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State Safety Officials Narrow Hoisting Regulations

Posted by Christopher Geehern on Nov 17, 2014 2:45:00 PM

The Massachusetts Department of Public Safety has narrowed the scope of its controversial year-old hoisting regulations after agreeing with Associated Industries of Massachusetts that federal rules pre-empt some of the state requirements.

ForkliftThe change means companies that operate industrial lift trucks and forklifts solely on their own property are no longer subject to the state regulations if the area where the equipment is used is not accessible to the public.

AIM objected to the regulations because they were costly and duplicated federal rules enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The state rules forced some employers to comply by reassigning long-term employees who had operated hoisting equipment for years to other jobs.

“The Department of Public Safety (DPS) deserves tremendous credit for an intelligent approach to regulation,” said Robert Rio Vice President of Government Affairs at AIM.

AIM and lawyers representing forklift manufacturers and technicians, prepared a legal memo to DPS outlining the case for pre-emption, citing several similar major national cases. DPS reviewed the memo and, following several discussions, agreed with AIM’s position and released the guidance making the hoisting regulations consistent with pre-emption law. 

Only industrial lift trucks and forklifts are exempt. Operators of other equipment subject to the law must still be licensed, even if the hoisting devices are used in areas where the public is not allowed. 

The exemption does not apply if the public has access to any property in which the equipment is operated. That includes warehouse type stores, where aisles are blocked off for forklift activity, but the public is otherwise allowed to walk freely.

There is also a new exemption for technicians preforming repair.      

Employers should refer to DPS administrative rulings and FAQ prior to making any changes to their forklift licensing requirements.

“Efficient regulation is a cornerstone of AIM’s new Blueprint for the next Century economic plan,” Rio said.

“Public Safety Commissioner Thomas G. Gatzunis, legal counsel Beth McLaughlin, and Tim Wilkerson, Regulatory Ombudsman Director at the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, have created a model for smart partnerships between business and government.” 

Topics: Hoisting, Safety, Manufacturing

Manufacturers, Vocational Schools Get on the Same Page

Posted by Brian Gilmore on Oct 1, 2014 9:47:25 AM

A group of Massachusetts manufacturing companies is reporting significant progress in efforts to ensure that vocational high schools are teaching students the skills that employers need.

ManufacturingDay2014This spring, 14 of the 30 Massachusetts vocational schools offering machining technology accepted an invitation from the Manufacturing Advancement Center Workforce Initiative Collaborative (MACWIC) to test the proficiency of students enrolled in their machining programs.

Results of the testing are to be announced Monday in Northampton. By passing the Applied Manufacturing Technology Pathway Certification exam, students will earn a Level 1 MACWIC certificate in Basic Manufacturing Skills.

MACWIC designed the Applied Manufacturing Technology Pathway Certification to create a standard instruction and evaluation process to help employers evaluate the skills of a job applicant. The first of the five levels of instruction includes shop math, blueprint reading, metrology and quality inspection, safety and work readiness.

Completion of levels one and two of the Pathway can lead to a pre-apprentice certificate, while completion of all five levels can lead to an associate’s degree in manufacturing technology.

The ultimate objective is for vocational schools to adopt all or a portion of the MACWIC machining curriculum. The Pathway is also designed for use in incumbent and dislocated worker training programs.    

The Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) are giving Massachusetts vocational high schools that validate their Machine Tool Technology programs against the MAWIC credential access to the Pathway curriculum and online programing to support certificate instruction. The total value of the grant is $2.5 million.

The MACWIC program has been endorsed by AIM and received the association’s Gould Education & Workforce Development Award in 2013. 

Massachusetts Vocational Schools with Machine Tool Technology Programs participating in the curriculum, testing, and online programing include:

  • Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School, Marlborough
  • Bay Path Regional Vocational School, Charlton
  • Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School, Upton
  • C.H. McCann Regional Technology School, North Adams
  • Franklin County Regional Technical High School, Montague
  • Greater Lowell Regional Technical High School, Tyngsboro
  • Essex (North Shore Regional) Technical High School, Middleton
  • Putnam Vocational Technical High School, Springfield
  • Shawsheen Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School, Billerica
  • Smith Vocational & Agricultural High School, Northampton
  • Somerville High School, Somerville
  • Taconic High School, Pittsfield
  • Whittier Regional Vocational High School, Haverhill
  • Worcester Technical High School, Worcester

Several AIM member companies will assist MACWIC during the next year in efforts to secure participation in the certificate program by the remaining 16 vocational and technical schools that offer machining technology.  

Topics: Skills Gap, Manufacturing, Massachusetts Manufacturing

Secret to Lean: Employee Development

Posted by Bruce Hamilton on Sep 5, 2014 2:25:33 PM

Editor’s note - Bruce Hamilton is President of GBMP, Inc., (www.gbmp.org) a not-for-profit located in the College of Management at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Twenty-five years ago a book called The Machine That Changed the World coined the term “Lean.” It was the first time the term was used to describe what had been previously referred to as the Toyota Production System, or TPS.

ManufacturingWorkerSmallThe book, which was written by a distinguished academic panel, legitimatized the techniques and tools being used by The Toyota Motor Corporation and captured the imagination of industry and lawmakers alike.

What was not as well understood at that time was the profound impact the use of TPS methods would have on employee development. Previously disengaged employees became excited about solving problems and making improvements. The mantra (first echoed by Japanese industrial engineer Shigeo Shingo who is considered the world’s leading expert on manufacturing practices and the Toyota Production System) “easier, better, faster and then cheaper” implied that Lean methods when properly understood not only improved a company’s competiveness through higher quality, shorter lead-times and lower costs; it also gave every employee a personal challenge to make their work better.

The concept of workforce investment and development, it turns out, was more of a sea change for industry than the technical aspects of Lean. For more than a decade, most manufacturers glommed onto the tools without understanding the essential ingredients of employee understanding and participation – every employee, not just a small “A-team.”  Results from this well-intentioned but hollow approach to improvement were mostly disappointing.   Apparent advances made through “improvement events” did not stick because neither employees nor managers really understood the “know-why” behind the know-how.  

In 2004 on the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI), Jim Womack, founder of LEI and principle author The Machine That Changed the World, declared “The age of tools is over.”   What had been implicit in the Toyota Production System from the start – the focus on people – was finally becoming apparent to at least some industry leaders. Today, yet another decade later, the concept of employees as the “most valuable resource” is finally gaining broader traction. At its Lean Transformation Summit in March, LEI’s current CEO, John Shook quoted another TPS aphorism that sums up the importance of people to successful Lean transformation: “Build people first, then products.”

The 10th Annual Northeast L.E.A.N. Conference (October 1-2, 2014 at the Mass Mutual Center, in Springfield) will pick up the same theme with a program entitled Lead, Enable and Nurture: Putting People First. Featuring both nationally recognized Lean advocates from manufacturing and healthcare (Goodyear, Whirlpool, ThedaCare, IBM, MillerCoors and more) as well as local employee improvement teams sharing their Lean transformations during panel discussions and in the innovative “Lean Lounge,” the event is expected to draw more than 700 attendees from more than 200 different lean thinking organizations.

No surprise - many of those organizations will bring large numbers of their employees. These companies know that it’s those people who will ultimately drive their LEAN process.

Register for the Northeast LEAN Conference

 

Topics: Manufacturing, Productivity, LEAN

LoJack Exec: Planning, Integration Key to M&A

Posted by Gary MacDonald on Aug 22, 2014 12:02:00 PM

An increasingly competitive world virtually demands growth strategies accelerated through mergers and acquisitions, but achieving M&A success is daunting.

HandshakeThe chief executive must set the context for M&A strategy and focus the organization on forward integration of new resources, processes and values, a corporate development expert told the AIM CEO Connection recently.

Doug Flood, Vice President of Corporate Development at LoJack Corporation, said that M&A requires new metrics, leadership and capabilities. The CEO must communicate relentlessly, Flood said, to integrate the new business successfully with the core business.

It is that integration that drives most value in M&A, according to Flood.

He made his comments during a discussion on Growth Strategies with a dozen chief executives taking part in the CEO Connection in Medway. Flood told the CEOs that integration planning and process are critical to handling the surprises that inevitably arise in the rapid-change environment of a merger or acquisition.

The CEO must:

  • Define the corporate plan that is the foundation for M&A strategy as a means to reach the envisioned future of the business;
  • Commit the necessary senior leadership time;
  • Build relationships to mitigate risk as the new business is explored and change is executed;
  • Define and follow a disciplined M&A process with deliberate speed and passion; and
  • Drive focus on integration according to plan, and according to what the team discovers including the unanticipated.

“Above all else, the CEO must drive the focus on appropriate integration of the new business,” Flood said.

“That means preparing the company to be changed amid accelerated growth - ensuring the right leaders and champions are in place, and communicating the strategic context and execution progress to all stakeholders so they can understand and contribute.”

Veda Ferlazzo Clark, the former chief executive who moderates CEO Connection, said participants choose the topics for each meeting and that there was keen interest in the management role in M&A. Each session of the CEO Connection includes a presentation from an outside expert, open discussion and a company tour.

“These CEOs learn a tremendous amount from one another. It’s a uniquely valuable exercise for people who are sometimes very much on their own in making important decisions,” Clark said.

Manufacturing CEOs interested in joining the AIM CEO Connection should contact either Brian Gilmore (bgilmore@aimnet.org) or Gary MacDonald (gmcdonald@aimnet.org).

 

Topics: Manufacturing, Massachusetts Manufacturing, Mergers & Acquisitions

Manufacturers 'Thriving' Despite Uncertainty about Economy

Posted by Brian Gilmore on Aug 4, 2014 9:43:33 AM

Almost a third of manufacturers and distributors in New England describe themselves as “thriving” in 2014 despite a less positive view of their state and local economies than counterparts around the country, according to a new study.

McGaldreyMonitor2014The 2014 Regional Manufacturing and Distribution Monitor published by McGladrey finds that 62 percent of the 77 regional companies surveyed reported their status as “holding steady,” while 9 percent said they were declining. Those numbers were slightly weaker than those for the nation as a whole, a difference McGladrey attributes in part to the high concentration of biotech, life sciences and medical device companies here that face regulatory challenges and intense competition.

The survey found that only 18 percent of manufacturing and distribution companies believe the local and regional economies have a positive impact on their businesses. And in the battle among states to lure businesses and jobs, 13 percent of New England companies feel that their state’s business-development incentives effect growth, compared to 22 percent nationwide.

States with the highest grade for business incentives are North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin, Texas, Indiana and New York.

“Like their national counterparts, New England companies have seen improvements, or significant improvements, in company performance due to their investments in operations practices and capability. Similarly, investments in product/material acquisition and product/process innovation have led to improvements for a great percentage of New England companies than those nationwide,” the report says.

The report finds that thriving companies share several key strategies for growth.  Forty-seven percent work to lower costs through operational efficiencies, 39 percent focus on profitable customers, 36 percent invest in equipment, 26 percent increase prices to a majority of customers and 23 percent upgrade technology.

Manufacturing companies nationally are also looking at mergers and acquisitions to grow, according to McGladrey. The value of US industrial and chemical merger and acquisitions deals doubled to $28.6 billion dollars in the first quarter compared to the first quarter of 2013, while the technology sector saw deal values rise to $38.1 billion during the first three months of the year.

Other report highlights include:

  • 57 percent of New England manufacturers and distributors are planning to increase their work forces;
  • 64 percent report that productivity has increased;
  • 63 percent plan to increase investment in information technology;
  • 65 percent cite material and components pricing as the greatest impediment to growth;
  • 87 percent expect health insurance costs to increase; and
  • 62 percent believe their data is at little to no risk.
  • 95 percent expect employee costs to rise.

New England companies also differed from their national counterparts in their views of federal health care reform – 55 percent of regional manufacturers consider the Affordable Care Act to be an impediment to growth, while 69 percent of companies nationwide regard ACA as a problem. The difference likely reflects the fact that Massachusetts employers have been dealing with health-care reform since the commonwealth launched its first-in-the-nation overhaul in 2006.

A number of AIM member companies participated in the McGladrey survey. McGladrey is a global provider of tax, consulting and assurance services to middle-market companies.

Topics: Massachusetts economy, Manufacturing

CEOs Play Central Role in Lean Transformation

Posted by Brian Gilmore on Jul 8, 2014 10:38:01 AM

Chief executives are pivotal to the success of lean manufacturing, two transformation experts told the AIM CEO Connection recently.

ManufacturingWorkerSmallSusan Janus and Joe Griffin, Regional Managers at the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), said CEOs must initiate, motivate and participate in efforts to improve value and reduce waste through lean principles. That role includes clearly defining roles and responsibilities, and holding people accountable for results.

