Posts Tagged ‘Manufacturing’

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Private Sector Council Provides Feedback on Manufacturing Initiatives

May 3, 2013

Michael Laszkiewicz is the Chair of the 2013 Manufacturing Council. He is the Vice President and General Manager of Rockwell Automation.File photo of workers building a car.

Innovation.

Workforce development.

Export promotion.

Greater support for small and medium-size manufacturers.

And most of all, competitiveness.

Those were the key issues that 23 representatives of the manufacturing community discussed in the initial meeting of the newly appointed 2013 Manufacturing Council, on which I serve as chairperson.

The Council is the principal private sector advisory committee to the Secretary of Commerce on the manufacturing industry. It is composed of representatives from large and small manufacturers from across the U.S., representing an array of industries ranging from automotive parts to chemicals to superconductors.

The Council will meet four times this year to advise the Secretary of Commerce on the challenges facing manufacturing, and provide input on the Obama Administration’s manufacturing initiatives.

As professionals in the field, we know and understand the issues affecting manufacturing. We care about the future of the manufacturing sector and we’re proud to have a voice to provide input on the Obama Administration’s initiatives.

While the issues we discussed aren’t new, we approach them with energy and enthusiasm, buoyed by the Administration’s renewed commitment to reinforce its efforts to strengthen U.S. manufacturing global competitiveness.

What do you think of the list of issues the Council is focusing on? If we could give the Administration one piece of advice on how to strengthen manufacturing, what should it be?

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Building Exports in the Bluegrass State

February 19, 2013

This post contains external links. Please review our external linking policy.

Francisco Sánchez serves as the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade. 

“We should remember that today’s world presents not just dangers, not just threats — it presents opportunity.” This statement from President Obama’s State of the Union speech confirms the belief that free trade and open markets are a benefit in our globalized world.

In Louisville, Ky., this belief is nothing new, as the town has been growing its economy by focusing on exporting to foreign markets.

That is why I joined Mayor Greg Fischer in Louisville today to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the International Trade Administration (ITA) and the City of Louisville in a team effort to improve local exports. Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) also joined us to celebrate this exciting new partnership and highlight what this means for the community.

Our new MOU extends the success we have seen through the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement (BEAM), a joint venture between the mayors of Louisville and Lexington, designed to support the growth of high-quality jobs in advanced manufacturing throughout a 22-county region.

BEAM is a particularly exceptional achievement because it is the realization of the National Export Initiative (NEI) localized through the Brookings Institute’s Metropolitan Export Initiative (MEI). It represents a way in which cities and towns can engage in international trade to reap the benefits of increased exports.

Together, these initiatives are all working in concert to increase U.S. exports.

And there is no better place to talk exports than Kentucky.

Kentucky depends heavily on manufacturing, such as civilian aircraft, engines, and parts. In fact, 96 percent of Kentucky’s $19.3 billion in exports in 2010 came from manufacturing.  These numbers continued to grow through 2012 – and the growth rate ranks Kentucky 11th among other states in 2012 – which is extremely impressive.

Kentucky is also a great example of how the NEI and our efforts here at the International Trade Administration are helping the U.S. compete in manufacturing as we focus on bringing manufacturing back to the States and selling our products abroad.

This was my first time in Louisville, but after seeing the enthusiasm for exporting from smaller businesses like Universal Woods to larger companies like UPS, I am already looking forward to coming back and supporting Kentucky’s exciting export growth.

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ITA Under Secretary Promotes Manufacturing During Three-State Tour

October 5, 2012

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Sophia Lu is a Fellow at the International Trade Administration Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. She is currently an MA candidate in International Affairs at The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs.

Under Secretary Francisco Sanchez (center) meets with Jet Inc.'s President Ron Swinko (far left) and other staff at their manufacturing facility in Cleveland, OH as part of the "Made in America Manufacturing Tour." in October 2012.

Under Secretary Francisco Sanchez (center) meets with Jet Inc.’s President Ron Swinko (far left) and other staff at their manufacturing facility in Cleveland, OH as part of the “Made in America Manufacturing Tour.” in October 2012.

On October 2nd, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez commenced a four-city tour of American manufacturing cities to promote the benefits of strengthening America’s manufacturers and expanding U.S. exports to create jobs. This “Made in America Manufacturing Tour” supports President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), which seeks to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014. Just last year, exports supported 9.7 million American jobs, an increase of 1.2 million American jobs from 2009.

On his first stop in Toledo, Ohio, Under Secretary Sánchez met with company officials and toured the manufacturing facility of Bionix Development Corporation. Bionix was recently honored with the President’s “E” Award, which was created by Executive Order of the President in 1961 to give recognition to person, firms, or organizations who contribute significantly in the effort to increase U.S. exports.

