Obama names Ron Bloom as first "manufacturing czar"
Auto task force advisor selected to "lead the way in creating the good-paying manufacturing jobs of the future."
President Obama has named Rom Bloom as the first so-called "manufacturing czar" to help create policy to grow U.S. manufacturing jobs.
Bloom has been part of the Treasury Department task force on the auto industry since February. He is a former investment banker and advisor to the United Steelworkers' union.
While it's clear Bloom's immediate task will be to build momentum for the auto industry, Mr. Obama said the long-term goals are much broader . "As my new point person on manufacturing, he's going to help us craft the policies that will create the next generation of great manufacturing jobs and ensure American competitiveness in the 21st century," the president said. "Ron has the knowledge and experience necessary to lead the way in creating the good-paying manufacturing jobs of the future."
"A strong manufacturing sector is a cornerstone of American competitiveness and a critical part of President Obama's economic strategy," Bloom said in a statement. "As we meet the challenges of globalization and technological change, it is vital to have a concerted effort across the Administration to support an innovative, vibrant manufacturing sector."
While there continues to be discussion on the appointment of "czars - formally called special advisors to the president - Bloom has earned some early praise from industry leaders. "President Obama's announcement this Labor Day brings a strong architect to the table in the development of a national manufacturing policy by his Administration. Ron Bloom understands capital, labor, production and the necessity of developing sustainable jobs that utilize clean energy," said Leo W. Gerard, international president of the United Steelworkers .
A discussion on Bloom's appointment is now taking place at ManufacturingCrunch.com
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Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey