What are the barriers that hinder Massachusetts manufacturers?
State officials want to find out. They plan to survey of Bay State manufacturing companies during the next several days about the issues that affect their ability to compete in the global market. It’s all part of the Patrick administration’s recently announced Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative (AMC) initiative.
Northeastern University will conduct the survey as a follow-up to a similar study the school did in 2007. The earlier survey emphasized the continuing importance to the Massachusetts economy of a manufacturing base dominated by innovative small and medium-sized companies.
The new survey comes at a time when manufacturing has emerged as one of the unlikely superstars of the post-crash economic recovery. The renaissance of high-value manufacturing in Massachusetts is being driven by factors ranging from technology, exports and efficiency to innovative design and a startling reversal of the off-shoring trend that dominated the 1980s and 1990s.
Massachusetts manufacturers have added a net total of 1,800 jobs during the past year. Manufacturing productivity grew 1.7 percent during the past four quarters.
The manufacturing survey includes questions about the structure, employee count and market dynamics of each responding company. It also gives employers the opportunity to weigh in on issues such as access to capital, training and recruitment, use of technology and their reasons for operating in Massachusetts.
All responses will be protected and no individual data or information will be publicly disclosed at any time.
AIM and several of its member employers participate in the Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative. AMC was launched last fall by the governor with the release of a report calling for the creation of a competitive and innovative cluster of companies with advanced manufacturing capabilities.