“Implementing lean is a real test of CEO vision and leadership,” Janus said.

“Can the CEO persuade everyone to buy in and follow through? Can the CEO create a culture that allows the customer to pull value from the organization?”

Janus and Griffin led a discussion on The Role of the CEO in Lean with a dozen chief executives taking part in the CEO Connection in Attleboro. The peer group allows CEOs to meet on a monthly basis to share knowledge and develop the leadership skills needed to direct companies through times of change.

Lean manufacturing requires a company to identify the value in its production process while eliminating anything for which the customer should not pay. The objective is to reduce the waste that resides in product defects, overproduction, time delays, transportation of materials and equipment, excess inventory, motion and underutilized employees.

The CEO must set the tone, according to Janus:

  • Understand that lean process starts with the customer;
  • Convey to employees that lean is an organizational mindset and way of life;
  • Prepare for the fact that lean requires deep understanding;
  • Model the way; lead by example; participate;
  • Select priorities and stay focused;
  • Provide a roadmap - translate throughout the organization

“Above all else, the CEO must develop talent and enable others to carry out lean,” Janus said. “That means believing in everyone’s ability to contribute, training for knowledge and skill, and developing champions who can drive the process.”

Veda Clark, the former chief executive who moderates CEO Connection, said participants choose the topics for each meeting and that there was keen interest in the management role in lean process. Each session of the CEO Connection includes a presentation from an outside expert, open discussion and a company tour.

“These CEOs learn a tremendous amount from one another. It’s a uniquely valuable exercise for people who are sometimes very much on their own in making important decisions,” Clark said.

The south shore group is looking to recruit three additional CEOs, while recruiting is underway for a north-of-Boston AIM CEO Connection. Manufacturing CEO’s interested to learn more about the AIM CEO Connection should contact either Brian Gilmore (bgilmore@aimnet.org) or Gary MacDonald (gmcdonald@aimnet.org). 

 

Topics: CEO, Management, Manufacturing

Regional Study Sheds Light on Massachusetts Manufacturing's Future

Posted by Andre Mayer on Jun 16, 2014 12:48:46 PM

The Massachusetts tradition of small and medium-size manufacturing enterprises scattered across a typical New England landscape has a future - if challenges such as workforce availability, regulation, and access to new markets are met. An extensive study and survey of industries in the state's North Central region, conducted by RTI International and the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) in association with AIM and other organizations as part of the Collaborative Communities Manufacturing Growth Initiative for the region, highlights both the capabilities of our manufacturing sector and the potential barriers to its continued success.

The North Central region, comprising 15 cities and towns in the Fitchburg-Leominster area, is nominally rural; the study was funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture competitive grant program "to promote sustainable economic development in rural communities." But it also has the highest proportion of manufacturing employment in the Commonwealth, at 19.7%, with concentrations of metal fabrication, machining, and plastics molding. There is less tech industry than in eastern Massachusetts and less food preparation than western regions, but the long-term erosion of manufacturing employment fits the statewide pattern. The area's population is older than average.

The survey provides a foundation for Phase II of the initiative, Technology-Driven Market Intelligence (TDMI), an approach based on NASA technology transfer work adapted to small and medium enterprise (SME) manufacturers. The focus will be on four advanced manufacturing subsectors prevalent in the region (Chemicals & Plastics, Fabricated Metal Products & Machining, Computer & Electronic Products, Paper & Printing), matching their manufacturing capabilities with market opportunities. For example, new opportunities for the region's long-established tool and mold industries arise from changes in the automotive industry and from the introduction of fracking and of 3-D printing.

The most important barriers to growth for manufacturing, as identified by the survey, are workforce (number one by far), regulatory constraints, and access to new market opportunities. Workforce issues include, among others, lack of advanced skills such as machining, disinclination of young people to enter manufacturing, and competition for workers from larger companies and metropolitan areas. Regulatory concerns cover a range from employer mandates to export licensing to tax structure. Marketing challenges arise from the decline of existing "clusters" and disruption of established supply chains. Technology is a prominent concern for some firms and industries.  