Sánchez then traveled to Cleveland, Ohio and held a forum at the City Club of Cleveland on the “Resurgence of American Manufacturing”.  There he also met with the Northeast Ohio District Export Council and the local business community for a roundtable discussion on the role of exporting and manufacturing in the NEI. While in Cleveland, he also toured the manufacturing facilities of Jet, Inc. and Codonics, Inc., both of which are also “E” Award winners.

The following day, the Under Secretary continued his tour in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He delivered a convocation lecture at Carnegie Mellon University, highlighting the importance of commercial diplomacy and how international trade drives economic growth. Under Secretary Sánchez also participated in a roundtable discussion hosted by the Western Pennsylvania District Export Council. He then met with officials and toured the manufacturing facility of Cardinal Resources, a company that has succeeded in growing its exports due to the assistance from the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) local U.S. Export Assistance Center.

On October 5th, Under Secretary Sánchez made the last stop of the “Made in America Manufacturing Tour” in St. Louis, Missouri, where he met with the Missouri District Export Council and visited Ranken Technical College. He concluded the Tour with participation in a CEO roundtable event with representatives from local manufacturing firms.

The reason this Manufacturing Tour is so timely is that exporting is boosting the U.S. manufacturing sector. In fact, exports in manufactured goods increased by $358 billion (39 percent) since 2009, reaching a record $1.3 trillion in 2011. And manufacturing employment has gained 532,000 jobs over the past 30 months, the strongest growth for any 30-month period since June 1989.

Even as the tour concludes, the International Trade Administration won’t stop working to help support American manufacturers. To keep up to speed on our activities, follow us on Twitter at @TradeGov and @UnderSecSanchez.

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New Manufacturing Council Represents the “Next Generation of Manufacturing”

August 6, 2010

 Melanie Kaplan is an intern in the Office of Advisory Committees and entering her junior year at Wellesley College.

Hot off the press: the Secretary of Commerce has appointed twenty-four members to his Manufacturing Council. When I first heard that I would be working on the Manufacturing Council, I envisioned the traditional “Midwestern steel” companies. After a week of working on the Manufacturing Council, I realized that domestic steel producers were only one part of it with other types of manufactures representing a wide variety of U.S. industries.

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke announces the appointment of 24 members of the Manufacturing Council

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke (center) announces the appointment of 24 members of the Manufacturing Council

This spring, the Office of Advisory Committees did a nation-wide search for companies that would best represent the U.S. Manufacturing Sector. From small and medium enterprises (SME’s) to some of the largest manufacturing companies in the country, these companies will provide Secretary Locke with their unfiltered advice and expertise. The Manufacturing Council members announced by Secretary Locke yesterday afternoon at an official ceremony on Capitol Hill where the Secretary was joined by Senators Debbie Stabenow (MI), Sherrod Brown (OH), Jeff Merkley (OR) and Tom Udall (NM) represents the most diverse group of advisors in the Council’s history.  The members, the companies and the industry sectors they represent are:

Bruce Sohn,
President
First Solar, Inc., Chair (AZ)
Joseph B. Anderson, Jr.,
Chairman & CEO
TAG Holdings LLC, Vice Chair (MI)
Luis Arguello,
President
DemeTech (FL)
Greg Bachmann,
Chairman & CEO
Dymax Corporation (CT)
Richard M. Beyer,
Chairman & CEO
Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. (TX)
Chandra Brown,
President
Vice President
United Streetcar
Oregon Iron Works, Inc. (OR)
Daniel DiMicco,
Chairman & CEO
Nucor Corporation (NC)
Al Fuller,
Chief Executive Officer
Integrated Packaging Corporation (NJ)
Michael Gambrell,
Executive Vice President
The Dow Chemical Company (MI)
David W. Hastings,
Chairman & CEO
Mount Vernon Mills, Inc. (SC)
Mary Isbister,
President
GenMet (WI)
Kellie Johnson,
President
Ace Clearwater Enterprises (CA)
Fred Keller,
Chairman & CEO
Cascade Engineering (MI)
Samuel Landol,
Chief Operating Officer
Sealaska Corporation (AK/WA)
Michael Laszkiewicz,
Vice President & General Manager
Automation Power Control Business, Rockwell Automation, Inc. (WI)
Daniel P. McGahn,
President & COO
American Superconductor Corporation (MA)
James B. McGregor,
Vice Chairman
The McGregor Metalworking Companies (OH)
Stephen MacMillan,
President, CEO & Chairman
Stryker Corporation (MI)
David Melton,
President & CEO
Sacred Power Corporation (NM)
Jason W. Speer,
Vice President & General Manager
Quality Float Works, Inc. (IL)
Ward J. Timken,
Chairman
The Timken Company (OH)
Peter Ungaro,
Chairman & CEO
CRAY (WA)
Jane L. Warner,
Executive Vice President
Illinois Tool Works (IL)
Donna L. Zobel,
Chairman & CEO
Myron Zucker (MI)

Ex Officio Members:

  • Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy
  • Hilda L. Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor
  • Timothy F. Geithner, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

Many of the companies listed above are the first from their sectors… to be included on the Manufacturing Council. As an intern this summer, I helped the staffers to create a council that encouraged diversity, going green and an understanding of corporate responsibility. One of my favorite parts of the vetting process was seeing the innovative ways the companies gave back to their local, national and global communities. I was also inspired by one of the Manufacturing Council appointees who spoke with such fervor about the “next generation of manufacturing” and how it can and will contribute to U.S. global competitiveness.

