take over a section of their plant, she kept production running.

Doctors in an advocacy group told Thibodeau how essential the medication was for their patients and how shortages caused them to make difficult decisions. “That always stuck with me – it motivated me every day to do my job well,” she said.

At times, Thibodeau faced immense challenges. After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, she worked to get manufacturing up and running, bringing jobs back to the community that was deeply affected and providing vital products to enable employees to take care of themselves.

“Day-to-day life was just physically difficult,” she said. “We had to take care of the people first, making sure they had what they needed to be safe, whether that was a generator or medicines or water or diapers.” In collaboration with site leaders and other businesses in the area, she helped to rebuild the industry and begin the process of renewal.

Thibodeau’s interest in manufacturing began at a young age. As a young girl, she built furniture for her dolls with raisin boxes and pieces of wood she found in her family’s garage. When her father, an electrician, went to work, she would tag along, learning how to trouble shoot, which is a skill that has proven valuable.

“I had building blocks and I liked to sew,” Elaine remembered. “I was always interested in putting things together.” An enthusiasm for math and some encouraging teachers led her to an engineering degree, and after a few years, she was offered her first role at Johnson & Johnson – beginning an exciting career that continues to draw her out of her comfort zone.

“If the new job or the new project doesn’t scare you a little bit,” she said, “you’re probably going to be bored in six months.”

Elaine Thibodeau won a 2019 Manufacturing Institute STEP Ahead Award. This profile was adapted from an original interview for the Input, the NAM’s members-only e-newsletter.

Workforce

Report: Automation Offers Manufacturing Opportunities

New report suggests automation may have a significant positive impact for people interested in the manufacturing industry.

A new report from The Manufacturing Institute – the workforce and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers – and PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests that increased automation in manufacturing may come with significant opportunities for workers in the industry.

The report – “Navigating the Fourth Industrial Revolution to the Bottom Line” – examines the ways that systemic changes are impacting the manufacturing industry, from the expansion of robotics to an increased interest in developing connected products. While manufacturers recognize the potential value of advanced technologies – including robotics, the Industrial Internet of Things, cloud computing, advanced analytics, 3D printing, and virtual and augmented reality – the prospect of integrating these new innovations with existing processes has raised questions.

The new report suggests automation may have a significant positive impact for people interested in the manufacturing industry – an increased need for talent to manage in a more automated, flexible production environment and new jobs for workers who can engineer robotics and their operating systems, to name a few opportunities. Rather than taking jobs away from workers, the report’s survey finds that most manufacturers see automation as reinforcing the need for distinctly human abilities.

“This technological shift is moving manufacturers rapidly toward jobs that require irreplaceable human skills, such as creativity, critical thinking, design, innovation, engineering and finance,” said Chad Moutray, Director of The Manufacturing Institute’s Center for Manufacturing Research. “Machines need workers to program, operate and maintain them, and today automation often works alongside workers, especially in the performance of monotonous tasks, which helps free workers to shift their focus to more interesting ones.”

Some of that work will come from existing employees. In fact, the report suggests that most manufacturers are planning to upskill and reskill their current employees on using and managing new technologies. In addition, manufacturers see a need to expand their workforce to include new employees – in part, by identifying and recruiting talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics students, and by providing outside training at community colleges and through technology vendors in order to prepare potential new workers for roles in modern manufacturing.

“According to the World Economic Forum, we could create 133 million jobs by 2022 if workers are given significant reskilling and the next generation of workers is trained properly,” said Moutray. “Technological change can be a plus for manufacturing workers if we undertake the right approach now.”

All told, about 70 percent of manufacturers say the biggest impact of robotics on the workforce over the next five years will be the increased need for talent to manage in a more automated environment, and for new workers fill important jobs. The Manufacturing Institute has become the leading industry voice in Washington calling for workforce and education policies that bridge the skills gap, and it has a number of programs aimed toward supporting the manufacturing workforce of today and growing the manufacturing workforce of tomorrow.

“Technology isn’t a threat – technology is an enabler,” said Moutray. “It’s actually helping us do our jobs, helping us get to where we need to go, and then enabling that next generation.”

Workforce

STEP Emerging Leader Makes Manufacturing Real

“I usually talk about sitting at a desk all day...in manufacturing, you almost never do that.”

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Christine George and Laura Mahany at the 2019 STEP Awards

Laura Mahany doesn’t just serve as a plant manager at Air Liquide. She’s also mentoring women within the organization and recruiting top engineers to increase female presence in manufacturing.

“I usually talk about sitting at a desk all day,” she says. “In manufacturing, you almost never do that.”

