Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt was on the Greta Van Susteren show last night to discuss the impact of health care insurance costs on small business after testifying on the topic earlier in the day before a Senate committee on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers. Click here for the video link.
At a hearing this morning on health care before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, at which Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt testified, we appreciated the stream-of-consciousness comments (1:48:23 – 1:53:00) of the newest U.S. senator, Cory Booker of New Jersey, who proclaimed Mr. Greenblatt an honorary “Jersey boy.”:
“Mr. Greenblatt, first of all, I appreciate your Jersey connection (as) a guy who vacations in Jersey. You have some Jersey-boy-aura to you and I want to say there’s a geologist saying “You rock” and you rock not because of your Jersey connection, but because I feel a kinship to you. We both came down to Washington. You get to go home, I think, and I’m gonna stick it out here and battle it out. You deal with the pragmatism that I deal with. I had to cut 25 percent of my employees as a mayor and one of the reason I had to cut so much is because health costs were going up so much, my taxpayers couldn’t afford it. I had to balance a budget every year. So do you. And the challenge that you have and that I’ve seen from working with global manufacturers in my city that I wanted to expand — and you said you export products to China, right? You’re competing globally, right? I like you a lot — and when you compete globally you’re competing against companies in Europe and Asia and across the globe, right?, and many of those countries have different health care systems and most of our competitor nations have much lower health care costs, right?”
When Marlin Steel’s president also pointed out large tax inequities that make it difficult to compete globally, such as against Canada, Senator Booker responded, “I want to compete with Canada in every way, expect for Toronto. Their mayor is having challenges there ….” Continue reading
From Drew Greenblatt‘s latest column on Inc.com on how to accelerate manufacturing:
The most recent jobs report was just the latest sign that the economy continues to plod ahead in fits and starts–but hasn’t been able to achieve “escape velocity.” So what to do about it? Here are 20 ideas that would help create manufacturing jobs, both short term and in the long run.
Why manufacturing? With a multiplier effect of $1.48 added to the economy for every $1 spent, the highest multiplier of any sector, manufacturing needs the attention of lawmakers and policymakers now. Continue reading
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin told a meeting of Maryland manufacturers and workforce development officials yesterday that the state isn’t going to take a recent challenge from Texas Governor Rick Perry sitting down.
“We’ve all been challenged by the governor of Texas. We’re going to take on the challenge,” said Cardin, referring to TV advertisements that feature Perry urging Maryland businesses to move to Texas for lower taxes and less regulation. “We are open for business in every conceivable way.”
Maryland’s manufacturing advantages include proximity to markets, to major transportation infrastructure, to decision-makers in Washington and to workers with engineering and technical skill, he said. The senator praised several examples of manufacturing prowess in the state, including Paul Reed Smith Guitars; Lion Brothers, which embroiders uniform decals for professional sports teams, and Marlin Steel Wire Products.
From Drew Greenblatt’s latest column on Inc.com about filling the skills gap:
Midway through a recent roundtable discussion on job skills that I attended with others in business, government and education, someone mentioned a need for workers to cultivate co-called soft skills. Thomas Perez, the new U.S. Secretary of Labor, bristled a bit, saying he didn’t like the term: “Let’s change that to essential skills,” he said.
He’s right. The ability to write a grammatically correct email to a client, or to calculate diameters and radii to confirm the quality of a manufactured part, isn’t inconsequential. In manufacturing plants like ours and in many other workplaces, these skills are critical. They are essential to the experience you provide to your customer and critical for the success and survival of every business, no matter its size. There is nothing “soft” about them.
During the panel, which was convened to consider solutions to the “skills gap,” one panelist said he knew an employer who has kept a position unfilled since 2004 because she couldn’t find the right fit, despite so many people searching for work. The remark elicited gasps. Continue reading
Marlin Steel President Drew Greenblatt participated in a roundtable discussion on job skills with U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez, U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer yesterday at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Maryland.
The roundtable, titled “Strengthening Skills in Our 21st Century Workforce,” attracted about 150 people from business, government and education. The panel was moderated by Dr. Dawn Lindsay, president of Anne Arundel Community College. The discussion focused on better ways to help job creators and educators bridge the “skills gap” so that training is better aligned with demand-driven needs of employers. Continue reading
From Drew Greenblatt’s latest column on Inc.com about the impact of the Indian rupee’s volatility on U.S. manufacturing:
The Indian rupee recently posted the largest single-day drop in 18 years, and some observers wonder if this will become an opportunity for western companies to purchase goods from India and other developing countries at a bargain price. Who doesn’t like a good deal, right?
That would be naïve. You can’t plan or negotiate contracts based on volatility. Our clients are in industries as diverse as telecommunications, health care, automotive and aerospace and they want tight quality, speed, on-time shipments, not drama. Chasing the worst-performing currency in a major emerging market — which also happens to be the world’s second-most populous nation and Asia’s third-biggest economy — has more downside than up. On Wednesday, the currency rebounded after a suspected government intervention, although unpredictability remained potent.
Responsible supply chain experts seek long-term relationships for a stable production of product. Countries ravaged by financial crisis, political disruption, strikes, war, terrorism or new political systems reduce the likelihood of uniform and steady flow. Components bought from India are usually a small percentage of the overall value of a finished part. Taking a chance on a small component to lose any opportunity to ship on time to a key account is not a good gambit. Continue reading