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2017

The trend of nearshoring, in which companies in developed markets like the U.S. and western Europe move production facilities closer to their main bases of consumption, continues. Many of the labor-cost advantages that initially spurred companies to move their manufacturing offshore have eroded—most notably in China—and yet, as companies move manufacturing capacity, some executives realize that local labor markets may not be sufficiently deep to meet rising demand or growing numbers of prospects in available talent pools may not pass drug testing requirements.

 

Alix Partners’ 2016 annual survey of manufacturing and distribution companies serving North America and western Europe found that 69 percent of the respondents said they consider nearshoring a possible opportunity to meet U.S. and European demand—up from just 40 percent in the previous year’s analysis. In addition, more than two-thirds of the respondents said their company has nearshored in the past three years or plans to do so. The survey included responses from senior supply chain, logistics, and manufacturing executives across a range of industries, including automotive, consumer products, and aerospace and defense.

 

As the companies surveyed relocate production, some face mounting labor challenges— especially when it comes to finding people to fill key manufacturing roles, such as process or product engineers, experienced line operators and experienced front-line supervisors. Those shortages may, ultimately, lead to higher-than-expected labor costs, reliance on contractors or temporary labor, and other ramifications that could make nearshoring less attractive for labor-intensive manufacturers. In the meantime, to address shortages in skilled labor, more than 60 percent of the respondents said their company is building relationships with local education providers, 55 percent said their organization is increasing wages to attract additional candidates, and 53 percent of the respondents said their company has an internal apprenticeship program in place.

 

There is another labor challenge to consider, which, frankly, is shocking: The number of prospective hires who flunk a drug test before hiring is on the rise. Calvina L. Fay, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation, said in a recent CNN article that some employers are increasingly frustrated because they have trouble hiring drug-free workers while other executives are especially concerned about increasing drug-testing failure rates of employees in “safety sensitive” workplaces, where an accident by an employee under the influence of drugs could cost lives.

 

Indeed, a report released last fall by Quest Diagnostics shows that following years of declines, the percentage of employees in the combined U.S. workforce testing positive for drugs has steadily increased over the last three years to a 10-year high—according to an analysis of nearly 11 million workforce drug test results. The Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ examines illicit drug use by America’s workforce based on an analysis of de-identified results of more than 9.5 million urine, 900,000 oral fluid and 200,000 hair laboratory-based tests performed nationally by the company for employers in 2015.

 

Insights from the 2015 data show that in the general U.S. workforce, the rate of amphetamine, marijuana and heroin detection increased annually for the past five years, as detected in urine testing. The study found that since 2011, amphetamine positivity increased 44 percent, marijuana positivity increased 26 percent and heroin positivity increased 146 percent. The Oxycodone positivity rate has declined annually since 2011, confirming previous research showing that opioid prescriptions have declined in 49 states since 2012.

 

“Our nationally representative analysis clearly shows that drug use by the American workforce is on the rise, and this trend extends to several different classes of drugs and categories of drug tests,” says Barry Sample, Ph.D., senior director, science and technology, Quest Diagnostics Employer Solutions. “The 2015 findings related to post-accident testing results should also be of concern to employers, especially those with safety-sensitive employees.”

 

What are your thoughts on prospective new hires failing pre-hiring drug tests? Is that a challenge for your company?

Although procurement leaders are generally aware of the potentially significant impact of digital transformation on the way they deliver services, few are confident that they have the necessary strategy, talent and competencies in place, according to the results of a recent survey. The result is a gap between procurement’s transformation agenda and enterprise-level digital transformation priorities.

 

The Hackett Group’s 2017 Procurement Key Issues research, “The CPO Agenda: Keeping Pace with and Enabling Enterprise-Level Digital Transformation,” is based on results gathered from executives at more than 180 large companies in the U.S. and abroad, most with annual revenue of $1 billion or greater.

 

The research shows that nearly 85 percent of the leaders at procurement organizations believe digital transformation will fundamentally change the way they deliver services over the next three to five years. However, only 32 percent of procurement organizations currently have a formal digital strategy, and only 25 percent of the organizations have the needed resources and competencies in place, according to the responses.

