MN manufacturers unite; politicians debate aid at conference

Minneapolis, MN—Manufacturers united to provide a stronger voice; started a manufacturing skills certification program; and politicians argued about how to better serve U.S. manufacturing interests at the one-day “Manufacturing Tomorrow” conference here on April 5.

By Control Engineering Staff April 14, 2004

Minneapolis, MN— Manufacturers united to provide a stronger voice; started a manufacturing skills certification program; and politicians argued about how to better serve U.S. manufacturing interests at the one-day “Manufacturing Tomorrow” conference here April 5. The meeting followed recent news of 308,000 manufacturing jobs reportedly created in March 2004, which seemed to increase optimism among many attending.

At the federal level, U.S. Commerce Secretary Donald Evans, three members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and a senator were among those addressing more than 400 attendees; a majority were manufacturers. The manufacturers showed a mixture of amusement, support, and agitation over politicians’ conflicting views on how to best help U.S. manufacturing. Perhaps not surprisingly, recurring competitiveness themes included the need for:

  • Pro-growth tax policies;

  • Less-burdensome regulation;

  • Fewer frivolous lawsuits;

  • Lower health-care costs;

  • More open international markets, and

  • Lower-cost energy.

Minnesota manufacturers convened the meeting with federal, state and industry leaders to “drive state and federal policies to more effectively support future growth,” having grown “weary of being pummeled by international and domestic issues slashing profits and jobs,” meeting sponsors said. Those attending included groups and companies in chemical and food industries, machine tools, mold builders, metal fabricating and forming, metal finishers, business leaders, chambers of commerce, quality, high technology, engineering as well as regional business and manufacturing groups.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Mark T. Hoske, editor-in-chief
MHoske@cfemedia.com