News and Analysis
According to IndustryWeek, a new nationwide survey of manufacturing CEOs shows how business leaders’ perspectives have been shaped by COVID-19. The survey, conducted by the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI), focused on global industrial manufacturing firms. Among the findings were the following:
- About 8 out of 10 CEOs do not envision a full recovery by next summer.
- Roughly 75% believe the U.S.’ accelerated “de-coupling” from China will affect their operations globally.
- A significant majority, 85%, believe a large proportion of their production for regional markets around the world will be located in-country to help mitigate future supply chain disruptions.
- Two-thirds say their domestic automation capabilities will play a large role in their decision-making process.
- Roughly eight out of 10 CEOs forecast that dramatic design changes will be permanently incorporated into their shop floors for worker health and safety.
- And 85% say their annualized investment in smart-factory initiatives will be rising, as the pandemic has pushed up the timetable for digitalization and virtualization.
On the issue of hiring, two-thirds of CEOs expected to hire or promote at least 20% more underrepresented employees than before. 7/21/2020
As Congress considers another round of economic stimulus related to COVID-19, a new study shows that manufacturers have been a top beneficiary of the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
This infographic by HowMuch.net shows that three industries other than health care — which has received $67.36 billion in PPP loans — have received more than $50 billion, including professional services ($66.43 billion), construction ($64.57 billion) and manufacturing ($54 billion) under the PPP. 7/22/2020
While digital transformation was already a crucial area of focus for manufacturers before 2020, the pandemic has forced companies to adopt digital initiatives at a more rapid clip. This new report by OMA Connections Partner RSM provides a comprehensive look at how business leaders in the industrials space are approaching digital transformation and Industry 4.0 technologies. Included are key findings from an RSM survey of manufacturing executives, insights on the impact of the pandemic, and RSM’s recommendations for how companies can continue their digital evolution. 7/24/2020
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted this week announced that $20 million in grant funding will be sent from the Development Services Agency to manufacturers for retooling and reshoring projects related to personal protective equipment (PPE). He said 68 Ohio manufacturers would receive awards worth up to $500,000. The grants are expected to create 829 new jobs and retain 1,133 existing positions. More than half of the awards went to businesses with fewer than 25 workers.
Earlier this year, the OMA worked with key partners to establish the Ohio Manufacturing Alliance to Fight COVID-19 to help meet the demand for more PPE used by health care workers, first responders and essential employees. Lt. Gov. Husted said the lack of PPE was a contributing factor that led to a shutdown of many businesses and other activity. “We don’t want to find ourselves in this position again.” he said. 7/16/2020
Partnering with the National Association of Manufacturers and dozens of other national and state associations, the OMA recently co-signed a letter urging congressional leaders to support investment in infrastructure as an economic recovery tool. The letter specifically encourages bipartisan support for surface transportation re-authorization legislation ahead of the Sept. 30, 2020 deadline. 7/16/2020
As federal lawmakers prepare to debate another coronavirus emergency package, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) reports that the number of people apparently collecting Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits far exceeds — by nearly 6 million — the total number who have applied to get on the temporary benefits program.
Important decisions impacting employers will be made soon, including whether to extend the $600 per week federal bonus payments (which AEI says has resulted in five of six workers earning more in unemployment benefits than wages) . The think tank says that as options are weighed, “policymakers — and all Americans — deserve an accurate accounting of the number collecting these benefits.” 7/15/2020
The National Association of Manufacturers reports that the Defense Department’s Joint Acquisition Task Force recently released information about the Commercial Solution Opening (CSO) — a new way for manufacturers to submit proposals to help meet the federal government’s needs in the fight against COVID-19. This could help interested businesses quickly secure a cost-sharing agreement to expand domestic production capacity for critical medical supplies.
The CSO’s focus areas include masks, fiber and materials; screening and diagnostics; gloves and gowns; and pharmaceuticals. Reports say that $150 million is available for domestic industrial expansion cost-sharing support through the CSO. If you are interested, you must submit your proposal before Aug. 3, 2020. 7/16/2020
As Gov. DeWIne announced on Tuesday during his press briefing, counties alert-coded red or purple under the new “Ohio Public Health Advisory Alert System,” will be under a new order that generally requires a face covering while in public. The order takes effect this week for affected counties.
The Ohio Department of Health will update county rankings every Thursday based on data through Wednesday. Any county that increases to Red Alert Level 3 will automatically be included in the face-covering mandate. Any county that decreases from Red Alert Level 3 to Orange Alert Level 2 will automatically be released from the face-covering requirement.
A new, amended order is expected late today; we will have an analysis of it for members early next week. 7/9/2020
Last week Governor DeWine announced new guidance for resuming school in the fall. The newly issued guidance report advises schools to vigilantly assess symptoms, wash and sanitize hands to prevent spread, thoroughly clean and sanitize the school environment to limit spread on shared surfaces, practice social distancing, and implement a face coverings policy.
To assist schools in their efforts to implement the guidance, the Ohio Department of Education has created a document titled, “The Reset and Restart Education Planning Guide for Ohio Schools and Districts,” which is designed to help teachers, principals, and administrators with solutions to safety challenges. The document provides resources and information for community decision-makers as they contemplate how to reopen safely.
In creating its recommendations, the administration considered –among other guidance — the American Academy of Pediatrics, COVID-19 Planning Considerations: Guidance for School Re-entry, which “strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school. … Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits as well as child and adolescent physical or sexual abuse, substance use, depression, and suicidal ideation.” 7/6/2020
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is responding to the rise in COVID-19 cases across the country with a new ad set featuring social media star Charles Mallet (“Grandpa Charles”) that encourages the wider use of face coverings in public spaces by younger people.