 

“The gap between awareness and capabilities in digital transformation isn’t unique to procurement—we’ve seen similar results in finance, HR and even IT,” says Chris Sawchuk, Principal and Global Procurement Advisory Practice Leader at The Hackett Group. “It’s disconcerting to see that many procurement organizations are simply moving ahead in this critical development area without a comprehensive plan or the requisite talent. This simply isn’t a recipe for success.

 

“Procurement has been focused on agility for several years now, and today, digital transformation is clearly a strong way to enable that, while at the same time improving efficiency and effectiveness,” says Sawchuk. “Procurement leaders need to make sure they are aware of the technology that’s out there, understand which ones they want to focus on first, and build a foundation on which they can move forward.”

 

The Hackett Group’s research reveals four areas where the digital transformation of procurement organizations initiatives should focus. The first is to strive to improve stakeholder satisfaction to help procurement gain organizational permission to take on higher level work. The group’s research identifies strategies that are key to success in this area: build an omni-channel and personalized stakeholder experience, measure value beyond savings and segment the stakeholder community to find the right service level mix.

 

Secondly, organizations should work to orchestrate a Procurement-as-a-Service Portfolio to streamline the buying experience and create an organizational model which permits procurement to be closely aligned to its primary stakeholders so it can react quickly to changing requirements. Keys to success for this strategy, the group found, are for procurement to develop a well-balanced portfolio of sourcing and purchase-to-pay service offerings, rebrand the procurement organization to increase awareness and influence, and optimize use of centers of excellence and placement of resources globally.

 

As procurement’s role matures from transactional facilitator to trusted business advisor, a key enabler is to gain proficiency with next-generation analytics which offer an ability to quickly generate insight from structured and unstructured data from multiple sources. Toward that goal, The Hackett Group recommends that procurement organizations invest in training for analytics, center of excellence and special projects teams; deliver new forms of market intelligence, in part by using third-party intelligence reporting services; and mitigate risk through predictive forecasting.

 

Finally, the group recommends leveraging technology to accelerate transformation. To ensure a successful transformation, the research shows that companies should find the correct mix of suite versus niche software solutions, build flexibility into the roadmap to take advantage of emerging technology, and help improve technology sourcing for the company.

 

What are your thoughts about the impact of enterprise-level digital transformation on procurement? Does your organization have the necessary strategy, talent and competencies in place?

Do you think your company, and industry, for that matter, are diverse? I ask because I’m intrigued by the results of a recent survey of Silicon Valley tech workers, which found that 83 percent of the respondents said they believe their company is already diverse, and 79 percent think the average team at their company has a diverse set of team members.

 

Interestingly, there is a disconnect at play because the actual numbers in the industry, where 76 percent of the jobs are held by white and Asian men, tell a different story. Women, Hispanics and African-Americans make up 30 percent, six percent and three percent of employees in the top 75 Silicon Valley tech companies, respectively, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. That’s worse than other industries. In non-tech firms in the area, women hold 49 percent of the jobs, Hispanics 22 hold percent of the jobs and African-Americans hold 24 percent of the jobs. Asian-Americans, who hold 41 percent of jobs in Silicon Valley’s top tech firms, make up 24 percent of the non-tech workforce.

 

“Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and women are so underrepresented that people have lost the ability to perceive what balance is,” Aubrey Blanche, the chief diversity officer for team collaboration software company Atlassian, says in a report about the results of the company’s survey of nearly 1,500 Silicon Valley tech workers questioned about diversity in the workplace. “Despite good intentions to support diversity, when it comes to looking at what’s happening within their own companies, half of employees think everything is fine and no improvements need to be made on gender, race and other key areas—despite a mounting pile of evidence that tech is very much not a meritocracy.”

 

Among the top reasons that tech workers gave for giving their companies passing grades on diversity are that 60 percent of the respondents said their company was making an effort, even though they gave no indication of concrete action that company had taken, commenting: “I feel they can do more, but they are trying. So, can’t knock them for it.”

 

Another challenge for diversity advocates is that there is a misperception by some people that the lack of diversity in tech can be chalked up to a “pipeline” problem. That is, they believe too few women and minorities are becoming software engineers or entering the industry.

 

“The tech industry has developed this myth about its own meritocracy to justify homogeneity and pattern matching when funding deals and making hiring decisions, but the more you believe your system is a meritocracy, the more likely the system is to be biased and discriminatory,” Blanche writes in the report. “While people may be well-intentioned, we clearly have a way to go in educating workers on ‘what diversity means and looks like’ to help them identify areas of improvement within their own companies.”