Previous Manufacturing Councils have discussed energy costs and alternatives, sustainable manufacturing, tax credits for research and development, market access as well as a variety of other topics. In the upcoming meetings, the issue of credit access for SME’s and how to best allocate resources from American Investment & Recovery Act may be a few of the hottest topics. Additionally, the Manufacturing Council may be involved in Assistant Secretary Nicole Lamb-Hale’s manufacturing trade mission “Manufacture America: Rethink, Retool, Rebuild to Support Jobs” in Fall 2010. Stay tuned for more updates on the Manufacturing Council’s first official meeting scheduled for September 2010…

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Energy Efficiency: A Key Component of U.S. Competitiveness

November 2, 2009

(This post contains external links.  Please review our external linking policy.)

Ryan Mulholland is an international trade specialist in the Manufacturing and Services unit of the International Trade Administration specializing in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Scott Dietz, VP of Investor Relations at Owens Corning World Headquarters in Toledo, Ohio led David Kincaid and me around an impressive facility built as a model of sustainable architecture on a tiny reed and grass covered spit of land jutting into the Maumee River.  Glass artworks from a NYC artist who incorporated the legendary glass fibers Owens Corning is so famous for graced doorways, halls, and the soaring entryway to the building.  The tour reminded me that U.S. industry is a place of world class innovation—and in Toledo, Ohio, a city once devastated by economic downturns, that spirit of American innovation is alive and well, as energy efficiency has become a cornerstone for the city’s new growth and prosperity.

International Trade Specialist Ryan Mulholland speaks at the Forum on Energy Efficiency in Manufacturing at Owens Corning in Toledo, Ohio

International Trade Specialist Ryan Mulholland speaks at the Forum on Energy Efficiency in Manufacturing at Owens Corning in Toledo, Ohio. (Photo U.S. Department of Commerce)

On September 21, 2009, the International Trade Administration (ITA) organized a Forum on Energy Efficiency in Manufacturing at Owens Corning to help manufacturers learn about state and federal resources available to promote efficiency.  Part of an ITA Energy Efficiency Initiative aimed at promoting the development and deployment of energy efficient technologies, this one-day event attracted 86 participants. Toledo was chosen because of its efforts to reinvigorate its manufacturing industry by taking a leadership role in developing the clean and efficient industries of tomorrow.

Presenters from ITA’s Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program, and the Environmental Protection Administration’s Industrial Energy Star Program spoke about their programs.  Others from the State of Ohio Energy Office, Ford Motor Company, Eaton Technologies, Rockwell Automation, North Star BlueScope Steel, and Energy Industries of Ohio shared about their experiences with and the positive benefits derived from energy efficiency improvements. Each participant gave a brief presentation on the theme of energy efficiency.

Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce Mary Saunders introduced the event and moderated both panel discussions.  Energy efficiency “represents a key component of the Obama administration’s national strategy to support job growth,” Saunders noted, adding that “with efficiency, you don’t have to depend on scientific breakthroughs or engineering miracles… (but rather)… is a way of maximizing the amount of energy you get from existing sources.”

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur addressed the group noting that energy efficiency improvements are key to Toledo’s ongoing success, and added a word of congratulations to Owens Corning for winning EPA’s Energy Star Partner Award.

Following a keynote address from Owens Corning’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Frank O’Brien-Bernini, forum participants visited the Clean and Alternative Energy Incubator at the University of Toledo.

Reactions by participants ranged from surprise at the number of available resources to gratitude, upon hearing there are individuals in government standing on behalf of American industry.  It was an effort well worth the hard work and cost.

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Sustainable Manufacturing Tour

July 15, 2009

(This post contains external links.  Please review our external linking policy.)

Acting U.S. Commerce Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing and Services Mary Saunders is leading a tour of four Seattle-area manufacturing facilities as part of the department’s Sustainability 360 initiative. The tour, Sustainability 360: An Aerospace Supply Chain Event, is designed to showcase the benefits of sustainable manufacturing throughout an aerospace manufacturing supply chain.