When she speaks to other young women on college campuses, she stresses the collaborative environments that manufacturing offers and the opportunities to interact with operators and technicians thatmake her work more interesting and engaging. From these conversations, she’s learned sustainability is an important issue for young people, who have become more vocal about being part of a grand environmental solution. And she has found that one of the biggest challenges for recruiting new manufacturers is simply a lack of visibility.

“When you talk to a child, they always know what a doctor does or a teacher does because they interact with those people,” Laura says. “But it’s not very often that they get to interact with engineers or visit a manufacturing plant.”

While in college, Laura provided some of those interactions herself as a mentor to underprivileged kids learning math and science. Each session involved experiments centered around different subjects and activities, from building roller coasters to making ice cream to using liquid nitrogen. By changing different elements of the experiments and studying how changes affect outcomes, Laura helped drive home scientific concepts – and gave kids a real-life example of what manufacturers do.

“Manufacturing is just a big word to them,” she says. “We need to make it real.”

Laura has learned firsthand how real manufacturing challenges can be. In 2017, she was tasked with preserving operations at her plant in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and although she and her team evacuated during the hurricane itself, they returned to a scene that she calls “something out of a zombie apocalypse.” Because her plant was critical to the safety of the community – it produced nitrogen, which other industries use to prevent the release of dangerous chemicals – she had to restore operations quickly, even before the local government had given the all-clear for residents to return.

“We had to collaborate with other industries to get what we needed, like cooling water and electricity,” she says. “Luckily, I had good relationships with people at other companies – it really made such cooperation possible.”

Laura credits college internships with convincing her that she was destined for a career in manufacturing. Although she had always had an aptitude for math and science – as a child, she took part in academic competitions to improve her skills – a college program for women in engineering made the larger engineering program feel more approachable and drew her into more applied opportunities.

“I realized I liked the more hands-on work of manufacturing – the direct interaction with the meat of a business,” Laura says. “I liked how every day was different, fast paced, challenging.”

Laura Mahany won a 2019 Manufacturing Institute STEP Ahead Emerging Leader Award. This profile was adapted from an original interview for the Input, the NAM’s members-only e-newsletter

Practical Insights

A News Source for Manufacturing

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NAM Senior Vice President of Communications and Brand Strategy Erin Streeter discusses the NAM’s digital strategy and the shift to become a news source for the industry.

Why is the NAM diving into becoming more of a news source for the industry?

First, it’s a direct response to the needs of our members. We’re committed to ensuring that our members and allies have the tools they need to be nimble and effective advocates for our industry. We also want to be a platform for our members to tell their stories of success and achievement.

Second, in this disruptive environment, becoming America’s manufacturing news source isn’t really a choice. We saw this tidal wave of change hitting advocacy and communications coming, and we’ve been building a messaging, rapid response (“War Room”) and newsroom operation that has drawn the attention of some the most powerful leaders in our country and is watched by key business reporters and decisionmakers. We can’t let up now. If we don’t write our story and if we don’t present the facts, we are ceding control of our industry’s future to others.

Building “brand newsrooms” and operating like a media organization aren’t things trade associations have been known to do. Can you explain the rationale for a trade association like the NAM moving in these directions?

That’s right—but it is critical if we want to continue to position the NAM as a leader not only in the manufacturing industry, but also in Washington and across the country.

With today’s noisy, fragmented media environment, manufacturers need a resource they can trust and resource that can get their stories out to the public and key decision-makers. And lawmakers and the public need an authority on all things manufacturing.

What is new about NAM.org?

Everything. The whole concept is new. Take a look around. You’ll see various streams of relevant, timely news on a range of topics. You’ll see interviews with leading experts and CEO perspectives. This site is the next step in our mission to be a constant presence in people’s lives, using new technology, data and analytics to provide customized user experiences that interest, educate and drive action for the manufacturing sector.

With this new site, we are supercharging our ability to provide a best in class user experience across our social, email and mobile products.

In what ways can manufacturers leverage this site and NAM news platforms, such as the Input morning email newsletter?

They can tell their stories. This is their platform. Manufacturers across this country are transforming their communities, innovating great new products and giving people new opportunities for high paying jobs. We want to show the world the great things our industry is doing and how we’re keeping our promises to invest in our people and our communities.

There’s no organization that knows the industry better than the NAM, the one-stop shop for manufacturers. So we’re well-positioned to be a credible and compelling platform—and outlet—for stories about our members. Just like anyone might think of CNBC, Fox Business or Bloomberg as a place to drive business news, I hope we’ll be looked at as a place where our members—and all manufacturers—want to break news because of the quality of our reporting and our proven capacity to reach audiences that matter.