 

The seriousness of a lack of diversity is more apparent when considering research reported on in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States which shows the introduction of people who are demographically different within a group makes both individuals and groups more innovative and increases their performance. Another problem is that diversity reports tend to focus on numbers at the company level, which reveal little about the actual level of collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas happening between members of different demographic groups, an article in Scientific American explains.

 

“Evaluating diversity at the corporate level is a good first step, but it doesn’t paint a clear enough picture,” says Mike Cannon-Brookes, Atlassian’s co-founder and co-CEO. ”True genius happens when people with different experiences come together to tackle tough challenges. That’s why teams–not just companies–need to be diverse and inclusive for the most meaningful business impact to occur.”

 

  What are your thoughts on diversity? Do you think your company is diverse? What about teams or departments, are they diverse?

After the Panama Canal Authority completed the waterway’s $5.4 billion expansion last year, the canal experienced a surge in cargo and the number of transits made by larger Neopanamax vessels. Indeed, last month, the Canal Authority reported a new daily tonnage record of 1.18 million Panama Canal tons after 1,180 ships passed through both the expanded and original locks.

 

However, as canal traffic grows, it becomes increasingly difficult for the Canal Authority to schedule traffic so ships may navigate through the canal safely and efficiently. To improve operations, the Panama Canal Authority recently announced it will launch what it calls a “state-of-the-art” vessel scheduling and maritime resource management system to “further optimize costs, improve safety and increase the overall efficiency and reliability” of the service it provides.

 

“This system will help carry the canal’s legacy [of innovation] forward, allowing us to tap the potential of technology to provide better solutions for our customers as we increasingly manage more transits and adapt to shifts in global trade,” Panama Canal Authority Administrator Jorge L. Quijano says.

 

Every day, more than 40 container ships pass through the Panama Canal, which saves ships a 3,000-mile journey around the tip of South America. Passage through the canal, which may take a full day depending on traffic, requires the careful synchronization of skilled freighter pilots, tugboats, and the enormous doors that separate each lock.

 

Planners schedule each ship’s passage based on numerous factors, including the nature of its cargo, its arrival time and whether the shipper booked passage ahead of time. Another factor to be considered is that ships with deeper drafts require more water in the locks, increasing transit time.

 

Humans can manage the scheduling process about 48 hours into the future. Using the new solution from supply chain management company Quintiq, however, they will be able to plan weeks ahead using algorithms and modeling to optimize every route for every ship, says Arnoldo Cano, Panama Canal Program Manager for the ACP Renewal of Processes and Core Systems.

 

“We’re replacing all of the legacy systems with a single integrated planning and scheduling system, which will make a huge difference,” says Cano. “Using advanced modeling language, we’ll be able to leverage path optimization algorithms and mathematical, constraint and graphical programming to optimize scheduling and resource utilization.”

 

Among the expected benefits of using the integrated system for the Panama Canal Authority are that it will be able to execute a completely integrated operating plan for its critical resources, including the necessary and critical tugboats, pilots and line handlers. Improved situational awareness and data can drive better decision-making, which in turn will help mitigate operational risk, says Canal Administrator Quijano. Further, the solution will help reduce costs by optimizing the way in which the Canal plans and programs its resources, he says.

 

There are, as one would imagine, considerable benefits for shippers as well. Most notably, the Canal Authority will be able to significantly shorten vessel waiting times, increase the number of potentially available vessel slots each day and improve the overall reliability and safety of the route.

 

There certainly is a need to improve vessel scheduling and resource allocation. As of last weekend, 1,000 Neopanamax vessels have made their way through the Panama Canal, averaging nearly six per day. During fiscal year 2016, 13,114 vessels in total made a passage through the Panama Canal. What’s more, Quijano has previously said the Canal Authority projects cargo volumes through the canal to increase by 10 percent to 12 percent this year, as well as continuous growth in coming years, as the shipping industry emerges from its downturn.

 

What impact do you think the Canal Authority using an integrated solution for vessel scheduling and operations management will have on supply chains?

