MAPI – Manufacturers Alliance Economic News and Reports

A weekly round-up of the MAPI resources available to NFPA members through NFPA’s membership in MAPI.

Issues in Brief

Igniting a Passion for Manufacturing: Q&A With Sylvia Wetzel
Bison Gear & Engineering takes a holistic approach to closing the skills gap, and Chief Learning Officer Sylvia Wetzel is indispensable in this endeavor. In this interview, Wetzel shares advice for starting partnerships with educational institutions and discusses the effort to find candidates who are “work-ready on day one.”

Becoming Agents of Change: Q&A With Jason Tyszko
Jason Tyszko of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation describes how talent pipeline management practices can provide manufacturers with collaborative tools for attacking hiring challenges. Jason is presenting at MAPI’s forum targeting next-generation workforce solutions on August 21 in Chicago.

Remaining Headaches: Conflict Minerals Reporting’s Lingering Questions
While the first conflict minerals reporting deadline has passed, manufacturers are still frustrated — understandably — with the vague process. In a July survey, we found that members are keen to define “reasonable” efforts, drive compliance through the supply base and standardize reporting. A wide range of executives will be meeting in Chicago in October to crowdsource process improvements.

U.S. Exports Pivot Away From Asian Markets
While the Obama administration is pivoting toward Asia in terms of defense strategy, U.S. export competitiveness is pivoting away from the region. From 2009 to 2013, U.S. merchandise exports to 13 principal Asian trading partners grew by only 37%.

The Manufacturing Century
In the 100 years since the outbreak of WWI, Americans’ living standards have improved remarkably. The manufacturing sector’s innovation has led to productivity gains, in turn contributing to higher paying jobs and more competitive pricing.

From Raiders to Traders: 10 Things to Know About Activist Shareholders
While the media seem to have a budding romance with shareholder activists, U.S. companies have reasons to be wary. With millions of dollars and negative publicity at stake, proactive strategies are key.

Transatlantic Approaches to Supporting Manufacturing
Europe and the U.S. have traditionally employed different philosophies regarding aiding industry, with the U.S. relying on subsidies and partnerships while European policymakers believe the state can pick winners (reserving the right to purchase companies whole or in part). Attitudes in Europe are changing, however.


Economic Update

MAPI Business Outlook July 2014
The Composite Business Outlook Index and several of the individual indexes rose in June, with all above the dividing line between expansion and contraction. This quarter’s wildcard questions examined the economic indicators companies rely on for planning and investment decisions.

U.S. Manufacturing Update July 2014
Last month, numerous indicators underscored manufacturing’s resilience. The industrial production index and capacity utilization increased as did spending on business equipment. Manufacturing jobs rose by 16,000, above the monthly average over the past year. Exports climbed but were outpaced by the growth of imports.

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This report is made available by NFPA as a service to the fluid power industry and contains information provided by companies in the industry. NFPA does not recommend or endorse any particular use of this report. NFPA, its directors, members and employees are not responsible for errors or omissions in the report or for loss arising from its use and disclaim all warranties and guarantees, express or implied, with respect to the information in this report.

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