Will the general public or casual reader find a home at nam.org?

Absolutely. Anyone who cares about manufacturing in America—and everyone should care!—can learn something from this site. Again, it’s America’s manufacturing news source. It might be breaking news about a new manufacturing facility coming to their community. Or it might be a helpful Q&A to understand what’s really going on in Congress.

Our Creators Wanted video series is a great example of the compelling content that is designed with the general public in mind. The series tells the stories of real modern manufacturing workers. In their own words, they describe the reason they love the industry. These are targeted to younger people (and their parents) who are making decisions about their future careers. So by inspiring that next generation, this content is supporting the mission of the NAM and our education and workforce partners, The Manufacturing Institute—and it’s changing lives.

There’s truly something for everyone…and we’d love to get feedback on how we can make it even better!

Leader Best Practices

Helm Boots CEO on Inspiring Working Class Heroes

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

Meet Joshua Bingaman, founder of Helm Boots. In this edition of the NAM’s Makers Series, he explains what it takes to inspire the next wave of “creative working class heroes.”

Policy and Legal

Manufacturers Stand Up for Equality

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Manufacturing businesses have long been proponents of equality in the workplace. As legislation to codify protections for LGBT individuals passes through the House of Representatives, the National Association of Manufacturers joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, and other members of the business community in advocating its passage, forging coalitions and providing congressional testimony.

Introduced with bipartisan support in the U.S. House and Senate in March, the Equality Act includes federal protections for individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity under the existing framework of the Civil Rights Act, which already provides protection against discrimination on the basis of religion, national origin, race, color or sex. The goal of the legislation is to ensure that no person can face legal discrimination based on their gender or sexual orientation, setting a clear federal standard to enable individuals to succeed based on their abilities and qualifications to perform a job.

“Employers understand the importance of creating an environment in which the very best people can succeed based on merit,” Patrick Hedren, NAM vice president, labor, legal and regulatory policy, said. “At the same time, manufacturers know that discrimination in any form is antithetical to the values that we work to uphold every day: equality of opportunity, individual liberty, free enterprise and competitiveness.”

In March, more than 40 other industry associations rallied to support the Equality Act, providing an important boost for the groundbreaking legislation. In the weeks since, manufacturing representatives have testified before the House Education and Labor Committee and signed a coalition letter to the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services calling for the Act’s passage. As Congress considers the way forward, manufacturers have made clear that they intend to advocate forcefully on behalf of the legislation and uphold their commitment to workers of every gender identity and sexual orientation.

“The Equality Act creates a clear federal standard that matches the sentiments manufacturers already share: gender identity and sexual orientation have no impact on an employee’s abilities and discrimination is not welcome on the manufacturing floor,” Hedren said. “We look forward to working with Congress as this important legislation moves ahead.”

Press Releases

NAM Survey: Record Optimism Among Manufacturers Continues

Crumbling Infrastructure and Workforce Shortage Are Top Concerns for Industry

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers today released the results of the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the first quarter of 2019, which shows nine consecutive quarters of record optimism, with an average of 91.8 percent of manufacturers positive about their own company’s outlook over that time frame, compared to an average of 68.6 percent across 2015 and 2016. The survey’s release coincided with Vice President Mike Pence’s address to the NAM’s 2019 Spring Board of Directors Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Manufacturers’ concerns about our nation’s crumbling infrastructure continue to rise, with more than 77 percent saying the state of infrastructure is not up to standards and threatens their competitiveness. The NAM continues to press Congress for a robust investment with the release last week of its infrastructure blueprint, “Building to Win.”

The inability to attract and retain a quality workforce remained manufacturers’ top business concern (71.3 percent) in the first quarter. The workforce shortage has forced more than one in four manufacturers surveyed to turn down new business opportunities.

Manufacturing in the United States is on the rise, and manufacturers are confident about the future, said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. Empowered by tax reform and regulatory certainty, manufacturers are investing in our communities and in our people. But to keep up this momentum, we have to get serious about infrastructure investment and attracting, recruiting and training our people for the high-tech, high-paying modern manufacturing jobs of today and tomorrow. As laid out in the NAM’s ‘Building to Win’ blueprint, a bold infrastructure plan will help secure American prosperity, job creation and our leadership in the world.

Conducted by NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray, the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey has surveyed the association’s membership of 14,000 large and small manufacturers on a quarterly basis since 1997 to gain insight into their economic outlook, hiring and investment decisions and business concerns.