In the Yahoo e-mail hacking case unsealed this week, the U.S. Department of Justice alleges that two Russian intelligence agents hired a pair of hackers to break into at least 500 million Yahoo accounts in search of personal information and financial data such as gift card and credit card numbers. The men targeted the email accounts of Russian and U.S. government officials, Russian journalists and employees of numerous financial services and other private businesses, U.S. officials said.

 

It isn’t just e-mail or social media accounts at risk, however. As the number of “things” in the Internet of Things continues to grow rapidly, the need for cyber vigilance becomes increasingly apparent. Research firm Gartner expects there to be 8.4 billion connected “things” in use in 2017, up 31 percent from 2016. By 2020, this number could reach 20.4 billion, with smart TVs and digital set-top boxes being the most-used consumer devices while smart electric meters and commercial security cameras will be the most-used IoT devices for businesses.

 

Unfortunately, while such devices—as well as smartphones and other mobile devices—are convenient, they also are easy targets for hackers. For example, last fall, hackers seized control of webcams and digital video recorders and used them as an army of Internet “botnets” to launch denial-of-service attacks against popular websites such as Netflix and Twitter, forcing them offline for some users. What’s more, the Department of Homeland Security released a report last year describing cybersecurity risks with devices such as medical implants, surveillance cameras, home appliances and baby monitors.

 

Such cyber attacks may cause long-lasting damage to a company’s reputation or brand. Potential fallout includes restitution to customers and suppliers, and depending on the circumstances, increased regulatory scrutiny and financial penalties, not to mention declining sales and shareholder apprehension. Furthermore, there is the potential that the appearance of negligence, repeat attacks or unpredictable consequences from a cyber breach may erode customer loyalty.

 

To protect against cyber threats, some IT experts now encourage cybersecurity teams to take an active approach to cybersecurity, specifically by working to boost the company’s cyber resilience by improving its ability to deflect, minimize or successfully endure attacks. At a recent cybersecurity summit for business and government leaders held by CenturyLink, some speakers said that instead of passively sitting behind firewalls or depending on anti-virus suites for defense, a more active approach that emphasizes bouncing back from attacks, identifying points of weakness and making contingency plans is now expected.

 

“You need to think about things you can do proactively, not just to ensure good hygiene around cybersecurity, but also to predict and anticipate attacker activities,” Bill Bradley, CenturyLink senior vice president of cyber engineering and technical services, said at the summit.

 

A Security article this month notes that some companies have gone a step further and are creating a crisis management plan that includes forming a Cyber Resilience Team, led by a coordinator—such as a Director of Cybersecurity or a Chief Digital Officer—to oversee security operations and apprise the board of its related responsibilities. This team, made up of experienced security professionals, should be charged with thoroughly investigating each incident and ensuring that all relevant players communicate effectively. This, the article contends, is the only way a comprehensive and collaborative recovery plan can be implemented quickly.

 

To become cyber resilient and maintain competitive advantage and growth, Steve Durbin, Managing Director of the Information Security Forum and author of the article, recommends that businesses should:

  • Re-assess cyber risks to the organization and its information, operating on the assumption that the organization is a target and will be breached
  • Revise cybersecurity arrangements to implement a cyber resilience team and rehearse recovery plans
  • Focus on the people and technology
  • Become proactive about cyber security in every business initiative to minimize risk and brand damage

 

What are your thoughts on improving the organization’s cyber resilience? Has your company formed a Cyber Resilience Team?

Over the past almost two years, Intel has signed partnership deals with BMW and automotive parts supplier Delphi Automotive to expand its presence in the automotive industry. The computer chipmaker also announced last year that it would invest $250 million in start-ups working on driverless car technologies. The biggest news, however, came earlier this week when Intel announced plans to buy Israeli autonomous vehicle technology firm Mobileye for $15.3 billion. The deal potentially puts Intel in competition with Nvidia Corp. and Qualcomm to develop driverless systems for global automakers.

 

Mobileye, founded in Jerusalem in 1999, has signed deals with several automakers, including Audi, for the use of its technology that includes cameras, sensor chips, in-car networking, roadway mapping, machine learning, cloud software and data fusion and management. Intel will support Mobileye’s production programs and build up its relationships with car suppliers and OEMs, according to an Intel statement. The combined organization will be headquartered in Israel and led by Amnon Shashua, Mobileye’s co-founder, chairman and chief technology officer.

