ADVANCED MANUFACTURING NOW Modern Manufacturing Processes, Solutions & Strategies

Doug Woods President

AMT – the Association For Manufacturing Technology

R&D, tax reform, ‘smartforce’ issues will go on after IMTS


n September 12, the Associa- tion For Manufacturing Tech- nology (AMT) will be opening

the doors to begin another edition of IMTS, the International Manufacturing Technology Show, in Chicago. As a lifelong manufacturing pro-

fessional, I don’t believe there is any other event in the world that can match its excitement. IMTS brings together many faces of the indus- try, from corner-office executives to young enthusiasts who are just at- tending their first 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 else- where? Manufacturing 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 developed

its Manufacturing Mandate as a na- tional strategy to make the United States the best place in the world to make things. The key tenets of the Manufactur- ing Mandate are three important is- sues to strengthen US manufacturing: Incentivize R&D and innovation in new products and manufacturing tech- nologies; increase global competitive- ness; and build a better educated and trained “smartforce.” Incentivizing R&D and innovation

should come naturally to manufac- turing executives in the US. After all,


technology innovation is a uniquely American strength. Our entrepreneurial and creative

spirit makes us very good at creating new technologies, and we’ve become a world leader in bringing the digital revolution to the industrial world. With regard to manufacturing, we need

tors to ensure they develop a curricu- lum that teaches needed skills. We are in the midst of perhaps the

most polarizing political environment that our country has ever known. Just weeks after IMTS 2016, voters will head to the polls to elect a new set of leaders.

But first, take time ahead of the November election to carefully research the candidates and issues—so that the votes you cast will secure a strong future for US manufacturing.

to encourage collaboration between industry, academia and government to bring new technologies to market more quickly. Increasing global competitiveness

is a more significant challenge. The US has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. We also have many barriers to free trade, making it difficult for US manufacturers to stay globally competitive. We need comprehensive tax

reform, and we need an overhaul for many of our trade policies. Building a “smartforce” may be

the toughest of the three issues our mandate seeks to address. Everyone knows the shrinking talent pool for advanced manufacturing workers is a major challenge in the US. Our ability to remain competitive

and innovative is threatened without the people behind it. We must work to change faulty

perceptions about careers in manu- facturing among not only young people but also parents.. We also must connect with educa-

Manufacturers absolutely must

show up to make their voices heard. While the presidential election is getting by far the most attention, 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 go-

ing to tell anyone how to vote. What we are going to tell you is

to get educated. Obtain a sample ballot in advance of Election Day. Research the candidates and the issues. This is the way to find out how your vote will be most effective in securing a strong future for US manufacturing. When our new leadership takes of-

fice in January, we will be unveiling the updated version of our Manufactur- ing Mandate to make our voice heard about this very important industry. When choosing your candidates,

consider the ones that will do the most for your community and the industry that we love.

Summer 2016

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