The overall goal of the initiative is to establish a "collaborative manufacturing community" that will enable sustained growth in the region.  Employers are looking for improved outreach and information about service offerings, with advice and services tailored to company needs (and especially to small businesses).  Workforce services, they believe, should include not only training, but also a placement clearinghouse to fill critical positions. Progress in that direction will depend upon enhanced collaboration among both service providers, through a "steering committee" of statewide and regional organizations, and employers, for example by means of a CEO roundtable group (perhaps using AIM's CEO Connection as a platform).

AIM is pleased to have been involved in this study, and that its results recognize our ongoing work; we look forward to continuing our engagement in later phases of the undertaking. We note that the economic development legislation that recently passed the House includes funding for similar initiatives in western and southeastern Massachusetts. Beyond their specific regional value, studies such as this are of particular interest to AIM as we prepare a Blueprint for the Next Century in preparation for our centennial next year.

Topics: Manufacturing

Siemens Donation Underscores Growing Software Role in Manufacturing

Posted by Brian Gilmore on May 27, 2014 3:07:00 PM

Can manufacturing in Massachusetts grow in the face of rapid technological change, globalization, and an industrial landscape with emerging gaps in workforce development?

ManufacturingA hopeful sign came last month when Siemens PLM Software, a business unit of Siemens Industry Automation Division, announced nearly $600 million of industry software grants for manufacturing programs at vocational schools, community colleges and universities throughout Massachusetts.

Software plays an important role in the new era of manufacturing. Students and faculty will use the software in assignments and research related to computer-aided-design, engineering simulation, industrial design, digital manufacturing and manufacturing management – advanced skills sought by global manufacturers.

Thirteen academic partners throughout the state are receiving in-kind software grants to support the Applied Manufacturing Technology Certification Pathway developed by Manufacturing Advancement Center Workforce Initiative (MACWIC). The program received AIM’s Gould Education & Workforce Development Award at the last years’ annual meeting.

Academic partners include Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Fitchburg State University, Berkshire and Quinsigamond community colleges, and vocational-technical schools in Worcester and New Bedford. Using the software in their coursework, students can develop the advanced skills sought by more than 77,000 customers who utilize Siemens’ software and technology solutions. This includes nearly 150 companies in the commonwealth such as Raytheon and Bose. 

MACWIC is an employer-led initiative to strengthen workforce development in the manufacturing sector. Siemens, the multinational technology company, is founding member of MACWIC through its Metals Technologies (MT) business, with its advanced manufacturing facility in Worcester. Siemens’ announcement, beyond the fact of a generous and far-sighted donation, underlines two points about our industrial future: that manufacturers themselves are taking the initiative in addressing together the needs of their sector; and that international companies, along with locally-based ones, can be full participants in the effort.

Topics: Technology, Manufacturing, Workforce Training

The ISO 9001 Standard - Can a Million Companies Be Wrong?

Posted by Brian Gilmore on Mar 25, 2014 1:40:00 PM

ISO 9001 has become the most recognized quality management credential in the world for manufacturing companies. More than one million companies in 170 countries have been certified to the standard, which is increasingly viewed as a requirement among employers looking sell products or technologies to global advanced manufacturing enterprises.

ManufacturingThe broadening acceptance of ISO among customers is finally persuading manufacturers that may have been reluctant to pursue certification because of cost or misperceptions about the registration process to finally take the plunge.

ISO 9001 provides guidance and tools for companies and organizations that wish to ensure that their products and services consistently meet customer’s requirements. It’s an operational plan.

The standard is based on quality management principles such as strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement. The idea is to ensure that customers get consistent, good quality products and services, which in turn brings many business benefits.

An organization must perform internal audits to check how its quality management system is working. A company may decide to invite an independent certification body to verify that it is in conformity to the standard, but there is no requirement for this. Alternatively, it might invite its clients to audit the quality system for themselves.

ISO 90001 requires that a company has documented quality program that it follows. The benefits?

  • Provides a measurable advantage over competition
  • Increases sales revenue
  • Improves the bottom line
  • Improves business and process performance while managing business risk
  • Attracts investment, enhances brand reputation and removes barriers to trade
  • Streamlines operations and reduces waste
  • Encourages internal communication and raises morale
  • Increases customer satisfaction

A number of studies have identified financial benefits for organizations certified to ISO 9001. A 2011 survey from the British Assessment Bureau showed that 44 percent of their certified clients had won new business. A separate study indicated that certified organizations achieved superior return on assets compared to otherwise similar organizations without certification.