 

Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich said the acquisition was akin to merging the “eyes of the autonomous car with the intelligent brain that actually drives the car.”

 

The stakes are significant. As has been widely reported, Goldman Sachs projected last year that the market for advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicles would grow from about $3 billion in 2015 to $96 billion in 2025, and to $290 billion in 2035.

 

Interestingly, Intel’s purchase of Mobileye casts a spotlight on the growth of the technology industry in Israel. This will be the largest takeover of an Israeli tech firm, and it follows a series of deals and partnerships in recent years by major tech and auto companies.

 

Indeed, several major car manufacturers have made recent investments in Israel, including Ford Motor Co., which bought computer vision and machine learning company SAIPS AC last summer. Daimler AG and General Motors have also opened research and development centers in the country. Director General of the Prime Minister’s office Eli Groner says the autonomous tech sector could potentially boost Israel’s economic growth by 50 percent, The Times of Israel reports.

 

In Israel, the automotive technology sector currently counts about 350 startups, according to industry monitor IVC Research Center, with the potential, according to Groner, to grow bigger than the cybersecurity industry, which drew 15 percent of global capital raised by the sector in 2016, according to Start-Up Nation Central, a group that promotes Israel startups.

 

Consider, for instance, that Argus Cyber Security, based in Tel Aviv, announced a partnership with Qualcomm Technologies this year to protect cars from hackers. Otonomo Technologies, a data platform that tells users when to stop driving due to a malfunction and can call emergency services when there is an accident, is now working with nine car manufacturers, including Daimler. And then there’s Waze, formerly FreeMap Israel, a GPS-based geographical navigation application program that was first developed and popularized by the Israeli company Waze Mobile, and eventually acquired by Google in 2013 for a reported U.S. $1.3 billion.

 

It remains to be seen, of course, how quickly Israel’s technology sector will continue to grow. In the meantime, Intel’s investments show the growth of autonomous vehicle technology as well as the increasing importance of those companies’ role in the supply chain. Those investments may, ultimately, weaken car maker influence over the supply chain as automobiles incorporate increasingly sophisticated technology, and, as an article in the Wall Street Journal points out, simultaneously raise the profile of companies including Samsung Electronic, Siemens AG and Qualcomm which have bought into the sector.

 

What are your thoughts on the automotive supply chain? As companies continue to develop advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicles, what impact is there on the supply chain. Also, are any companies from Israel’s technology sector in your company’s supply chain?

In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Donald Trump vowed to repair what he called the nation’s “crumbling” infrastructure and initiate a “new program of national rebuilding.”

 

“Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways gleaming across our very, very beautiful land,” Trump said. “I will be asking Congress to approve legislation that produces a $1 trillion investment in the infrastructure of the United States, financed through both public and private capital, creating millions of new jobs. This effort will be guided by two core principles: Buy American, and hire American.”

 

Coincidentally, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) conducts an assessment of the nation’s infrastructure conditions and needs, assigns grades, and makes recommendations for improvements in 16 categories of infrastructure—and releases a report, called a “report card,” every four years. The 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, released by ASCE, gives the U.S. infrastructure an overall grade of D+, the same grade it received in 2013, “suggesting only incremental progress was made over the last four years.” The report concludes it will take almost $4.6 trillion over the next eight years to bring all those systems up to an acceptable standard.

 

The report notes that key infrastructure categories and their grades are:

Aviation: D

Bridges: C+

Dams: D

Ports: C+

Rail: B

Roads: D

Transit: D-

 

The report’s authors estimate the U.S. government and private sector will need to increase investment in the nation’s infrastructure from 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent of GDP by 2025 to raise its overall infrastructure score. If the government continues on the same trajectory it is currently on, the result will be $3.9 trillion in losses to the GDP and 2.5 million jobs lost, the authors estimate.

 

Then again, as CNN Money reports, the assessment from ASCE is based on estimates that call for much more spending than what federal agencies and other trade groups have said is needed for infrastructure. Some of those groups have a clear interest in triggering as much public spending as possible to benefit their members, CNN reports.

 

“It’s not lost on me that they are the ones who are going to be building much of this infrastructure, so it’s in their interest to talk down” the quality of infrastructure, Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan group that monitors government spending, said on CNN.

