Manufacturing Summit Planned to Accelerate Industry Growth

“Manufacturing is vital to Connecticut’s economic health and future. Now, after decades of uncertainty, the state’s manufacturers could be entering a new era of opportunity. Employment is rising, companies that moved overseas are returning and continuous improvement initiatives are helping many manufacturers hone their operations and enhance competitiveness.”  That assessment, from the Connecticut Business & Industry Association, is driving a Connecticut Manufacturing Summit on Friday, January 25 at the Trumbull Marriott. The program will include an overview of U.S. manufacturing from Steve Menaker, Partner,  McGladrey LLP, and a presentation of CBIA’s report, Connecticut Manufacturing: Building on the Past, Creating Our Future, issued in mid-2012, from Pete Gioia, Vice President and Economist at CBIA. Among the key stats manufacturingthat will inform the discussion:

  • Connecticut is home to nearly 5,000 manufacturing companies that employ approximately 165,000 people and produce a vast array of products.
  • A CBIA/ DataCore Partners index contained in the report, placed Connecticut as 30th in the nation for manufacturing competitiveness.
  • Connecticut ranked 9th in the nation in the Milken Science and Technology Index that measures states’ ability to support growing manufacturing industries. (The ranking is based on public investments in R&D, a well-educated and skilled workforce, and the availability of risk capital to help convert R&D into viable technology products and services.)
  • Citing manufacturing as a jobs driver, the report also said that for each manufacturing job created in the state, between 1.5 and 4 additional jobs are created in other parts of the economy.
  • Each dollar’s worth of manufactured goods creates another $1.35 of activity in other economic sectors – twice the multiplier effect of most of the services sector.
  • Each year, manufacturers purchase more than $21 billion in goods and services from other state businesses, according to the Connecticut Economic Resource Center.
  • According to a Connecticut Industrial Energy Consumers report, manufacturing contributed $25.9 billion to the gross state product and accounts for about 11.4 percent of the state’s total employment.

The Summit will also include manufacturing executives discussing approaches for achieving success, resources needed for sustaining success, and strategies for cost-control and streamlining operations.  Among the participants are Brian DiBella, Vice President and General Manager - Wiremold Electrical Wiring Systems Division, Legrand and Don Janezic, CFO, Bigelow Tea. Panel participants also include Jason Howey, President, Okay Industries, Dr. Karen Wosczyna-Birch, Executive Director College of Technology, Connecticut Community Colleges, Dave J. Tuttle, Department Head/ Manufacturing, Connecticut Technical High School System and Douglas Johnson, Vice President of Operations, Marion Manufacturing Company.

There will be a policy discussion on improving Connecticut’s manufacturing climate led by Joe Brennan, Senior Vice President of Public Policy, CBIA.

The Summit, coming at the start of the 2013 state legislative session and prior to the Governor’s presentation of the state budget, aims to build on efforts at the Capitol to focus on high-tech manufacturing as part of the state’s economic mix.  At a news conference last Many to announce the formation of a “manufacturing caucus,” Sen. Gary LeBeau, D-East Hartford, said that over the last 10 years Connecticut has lost 50,000 jobs in manufacturing, which equates to 419 jobs lost each month. The caucus includes Sen. Tony Guglielmo (R-Stafford Springs), Rep. Zeke Zalaski (D-Southington), Rep. Vincent Candelora (R-North Branford), and Rep. Jeffrey Berger (D-Waterbury).