IMTS 2010: Engler touts national manufacturing strategy
NAM president talks innovation, tax relief and a stronger perception of plant floor work at IMTS opening Tuesday.
Touting the themes of innovation, regulatory and tax relief and global competitiveness, National Association of Manufacturers president and CEO John Engler opened the 2010 IMTS Show Tuesday with a renewed call for a national manufacturing strategy.
“You cannot have a strong economy without a strong manufacturing base,” said Engler, the former Michigan governor. “We see signs of strength in the manufacturing sector. It’s just not good enough yet.”
NAM and the Association for Manufacturing Technology, the show host for IMTS, have announced a partnership that is designed to align two of the major manufacturing associations around a call for a comprehensive strategy around innovation, workforce development and fiscal policy more favorable to manufacturers.
“The threats are real, present and persistent,” Engler said. “But we continue to bring innovation into every workplace. The competitors have never been tougher.”
Engler called for a renewed of the research and development tax credit and to hold down other tax increases on manufacturing. But he also challenged manufacturers to help improve the perception of manufacturing.
“Some people still have a Dickensian notion of manufacturing,” he said. “Some people take a 3-D approach to manufacturing – dirty, dark and dangerous. We need to try and tell the story that it’s not.” He also noted that despite a perception to the contrary, the U.S. still leads the world in manufacturing output.
“Manufacturing has a large agenda,” Engler added. “We have to work together. Manufacturing and technology are interdependent; you can’t have one without the other.”
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.