Robust Manufacturing Crucial to U.S. Security

By: Jim T. Ryan, Central Penn Business Journal A new report from the Alliance for American Manufacturing suggests that a robust domestic manufacturing base could help stave off natural and manmade disasters to improve U.S. security. “Revitalizing America’s domestic manufacturing capacity must become a clear and urgent national priority at all levels of government and among industry leaders,” according to the report written by former Pennsylvania Gov. and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge along with retired Air Force Col. Robert Stephan. “The future vitality of our national and economic security goes hand-in-hand with that of our domestic manufacturing base.” The 46-page document analyzes various threats to U.S. stability, including environmental issues such as climate change, terrorism and natural disasters and how the country can help prepare or recover from such events by leveraging its manufacturing sector. Ridge and Stephan also outline specific recommendations to revitalize American manufacturing, including: • Develop plans to make a strong American manufacturing sector a key component of national and economic security strategies. • Reinvest in America’s infrastructure, using U.S.-made materials. • Incentivize the revitalization of American manufacturing, including the use of domestic-content preferences that maximize the power of federal procurement funds. • Enforce trade laws to ensure a level playing field for U.S manufacturers and their workers. • Invest in the American workforce to ensure we have the trained workers needed to rebuild our infrastructure and work in a modern manufacturing sector. Ridge served as governor from 1995 until 2001, when he left the position to become assistant to President George W. Bush for homeland security. In 2003, he became the first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, serving in that capacity until 2005. Today, Ridge is president and CEO of Ridge Global, his Washington, D.C.-based international security and risk consultancy. Ridge and his firm have been active in promoting the Marcellus gas industry as an economic driver for Pennsylvania. He also has been a board member of Derry Township-based The Hershey Co. since 2007. The Business Journal profiled Ridge in October 2010. Stephan is executive vice president of CRA Inc., a Virginia-based homeland security and defense contracting company. He was the assistant secretary of Homeland Security...

Report: Manufacturing Could Create 3.85M New Jobs

By: Manufacturing.net According to a new report from Deloitte, America can reverse the decline in the manufacturing industry, but only if it encourages innovation, trains workers and addresses tax reform and regulations, while also investing in infrastructure and energy. The report, “Manufacturing Opportunity,” explains that while low-cost basic manufacturing is unlikely to ever recover its former importance in the economy, it does not mean further decline is inevitable. Deloitte recommends refocusing on long-term opportunities in increasingly complex and emerging technologies—and in America’s ability to lead in the innovation and research and development of such breakthroughs. “Most Americans believe manufacturing is central to improving the ailing economy and say not enough is being done to support it,” said Craig Giffi, vice chairman and U.S consumer and industrial products leader, Deloitte LLP and the report’s author. “During this election season, candidates have an opportunity to not only recognize the importance of manufacturing but also address ways to support it by fostering innovation, developing talent and making investments in infrastructure.” “Manufacturing Opportunity” states that new pathways to manufacturing growth are both available and achievable. It also outlines several recommendations compiled directly from input received during extensive interviews with leaders from the business and academic communities, as well as organized labor. They include: Invest in Research and Development: For America to regain its position as a global leader in manufacturing and revive economic prosperity, it must invest in the research and development needed to produce the advanced technologies used in the manufacturing sector. Train Tomorrow’s Workforce: Advanced training is required to meet the needs of manufacturing jobs. Today there are 600,000 jobs that cannot be filled in America because manufacturers cannot find workers with the right skills. A focus on performance-based education and fostering government-to-industry partnerships, among many other recommendations, can help better prepare new generations of workers. Reform Taxes and Regulations: Numerous tax policies create a substantial burden for American manufacturers. In 2011, the United States had the highest corporate statutory tax rate among OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations. It is the only G8 member that does not employ a territorial tax policy. Policymakers in Washington should address corporate tax reform and consider a...