“Manufacturing in America: Bigger, Better and Bolder” Area Development’s piece by Mark Crawford

Ultrasonic cleaning basket

Marlin Steel exports to 36 countries including China. This is an parts material handling basket shipped to Europe

Mark Crawford wrote a compelling piece in Area Development Magazine outlining the resurgence of USA Manufacturing.

Crawford covered many elements of the exciting developments in manufacturing and highlighted “Marlin Steel Wire Products recently invested $3.5 million in new equipment and robotic technology. “Robots make better-quality parts,” he says. “The robots are inside the cage, doing the nasty, carpal-tunnel work. This allows our employees to do safer, more challenging work.”

Robots and automation can therefore provide critical relief to workers, who were often pushed to the limit during the Great Recession. By improving the comfort and safety of the workplace, companies can retain their most skilled and creative employees. This is a huge concern, considering the fact that the lack of qualified workers, i.e., the “skills gap,” is the greatest threat to U.S. manufacturing today.”

In addition, Crawford explored the demanding supply chain system and the higher level of requirements “Companies are also streamlining their supply chains, cutting out vendors that don’t deliver their absolutely best effort, every time. “Companies that survived the Great Recession have a much shorter tolerance for mistakes or inconsistent performance,” says Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel Wire Products in Baltimore, Maryland. “Companies also don’t want to tie up cash or space for inventory. Therefore, supply chain partners must be more efficient and flexible in the services they provide.” “

Intellectual Property Rights – Theft by China and others – hurting US Job Creation



Study Unveiling and Panel Discussion on January 30 at 10:30 a.m. at NAM Headquarters


On January 30, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and Harvard economist Bill Kerr will unveil their new economic study, which eliminates the idea that software piracy is a problem that only affects software and technology companies. The NAM/Kerr study found that stolen software negatively impacts the U.S. manufacturing sector through unfair competition, resulting in losses in U.S. manufacturing revenue, jobs, patents and GDP.


The NAM will disclose the results of the study as well as a member survey on intellectual property (IP) theft and host a discussion with experts and manufacturers whose companies have been negatively impacted by software theft.



Study unveiling and roundtable on Economic Impact of Global Software Theft on U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness and Innovation



Moderator: Rob McKenna, partner, Orrick; former attorney general of the State of Washington and cofounder of the Intellectual Property Task Force at the National Association of Attorneys General; and current president of the National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation (NAJI).

  • Brian Raymond, director of technology and domestic economic policy, NAM
  • Bill Kerr, associate professor of business administration, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Drew Greenblatt, president and owner, Marlin Steel Wire Products, Baltimore, Md., NAJI chairman & co Founder and NAM executive board member
  • Daniel Abdun-Nabi, president and CEO, Emergent Biosolutions, Rockville, Md., and NAM board member
  • Michael Sigourney, president and CEO, AVTECH Software Inc., Warren, R.I., and NAJI member



Thursday, January 30, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. EST



NAM Headquarters, 733 10th Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC, 20001




To attend or dial in to the roundtable discussion, please RSVP to Matt Lavoie at (202) 637-3085 or mlavoie@nam.org.

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About the NAM

The NAM is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes more than $1.8 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for two-thirds of private-sector research and development.


About Bill Kerr

Bill Kerr is an associate professor at Harvard Business School, where he focuses on entrepreneurship and innovation. Kerr has researched agglomeration and entrepreneurship and how government policies aid or hinder the entry of new firms, cluster formation and growth. He has worked extensively with the World Bank, Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council and the National Science Foundation and has received several awards for his research papers.

About NAJI

NAJI, which commissioned the study with the NAM, is a nonpartisan organization of more than 300 U.S. businesses and industry experts working together to stop unfair competition from the use of stolen IP, whether it be through piracy, counterfeiting or trade secret theft.

Baltimore Sun Opinion Editorial Piece – Give President Trade Promotion Authority so we grow jobs

This Op Ed Piece was in today’s Baltimore Sun about growing USA Trade & Jobs:

Earlier this month, the powerful Senate Finance Committee met to consider crucial legislation that would grant the president Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which would make it easier for him to negotiate deals with other countries. Maryland’s own Sen. Ben Cardin, who sits on that committee, will help decide whether the United States continues to lead the world in promoting jobs and market-opening trade deals or falls behind.

TPA is a common sense procedural agreement between the legislative and executive branches of government, and every president since Franklin Roosevelt has had, according to the National Association of Manufacturers, where I’m an Executive board member. NAM describes TPA as a partnership between Congress and the president that facilitates deals and ensures “congressional input” on trade negotiations. TPA would also limit Congressional consideration of deals and amendment ability, giving the administration more power in trade negotiations.

Since TPA was last renewed in 2002, the United States has concluded trade agreements with 16 countries around the world. During that time, Maryland’s annual manufactured goods exports have more than doubled to nearly $11 billion. My company manufactures material handling wire baskets and sheet metal fabrications wholly in Baltimore City, however we owe 25 percent of our jobs to our exports.

Recently, Sen. Barbara Mikulski visited our factory when we shipped a container of complex wire forms to China. Think about that — U.S. steel, U.S. robots and Maryland engineering and labor combined to execute a “Made in the USA” product that a Chinese receiving clerk in Shanghai will open weeks later and disseminate to his or her clients. We need more Baltimore jobs created because of expanded trading partners.

The U.S. wins on these deals. In fact, countries with which the U.S. has negotiated trade deals under TPA purchased more than 30 percent of Maryland’s manufactured goods exports in 2012.