The NAM releases these results to the public each quarter. Further information on the survey is available here.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 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 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

Vice President Pence to Address NAM Board of Directors

Scottsdale, AZ – Tomorrow, Vice President Mike Pence will deliver remarks at the National Association of Manufacturers’ 2019 Spring Board of Directors Meeting. The Vice President’s remarks will be streamed live at https://www.facebook.com/NAMpage/.

 

WHAT: Remarks by Vice President Mike Pence at the NAM’s 2019 Spring Board of Directors Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona
WHERE:           The Phoenician

Grand Phoenician Ballroom

6000 E. Camelback Road

Scottsdale, AZ 85251

WHEN:           Tuesday, March 5, 2019

11:45 a.m. MST – 12:15 p.m. MST

 

** Media Equipment Pre-Set: 7:30 a.m. MST – 8:30 a.m. MST

** Media Check-In: 11:00 a.m. MST – 11:30 a.m. MST

RSVP: Members of the media interested in attending Vice President Mike Pence’s remarks should RSVP to Jamie Hennigan at jhennigan@nam.org with full name, name of outlet and contact information by 6:00 p.m. EST, Monday, March 4, 2019.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 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 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

NAM Hails Manufacturing in California on State of Manufacturing Tour

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers traveled to California on Tuesday, February 26, and Wednesday, February 27, to highlight the state’s modern manufacturing industry as part of the fifth-annual NAM State of Manufacturing Tour. During the visit, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee met with students, business leaders and local manufacturers to discuss the industry’s optimistic outlook for the future, the high-tech, high-paying opportunities in modern manufacturing and the urgent need to recruit the next generation of manufacturers. Fluor Corporation Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Chair David Seaton joined Timmons and Lee for these events.

We’re at the next frontier of manufacturing in the United States. We’re leading in technological advances, such as artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality, that will actually spur job creation, will boost wages and will help us lift everyone up and leave no one behind, said Timmons.

We should not fear the future. Powered by tax reform and regulatory certainty, manufacturers in America are keeping our promise to invest in our people and our communities. Modern manufacturing is vital to the California economy, and we’re driving innovation in agriculture, bioscience, electronics, energy and more. We’re stronger than ever, and that means we need to hire more innovators and creators than ever. With 428,000 jobs open today and 4.6 million to fill over the next decade, manufacturers across America are saying ‘creators wanted.’

We should not fear the future. Powered by tax reform and regulatory certainty, manufacturers in America are keeping our promise to invest in our people and our communities. Modern manufacturing is vital to the California economy, and we’re driving innovation in agriculture, bioscience, electronics, energy and more. We’re stronger than ever, and that means we need to hire more innovators and creators than ever. With 428,000 jobs open today and 4.6 million to fill over the next decade, manufacturers across America are saying ‘creators wanted.’

Timmons and Lee then visited Bishop-Wisecarver, an automation solutions provider, to tour the facility. Following the tour, Timmons and Lee met with Bishop-Wisecarver President and NAM Board Member Pamela Kan and local stakeholders to discuss workforce opportunities and how manufacturing companies can champion science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in the community to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Lee ended the day visiting Pittsburg High School in Pittsburg, California, where she met the school’s robotics team and discussed how STEM education is inspiring their future career aspirations.

On Wednesday, Timmons, Lee and Seaton started the day at Salesforce for a panel discussion with Achyut Jajoo, vice president of manufacturing, automotive and energy industries at Salesforce, andLance Hastings, president of the California Manufacturers & Technology Association. Business and community leaders and industry representatives heard from panel participants about how technology is transforming the manufacturing industry and the looming workforce crisis for California’s manufacturers.

We are a committed partner in driving innovation and business agility to manufacturers, said Jajoo. As a partner, we are collaborating to bring not only our leadership in technology innovations, but also business practices like equality, trust and philanthropy to drive growth in the industry not only in California, but nationally as well.

The group then spent the afternoon with Kate Sofis, CEO of the SFMade Manufacturing Foundry, a nonprofit that is focused on developing local manufacturers and spurring economic development in the city. While at the Foundry, Timmons, Lee and Seaton met with five local manufacturerers, showcasing the diverse manufacturing companies—from medical device makers to apparel makers—that are powering the industry forward. 

California is home to a strong manufacturing industry, and we have an abundance of opportunities for those who are interested in high-tech, rewarding careers. We want to do everything we can to grow stronger and hire more Californians, said Hastings. Our businesses are leading the way when it comes to innovation and modernization, and our manufacturing companies are no different. We are thrilled to have the NAM in our great state this week to showcase the diverse opportunities in this exciting industry.

