A light at the end of the tunnel

Just as people are not numbers, numbers are not people. Perhaps in no year since we’ve been doing the PLANT ENGINEERING Salary Survey has that been more apparent. The 2009 version of the Salary Survey was focused not just on how last year affected their wallets, but also on how last year affected their workplaces.
By Bob Vavra, Editor January 14, 2010

Just as people are not numbers, numbers are not people. Perhaps in no year since we’ve been doing the PLANT ENGINEERING Salary Survey has that been more apparent. The 2009 version of the Salary Survey was focused not just on how last year affected their wallets, but also on how last year affected their workplaces.

2009 Salary Survey

2009 Salary Survey

It was, by every measure, a challenging, frustrating year for manufacturing. The changes in the economy, in business and in the world were things that could not be affected by doing better maintenance or using energy more efficiently %%MDASSML%% things we try to write about and things within the control of our readers. And for a plant manager to feel he has no control over his operation is the most frustrating feeling of all.

Yet in spite of all of that, we found optimism in the distance as 2010 approached. Two of every three survey respondents said their job was secure, that their workers’ jobs were secure, and that there was still much to be proud of in the work they do each day. Even as overall compensation declined slightly, of that decline was attributable to a drop in bonus compensation.

They decried the loss of jobs, but also the loss of productivity those job losses have caused. They have increased concerns over how Washington is responding to their needs. They still see a lack of skilled workers as one of the most difficult issues they face.

But of the things they can control each day, they believe they are able to meet the next set of challenges. And they believe that if the recession is not over, it soon will be, and they can return to a productive, stable manufacturing environment.

Perhaps it was a sense that the new year could not possibly be worse than the one they were leaving. Even just that cynical piece of optimism would be enough for some.

But there is a genuine sense out there that 2010 will be better %%MDASSML%% not just by comparison, but on its own merits.

Review all of the Salary Survey data.