TPA is essential to pass pending trade agreements, including with 11 Pacific Rim nations — Maryland’s largest export market. We need these prospects to sell to so we can grow and hire local talent and end the recession. Trade agreements are critical because they enable manufacturers to reach more of the 95 percent of the world’s consumers who live outside the United States. These deals open up markets to Maryland manufacturers so we can compete for a greater share of the $11 trillion global market for manufactured goods. Trade agreements level the playing field so we have a better shot to grow jobs. The United States enjoys a $130 billion manufacturing trade surplus with its 20 trade agreement partners.

In Maryland alone, Trade agreements drive manufactured goods exports contributing nearly $11 billion to the Maryland economy in 2012. Specifically, those exports support more than 32,000 Maryland jobs — more than a quarter (27.8 percent) of all state manufacturing jobs.

Manufacturing jobs are great jobs. Jobs linked to manufactured goods exports pay, on average, 18 percent more than other jobs. Moreover trade does not just benefit big companies; export gains are broadly shared. Specifically, 88 percent of Maryland exporters are small businesses, like mine, with less than 500 employees.

Unfortunately, TPA expired in 2007 and must be renewed quickly to ensure America continues to lead in leveling the playing field for manufacturers and workers. The stakes are high. Without new market-opening trade agreements, manufacturers will be at a competitive disadvantage. The United States is open to the world but faces higher tariffs abroad than almost any other country. While we sit on the sidelines, other major economies are negotiating their own agreements that could put Maryland manufacturers and workers at a significant competitive disadvantage.

Tell our senators and Congress people to vote for more great jobs by granting our president Trade Promotion Authority.

Drew Greenblatt is the President of Baltimore-based Marlin Steel and a Vice Chair of the governor’s International Advisory Council and the Maryland Commission on Manufacturing Competitiveness.

Paving a Path to Growth in 2014 – Growing Jobs & Revenue in Manufacturing


Marlin Steel ICIC 100 2013

Marlin Steel has won the Inner City 100 award for fastest growing companies in the Inner City two years in a row.

ICIC showcases Marlin Steel, one of the fastest-growing urban businesses in America, sharing experiences & decisions that have paved paths to sustainable growth.

Loren Feldman, Small Business Editor of The New York Times will lead an interactive discussion with multi-year Inner City 100 winner Drew Greenblatt, president of Baltimore-based Marlin Steel Wire Products.

Loren Feldman is an editor and writer, specializing in digital journalism and entrepreneurship. Since 2009, he has been creating and building a Web portal for The New York Times that focuses on small businesses and entrepreneurship, including the You’re the Boss small business blog. He has also been web editor of both Inc. magazine and Fast Company magazine.

Under Drew Greenblatt’s leadership, Marlin Steel’s revenues have grown six times since he bought the company in 1998 despite disruptive changes in their biggest market.  After the popular Atkins Diet reduced the demand for bagels, Marlin Steel completely transformed its product line of wire bagel baskets and expanded to serve large buyers. The company now manufactures a variety of custom wire baskets , wire forms and sheet metal fabrications for industrial giants, including Caterpillar, Pfizer, Merck and Toyota.

Thursday, January 30th

8:00 – 10:00 a.m.

University of Maryland BioPark
1st Floor Conference Center
801 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Program and breakfast will begin promptly at 8:00 a.m.  Space is limited to the first one-hundred registrants.  All program attendees will receive a complementary gift card from our event sponsor, Staples and learn about the 2014 launch of the Inner City 100.

Exporting – Guide to Growing USA Manufacturing jobs

MikulskiMarlin08“Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitable” is the “how to” manual on how to grow USA factories jobs. Step by step and easy to read.

25% of Marlin Steel employees owe their jobs to global clients. Marlin Steel ships custom wire baskets all over the world – the tips in this book will help us/you do more! In Chapter 30 Marlin Steel is featured sharing a technique that has powered our growth – check it out!

In this picture, Marlin Steel is shipping a container of complex wire forms to China. USA Made Steel and USA Made Robots and USA labor – and a Chinese shipping clerk will be opening these. How cool is that? We were honored to have US Senator Mikulski tour our facilities and she met our team and we discussed techniques to grow the economy.

Total Cost of Ownership tool could turn outsourcing decisions into reshoring ones

Reshoring InitiativeIn these challenging times, keeping costs low and clients happy encourages buyers to consider a variety of suppliers. Many times supply chain managers zero in on buying from overseas to cut costs. In some limited cases, this makes sense. However, educated buyers must do a deep analysis to understand the total cost before they launch into buying from an overseas vendor.

One tool that buyers can use to make wise choices between buying domestically or importing is the Total Cost of Ownership Estimator. The tool is free on the website of the Reshoring Initiative, an advocacy group launched by Harry Moser, a manufacturing industry veteran and retired president of GFAgieCharmilles. Continue reading

Today’s reading assignment: The Man of Steel making that slow dough

Two recent articles surveyed the business innovation bubbling at Marlin Steel.

Global Trade: Man of SteelA compelling piece by Will Swaim in the magazine Global Trade, headlined “Man of Steel,” described Marlin Steel’s transformation from making plain vanilla wire baskets for bagels to designing vastly more precise steel wire and sheet metal containers for more sensitive technology-related products such as automobile components and military equipment. As Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt was quoted in the article, “You won’t find Marlin manufacturing ‘baskets for socks in Vietnam.”

Favorite passage in the piece:

This revolution unfolded slowly, over the course of several years. In that time, Marlin has invested in robots, managers, and engineers as varied as bagels—“process engineers, mechanical engineers, industrial engineers.” … And Drew Greenblatt has become something of American industry’s Man of Steel. Continue reading