For the past five years, the annual NAM State of Manufacturing Tour has focused the nation’s attention on the industry that is the backbone of America’s economy, highlighting the more than 12.8 million men and women who are building our future and solving tomorrow’s challenges today. The tour has traveled the country, bringing policy discussions and conversations about the future of work in the manufacturing industry to shop floors, schools, economic clubs, television studios, the White House and more. This year’s tour will spotlight the industry’s next frontier, while also focusing on manufacturing’s well-paying careers, the industry’s diverse workforce and the policy solutions that are essential for manufacturing’s continued growth.

MEDIA RSVP: Members of the media interested in covering the tour or attending an event should contact mfgtour@nam.org. To learn more about the NAM State of Manufacturing Tour 2019, click here.

-NAM-

 The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 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 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

Press Releases

NAM Hails Manufacturing in Minnesota on State of Manufacturing Tour

Tour Emphasized the Next Frontier of Manufacturing, Showcased the Industry’s Optimism and Underscored Need to Fill Manufacturing Skills Gap

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturerstoday traveled to Minnesota to highlight the state’s modern manufacturing industry as part of the fifth annual NAM State of Manufacturing Tour. During the visit, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee met with students, business leaders and local manufacturers to discuss the industry’s optimistic outlook for the future, the high-tech, high paying opportunities in modern manufacturing and the urgent need to recruit the next generation of manufacturers.

We’re at the next frontier of manufacturing in the United States. We’re leading in technological advances, such as artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality, that will actually spur job creation, boost wages and help us lift everyone up and leave no one behind, said Timmons.

We should not fear the future. Powered by tax reform and regulatory certainty, manufacturers in America are keeping our promise to invest in our people and our communities. Modern manufacturing is vital to the Minnesota economy, and we’re driving innovation in agriculture, bioscience, energy and more. We’re stronger than ever, and that means we need to hire more innovators and creators than ever. With 428,000 jobs open today and 4.6 million to fill over the next decade, manufacturers across America are saying ‘creators wanted.’

Timmons and Lee began the day at Protolabs, touring its state-of-the-art facilities in both Plymouth and Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. Students from Dunwoody College joined the tour and participated in a roundtable discussion about workforce opportunities with current employees, executives and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. Protolabs President and CEO and NAM Small and Medium Manufacturers Group Vice Chair Vicki Holt talked about the company’s partnerships with local colleges in the area and how Protolabs is prioritizing career development among their staff.

It’s our mission to provide an environment where our employees continue to learn and develop their manufacturing skills, said Holt. We know that investing in our current employees and the next generation of manufacturers is essential if we want to continue to compete in our field. Manufacturing offers incredible workforce opportunities for those who are willing to work hard, and we are constantly looking for those individuals.

Timmons, Lee and Mayor Frey then joined the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce for a roundtable discussion with the Chamber’s Manufacturers Coalition.

We are actively working to strengthen the state’s overall business climate. We believe the pathway toward economic prosperity is achieved by supporting private-sector innovators to fuel future growth and not make it more costly to do business in Minnesota, said Doug Loon, president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. We are excited to have the NAM here today to share ideas about how we can continue to foster an environment where manufacturing thrives.

Timmons spent the second half of the day in Medina, Minnesota, touring Polaris, a local manufacturer that has grown into an international powerhouse in powersports vehicle manufacturing. Timmons met with a group of Polaris employees to discuss continued innovation in manufacturing and how Polaris has expanded its capabilities over the past six decades.

Lee visited Metal Trade Solutions, a machining, fabrication and mechanical design business in Winsted, Minnesota. She met the young co-founders Tobias Flood and Mark Eiden, their former shop teachers and members from Southwest Initiative Foundation. They discussed what drove the entrepreneurs to open their own business and the impact the technical program at St. Cloud Technical and Community College had on their career path.

For the past five years, the annual NAM State of Manufacturing Tour has focused the nation’s attention on the industry that is the backbone of America’s economy, highlighting the more than 12.8 million men and women who are building our future and solving tomorrow’s challenges today. The tour has traveled the country, bringing policy discussions and conversations about the future of work in the manufacturing industry to shop floors, schools, economic clubs, television studios, the White House and more. This year’s tour will spotlight the industry’s next frontier, while also focusing on manufacturing’s well-paying careers, the industry’s diverse workforce and the policy solutions that are essential for manufacturing’s continued growth.

Members of the media interested in covering the tour should contact mfgtour@nam.org. To learn more about the NAM State of Manufacturing Tour 2019, click here.

-NAM-

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 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 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.

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