 

Be that as it may, it is also interesting to consider, as a recent Bloomberg article points out, that for an example of infrastructure spending, leaders in the U.S. government should consider the experience of Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. His quest to stimulate the Canadian economy and boost long-term growth with an infrastructure spending program has been slow. Indeed, some 17 months after his election win, Trudeau’s government has completed only eight of the 1,274 roads, bridges, and other projects it has approved, Bloomberg reports.

 

Trudeau’s first budget pledged to provide “immediate” help to the economy via infrastructure expenditures. He’s found it challenging so far to spend the C$13.6 billion ($10 billion) allocated for his first two fiscal years. As of March 8, less than three percent of the projects approved since June have officially broken ground, though updates on start times are subject to a sizable lag, according to Infrastructure Canada, Bloomberg reports. Completed projects include an extension of the TransCanada Highway in Prince Edward Island.

 

“The hardest lesson to learn from Canada’s experience with infrastructure spending so far is just how long it takes for ‘shovel-ready’ projects to actually break ground,” Frances Donald, senior economist at Manulife Asset Management in Toronto, says in the article.

 

What are your thoughts on the U.S. infrastructure and its impact on supply chain cost and performance? Regardless of how much money will eventually be spent, where do you think improvement projects should begin?

Over the past few weeks, executives from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) were on what they called a “2017 State of Manufacturing Tour,” which began at the Emerson Innovation Center in Austin, Texas. The tour was a series of stops in six states to talk about the health of U.S. manufacturing. It also included a visit with President Donald Trump at the White House, to, as NAM notes, “tell the real story of modern manufacturing and call on the new administration and Congress to adopt solutions to create more jobs, seize global leadership, expand the circle of opportunity and foster innovative workforce-development efforts.”

 

Speaking at the kickoff in Austin, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said manufacturers are adapting and improving every day. Furthermore, they are “changing the conversation to emphasize what modern manufacturing means today: upscaling jobs, upskilling workers and creating pathways for enhancing individual talent, securing futures and increasing wages,” he said, while also noting that manufacturing contributes an estimated $2.17 trillion to the U.S. economy and supports 866,700 jobs in Texas alone.

 

Speaking at a stop in Detroit, Timmons explained that manufacturing supports nearly 600,000 jobs in Michigan alone; while at a stop in Columbus, Ohio, he pointed out that manufacturing supports nearly 700,000 jobs in Ohio. In Pittsburgh, he said manufacturing supports 568,000 jobs in the state.

 

In Pittsburgh, Timmons also said modern manufacturing is strong, thanks, in large part, to the domestic energy production happening in southwestern Pennsylvania. Although manufacturing is “changing and evolving,” there are men and women across the country wondering if they have a place in the modern economy, said Timmons. The onus is on manufacturers and the industry as a whole to show them that there will always be a place for people who do the “gratifying physical, hands-on work—the craftsmen and women and the artisans of the manufacturing economy,” he continued. However, manufacturers must show employees they are also part of a more diverse U.S. industrial age—one that has jobs for engineers, robotics technicians, chemists, textile designers, software programmers and other professionals, Timmons said. The industry’s task, he says, is to help people learn these jobs exist and acquire the skills and flexibility that will let them adapt just as the industry does.

 

“Beyond addressing the skills gap, manufacturing will be even stronger when we improve the U.S. business climate,” Timmons said in Pittsburgh. “The good news is we have a president ready to sign legislation that comes from Congress. For manufacturers, three of our big-ticket items are regulatory reform, infrastructure investment—including energy and technology infrastructure—and tax reform.”

 

To that point, in Madison, WI, last week after President Trump’s joint address to Congress, Timmons responded, saying that manufacturers are “energized by the President’s proposals.”

 

“Manufacturers are ready to stand with [Trump] as he pursues $1 trillion of long-overdue investment in infrastructure, or as he declared: a ‘new program of national rebuilding,’” Timmons said in a statement. “Manufacturers are also ready to work with Congress and the administration on comprehensive tax reform, and we look forward to seeing the president’s plan to provide a transformational jolt for manufacturers and our economy.”

 

What are your thoughts on the state of U.S. manufacturing? Do you agree that there will always be jobs for people doing the “gratifying physical, hands-on work” in manufacturing?