Sustainability 360

We just concluded our first Sustainability 360 event here in Seattle and the experience was outstanding – lots of good practical examples of how implementing sustainable manufacturing practices can reduce environmental impact and improve the bottom line for businesses.  Sustainability 360 is what we are calling our regional tours of manufacturing facilities operating at various points in the supply chain, in this case the aerospace supply chain.  Our sustainable manufacturing and aerospace teams in Manufacturing and Services worked with the U.S.  Export Assistance Center and Washington Manufacturing Services, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center in the area, to put together a tour of four companies who are at various stages in their sustainability journey, to share their lessons learned and best practices with other local companies.

Participants visiting the new facility of Tyee Aircraft, a producer of aerospace components.  Tyee has incorporated sustainable principles into its lean manufacturing practices with zero waste water release, energy efficient lighting, and recycling programs.

Participants visiting the new facility of Tyee Aircraft, a producer of aerospace components. Tyee has incorporated sustainable principles into its lean manufacturing practices with zero waste water release, energy efficient lighting, and recycling programs. (U.S. Department of Commerce photo.)

We toured Puget Sound Energy, Tyee Aircraft, Goodrich Aerostructures and The Boeing Company, along with 24 local company representatives.  And we learned a tremendous amount.  For instances, successful companies are those that are “purpose driven”, with management and employees working toward a common goal.  Sustainability takes into account the interest of the company itself in becoming more competitive; as well as the interests of investors, suppliers, customers and the community in which it operates.  Ideas for improving sustainability can come from anyone in the company and even from suppliers and customers.  There are no bad ideas.  Sustainable Manufacturing practices save money and help grow business.

I have toured factory floors before, but I have never seen this much energy and enthusiasm, in companies ranging in size from a little more than a 100 employees to several thousand.  Today’s program reinforced the practical value of the departments’ Sustainable Manufacturing Initiative and the value of public-private partnership in advancing the competitiveness of U. S. industry.  What a hands on- way to spread the message to U.S. manufactures nationwide that sustainable manufacturing practices can deliver triple-win solutions that benefit U. S. firms, the communities in which they operate and the environment.

Mary Saunders giving her opening remarks for the Sustainability 360 event at utility Puget Sound Energy. PSE's 2008 energy efficiency work will result in annual savings for its customers of $30 million a year.

Mary Saunders giving her opening remarks for the Sustainability 360 event at utility Puget Sound Energy. PSE’s 2008 energy efficiency work will result in annual savings for its customers of $30 million a year. (U.S. Department of Commerce photo.)

Sustainable manufacturing is an area where the U.S. maintains a global competitive advantage.  Not only are we the largest producer of clean technologies globally, we are also a leader in creating cutting edge, lean and clean manufacturing practices throughout industry  supply chains.  I am looking forward to our continued work in helping to spread the sustainable manufacturing message nationwide.  For information on this initiative and its three components, take a look at http://www.manufacturing.gov/sustainability.  Let us know what you think.

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DOC and DOT Connected to Address Supply Chain Issues

May 13, 2009

Bruce Harsh is responsible for Commerce’s Distribution and Supply Chain unit and has been with the Department about 24 years.

America’s economy depends on the health of our country’s supply chain infrastructure. Problems with the supply chain are not readily noticeable until you don’t get the part you need to keep your supply chain in operation, or the gift you were looking for at a store during the holiday season. Not only do supply chain problems make America’s producers and consumers mad, they are clearly linked to our economic recovery and long-term economic growth.

Supply chains don’t just move products and goods, they also support jobs. One recent report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce suggests that approximately 110 million U.S. jobs or nearly 80 percent of the entire workforce is critically dependent on our supply chain and transportation infrastructure.

This past Monday, leading supply chain stakeholders met in Washington, DC at the joint Department of Commerce-Department of Transportation conference titled, “Game Changers in the Supply Chain Infrastructure: Are We Ready to Play?” to hold a frank discussion with decision-makers on how to deal with current problems that minimize their ability get those products and services to consumers in a timely, safe, and environmentally-friendly manner and to develop a world-class network to reduce the chance of “game changers” thwarting these goals in the future.

The discussion stirred up lots of suggestions and comments. Panelists and audience participants emphasized that restoring America’s manufacturing jobs depends on not just fixing one part of the supply chain infrastructure but to look at these issues from the start at the manufacturer’s factory floor , or field, to the consumer’s house or company facility. They encouraged governmental agencies to come together to develop a holistic, comprehensive national freight policy that promotes the supply chains and assures America’s competitive advantage in the 21st century.

These suggestions were heard and many participants appreciated seeing two secretaries, Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, stand together to say they were going to have their agencies work together to meet these goals. Many participants also appreciated hearing leading experts share how they would minimize those “game changers” that produce constraints and chokepoints, and offer ways for the government to encourage innovative information technologies, improve security and resilience, and do all of this in an environmentally sound manner to restore America’s world-class transportation network.

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