News and Analysis
In a mad dash, the Ohio House and Senate this week convened their final voting sessions of the 133rd General Assembly. Both chambers have adjourned until January when the 134th General Assembly will be sworn in.
In a whirlwind of activity affecting dozens of bills, Ohio manufacturers saw wins and losses. Most notably, the legislature failed to repeal Ohio’s scandal-tainted energy law, House Bill 6, while the OMA and its allies were successful in preventing the expansion of employer-funded workers’ comp coverage for PTSD mental injury claims (see separate stories). 12/23/2020
Over the past four years, President Trump transformed decades of U.S. trade policy through the use of tariffs, while ramping up enforcement and focusing on bilateral trade in goods. Will President-elect Joe Biden continue these policies or attempt to restore the multilateral trade approach of past presidential administrations? OMA Connections Partner Thompson Hine will conduct a free webinar at 2 p.m., Jan. 19 to examine expected U.S. trade policy for the next four years. 12/22/2020
In this short video at Engineering.com, manufacturing veteran Jim Anderton discusses malware attacks and how they threaten manufacturers. He also provides a list of vulnerable equipment and recommends that manufacturers check for security advisories on affected products. 12/21/2020
Ohio lawmakers are extending their lame-duck session into next week after they failed to resolve multiple issues, including a $2.5 billion capital budget and how to address the scandal-ridden House Bill 6 nuclear subsidies law.
Regardless of what legislation remains unfinished, the legislature’s current two-year session will end on Dec. 31 and all pending legislation will die. 12/18/2020
Ohio remains the nation’s No. 2 state for manufacturing jobs tied to automobile production. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Buckeye State had 177,000 motor vehicles and parts manufacturing jobs as of October 2020 — a 3.8% drop compared to October 2019. Only Michigan had more automobile-related manufacturing jobs, according to the data. 12/15/2020
The Wall Street Journal (subscription) reported this week on surging steel prices. Prices for hot-rolled sheet steel have doubled since August to a two-year high of $900 a ton as reduced availability has “touched off panic-buying by some manufacturers,” the article said. Lead times to fill orders have increased to 10 weeks, while “waits for coated steel and other varieties needing more processing are as long as three months.”
Meanwhile, beverage manufacturers continue to struggle with aluminum can supplies. 12/16/2020
OMA Connections Partner Schneider Downs has just released the results of its 2020 Manufacturing Survey. Key findings include:
- More than 60% of respondents said the economic downturn was the biggest challenge they faced this year.
- Respondents were enthusiastic about the future of manufacturing, with 76% replying optimistically.
- More than 40% of respondents believed this year’s election results will have a moderate impact on manufacturing, while 21% said the impact will be “significant.”
- Approximately half of respondents believed a win by Joe Biden would negatively impact manufacturing.
See the survey results here. 12/17/2020
For the second year in a row, personal finance website SmartAsset has crowned Cincinnati as America’s best city for beer drinkers. Cleveland isn’t far behind at No. 10. Other Ohio cities on the list are Columbus (No. 27), Akron (No. 37), and Dayton (No. 50). 12/15/2020
This week, Eric Burkland announced he will retire as president of the OMA after leading the organization for 31 years. Burkland’s retirement will be effective Dec. 31. See the OMA’s press release for the full announcement.
OMA Chairman Jane Neal, senior vice president at AMG Vanadium LLC, thanked Burkland for his long tenure of steady and creative leadership. She noted that the board appreciated his willingness to continue leading the OMA’s workforce development efforts.
National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons said Burkland has been “an indispensable partner in advancing manufacturing in the U.S.,” calling him “one of the strongest association leaders — and advocates — that manufacturers in Ohio and America will ever know.”
Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee added, “Eric Burkland set a best-in-class example of association leadership in addressing the skills gap in modern manufacturing.” She said Burkland has been “a key partner in accelerating efforts to recruit and educate the next generation” of manufacturers. 12/8/2020
File Photo: OMA President Eric Burkland (left), pictured with Carolyn Lee, executive director of The Manufacturing Institute, and Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.
Ryan Augsburger, OMA vice president and managing director of public policy services, has been named the OMA’s next president by the board of directors. The transition will take place Jan. 1, 2021, following the retirement of longtime President Eric Burkland.
Since 2004, Augsburger has led OMA’s lobbying efforts at the Statehouse and spearheaded the association’s member involvement in public affairs activities.
Prior to joining the OMA staff, Augsburger served in the administration of Gov. Bob Taft as deputy director of the Ohio Department of Commerce. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University. 12/9/2020