“Sales Department is making appointments with companies who would not even look at us before we had our certification. We are also looking to expand our business outside New England now. This was a great and worthwhile adventure,” said AIM member Joseph Peters, President of Universal Plastics in Holyoke, who participated in the AIM/Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership ISO 9001 collaborative.

The collaborative provides a relatively inexpensive, workshop-based program that provides systems, documentation, training and on-site consultation for companies wanting or needing to comply with ISO 9001. The program consists with seven off-site, one day workshops over a period of seven months with a minimum of four and a maximum of eight companies working together with a consultant to establish and/or upgrade their quality management system.

A “gap” assessment of each participating company is provided to identify the areas each company needs to improve.  A minimum of five on-site consulting days in addition to the training workshops are provided to each participant.

Pricing for the AIM/MassMEP ISO Collabrative is based on company size – tuition ranges from $13,500 for a company employing fewer than 50 people to $22,000 for one that employs between 250-400 people. In most cases, the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund covers up to 50 percent of the cost to participate.

Contact your regional AIM Member Relations staff member or Brian Gilmore at 617-262-1180 for more information.

Topics: Revenue, Manufacturing, Efficiency

Manufacturing Shift to U.S. Accelerates

Posted by Christopher Geehern on Sep 25, 2013 4:11:00 PM

The number of American manufacturing companies looking to shift production from China to the United States has doubled since 2012, according to a new study from The Boston Consulting Group.

ManufacturingThe study found that 54 percent of U.S.-based manufacturing executives at companies with sales greater than $1 billion are planning to “re-shore” production, or are considering it, up from 37 percent who responded to a similar survey in February 2012. When asked whether they expect to move production in light of rising wages in China, 21 percent of respondents—around twice as many as in 2012—said they are “actively doing this” or that they “will move production to the U.S. in the next two years.”

The new survey, conducted last month, is based upon responses from more than 200 decision makers at companies across a broad range of industries. Virtually all of the companies manufacture in the U.S. and overseas and make products for both U.S. and non-U.S. consumption.

The Boston Consulting study is consistent with a developing consensus among economists that rising wages overseas and the need for tighter control of supply chains is prompting manufacturers to boost their production in the United States. The 2012 U.S. Re-shoring Survey by the MIT Forum for Supply Chain Innovation similarly found that manufacturers are taking another look at domestic production due to higher labor costs in developing countries, energy costs, political stability issues, and time-to-market concerns.

The trend is good news for Massachusetts, where “manufacturing is alive and well, and has a healthy future,” according to a report last year entitled Staying Power II: A Report Card on Manufacturing in Massachusetts, by Professor Barry Bluestone and his team at Northeastern University.

Some key findings of the report about Massachusetts manufacturing:

  • Manufacturing employment has stabilized after a sharp decline during the recession;
  • Manufacturing is the state’s six-largest employment sector – and the second-largest (after health care) in terms of payroll;
  • Manufacturing’s share of gross state product has risen for the past two years, to 12.2 percent;
  • The number of manufacturing firms increased in 2011 for the first time in decades;
  • Manufacturing is more technologically intense than ever; in 1970 employment in low-tech sectors was twice that in high-tech; in 2006 they were equal, and by 2010 high-tech was 27 percent larger;
  • Most Massachusetts manufacturing companies are small and family-owned;
  • The manufacturing workforce is more diverse than the overall state workforce; and
  • Although most jobs in manufacturing are now “white collar,” only about one position in five requires a college degree

While cost issues and global competition are challenges, the study finds, the skills and work ethic of the state’s workforce are powerful reasons to stay in Massachusetts. But employers are already experiencing difficulty in hiring skilled workers, and an upcoming wave of retirements will create up to 100,000 job vacancies over the next ten years. The 70 percent of manufacturing firms foreseeing expansion of employment over the next five years must face up to this “recruitment challenge” by focusing on workforce development and promoting manufacturing careers. 

The Boston Consulting Group projects that production reshored from China and higher exports due to improved U.S. competitiveness in manufacturing could create 2.5 million to 5 million American factory and related service jobs by 2020.

“Over the past couple of years, we’ve projected an improvement in U.S. manufacturing competitiveness by 2015 that would help drive an American manufacturing revival,” said Harold L. Sirkin, a BCG senior partner. “The results of our latest survey make clear that a profound shift in attitude is beginning.”

 

Topics: Business Center, Manufacturing

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