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VIEWPOINTS INDUSTRY LEADER OPINION & ANALYSIS Look Forward to IMTS—And What Comes Next v I


n just a few weeks, we’ll be opening the doors to begin another edition of IMTS—The International Manufacturing Technology Show. As a lifelong manufacturing profes- sional, I don’t believe there is any other event in the world that can match its excitement. IMTS brings together many faces of the industry, from corner-offi ce executives to young enthusiasts who are just attending their fi rst show. This event always creates a buzz around manufacturing and generates plenty of headlines. It’s a great way to show the world just what advanced manufacturing really is. But what about after the show closes and the spotlight moves elsewhere? Manufac- turing goes on, of course, but many of the challenges that face our industry stay unmoved. Those challenges need to make it into the headlines, too. They must be addressed. A few years ago, AMT—The Association For Manufactur-


ing Technology developed its Manufacturing Mandate as a national strategy to make the US the best place in the world to make things. Its key tenets are three important issues to strengthen US manufacturing: Incentivize R&D and inno- vation in new products and manufacturing technologies; increase global competitiveness; and build a better educated and trained smartforce.


Incentivize R&D and innovation: Technology innovation is a uniquely American strength. Our entrepreneurial and cre- ative spirit makes us very good at creating technologies, and we’ve become a leader in bringing the digital revolution to the industrial world. In regards to manufacturing, we need to encourage collaboration among industry, academia and gov- ernment to bring new technologies to market more quickly. Increase global competitiveness: The US has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. We also have many barriers to free trade, making it diffi cult for US manufactur- ers to stay globally competitive. We need comprehensive tax reform, and we need to overhaul many of our trade policies.


224 AdvancedManufacturing.org | August 2016


Build a smartforce: One of the greatest challenges we face is the shrinking talent pool for advanced manufacturing work- ers. Our ability to remain competitive and innovative is threat- ened without the people behind it. We must work to change perceptions among young people (and parents) about careers in manufacturing. We also must connect with educators to ensure they develop a curriculum that teaches needed skills.


What about after the show closes and the spotlight moves elsewhere?


We are in the midst of perhaps the most polarizing politi-


cal environment our country has ever known. Just weeks af- ter IMTS 2016, voters will head to the polls to elect a new set of leaders. Manufacturers absolutely must show up to make their voices heard. While the presidential election is taking up most of the airspace, there will be many important down ticket races on the ballot—all of which will have an impact on the makeup of our leadership. We must not lose sight of that. AMT is nonpartisan; we are not going to tell anyone how to vote. What we are going to tell you is to get educated. Ob- tain a sample ballot in advance of Election Day. Research the candidates and the issues. This is the way to fi nd out how your vote will be most effective in securing a strong future for US manufacturing.


When our new leadership takes offi ce in January, we will be unveiling the updated version of our Manufacturing Mandate to make our voice heard about this very important industry. When choosing your candidates, consider the ones who will do the most for your community and the industry that we love.


AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology pro- duces IMTS, which takes place September 12–17, 2016, at McCormick Place in Chicago. Details are at IMTS.com.


Doug Woods President


AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology


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