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Survey: Ohio Manufacturers Optimistic About 2020

February 21, 2020

Ohio manufacturers are optimistic about their 2020 growth prospects, with more than 70% expecting higher revenue this year. That’s the finding from a new statewide survey of 673 Ohio manufacturers in more than 25 subsectors of the industry. Conducted by Northeast Ohio’s MAGNET and the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), the survey also found:

  • Retention and development of current employees — along with recruitment of new ones — is the top priority of Ohio manufacturers. In Northeast Ohio alone, there are roughly 8,000 open manufacturing jobs today.
  • Nearly 60% of Ohio manufacturers said the skilled worker shortage was the top factor hindering their growth, followed by rising health care costs (30%), retirement of current workers (26%), and the rising cost of raw materials (25%).
  • Ohio manufacturers are falling behind on Industry 4.0 adoption, particularly small- and medium-sized firms.

Last week, MAGNET president and CEO Ethan Karp joined a panel of manufacturing executives to discuss the survey results at a City Club of Cleveland forum. Next month, on March 10, FASTLANE — West Central Ohio’s MEP — will host an event to review the survey’s findings. 2/17/2020

OMA Members Eligible to Receive Significant UPS Shipping Discounts

February 21, 2020

One of the benefits of OMA membership is discounted shipping prices, thanks to the OMA’s partnership with UPS. Members can save 50% on Domestic Next-Day/Deferred, 30% on Ground Commercial/Residential, 10% on Domestic Next-Day Air® Early, 75% or more on less-than-truckload freight shipments over 150 lbs., and up to 50% on additional services.

Also, take advantage of UPS Smart Pickup® — a free service that uses innovative technology to automatically arrange a pickup only when you have a package to ship. To enroll, click here or call 1-800-MEMBERS. 2/17/2020

Gallup Surveys Small-Business Owners on 2020 Election

February 14, 2020

Gallup reports that small-business owners are highly engaged in the 2020 presidential election campaign, as 60% say they are paying “a lot” and 30% “some” attention to it.

According to findings from Gallup’s Jan. 15-24 nationwide online survey of small-business owners, 60% approve of the job that Donald Trump is doing as president. When presented a list of six federal policy issues important to small businesses, taxes (32%) received the most mentions, followed by regulations (21%), health care (20%), tariffs (15%), climate change (7%), and immigration (5%). 2/11/2020

Ohio’s Leading Index Predicts Growth Over Next Six Months

February 14, 2020

This week, the Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) released its monthly financial report. Findings include:

  • The Leading Index for Ohio — which predicts growth over the next six months — increased to 1.3% in December, up slightly from 1.2% in November.
  • In January, Ohio’s general revenue fund exceeded revenue estimates by $44.7 million (2.0%). Year-to-date tax revenues are $138 million (1.0%) above forecasts.
  • Ohio’s manufacturing production increased 0.2% in December after a 1% increase the previous month.

OBM notes that the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) increased to above the neutral level after five consecutive months of contraction, “suggesting the trend in manufacturing activity might be turning up.” 2/10/2020

As Coronavirus Spreads, so Does Risk to Supply Chains

February 14, 2020

The coronavirus is starting to affect the supply chains of critical industries across the globe. OMA Connections Partner RSM notes that roughly 30% of all imported manufacturing inputs in the U.S. came from China in 2015, so “the potential for a ripple effect across the world and to the middle market is enormous.” See RSM’s analysis. 2/13/2020

Worldwide Manufacturing Activity Expanded in January

February 14, 2020

The J.P. Morgan Global Manufacturing PMI expanded for the third straight month, rising to a nine-month high by increasing from 50.1 in December to 50.4 in January. This suggests the manufacturing sector last month was experiencing slight expansionary growth worldwide. However, the bulk of the sentiment surveys and economic data used by the study predated recent worries about the coronavirus and related production disruptions. 2/13/2020

Hearings Continue on Bill to Reduce Statute of Limitations for Contracts

February 14, 2020

This week, the Ohio Senate continued to hear testimony on House Bill 251. Supported by the OMA, the bill would reduce the statute of limitations for oral and written contracts.

Under HB 251, the statute of limitations for written contracts would be reduced from the current eight years to six; for oral contracts, it would be reduced from six years to four. The OMA testified in support with the Ohio Alliance for Civil Justice. 2/13/2020

Preparing Your Employees for the 2020 Election

February 7, 2020

Ohio’s primary election is less than six weeks away — and there’s much at stake this election year. Studies show that employees trust information from their employers on voting and elections. You can provide non-partisan resources to your employees for the purposes of registering to vote or understanding the elections overall. However, all communications should remain unbiased.

Take a moment to remind employees that the deadline to register to vote in Ohio’s March 17 primary election is Tuesday, Feb. 18. Ohioans can register online, or obtain a form to update their home address. Those who are unsure if they’re already registered can check their voter registration online.

There’s a lot of other useful voter information at the Secretary of State’s website — including how to request absentee ballots, as well as finding your polling place. 2/3/2020

MAGNET Showcases New Manufacturing Technology

January 31, 2020

This week, OMA staff participated in a ribbon cutting at the headquarters of Cleveland-based MAGNET, which is part of the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Ohio MEP). The event marked the official opening of MAGNET’s “Manufacturing Technology Experience.”

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, who oversees the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, led the ceremony to showcase new “Industry 4.0” technologies — including collaborative robots, AI, AR/VR, machine vision, 3-D printing devices, and more.

Acquired with the help of state and federal funds, these advanced technologies will enhance MAGNET’s consulting and engineering work with Northeast Ohio’s small and mid-sized manufacturers. The new technology will also offer manufacturing executives a hands-on showroom to evaluate these technologies. View pictures of this week’s event, or email MAGNET to schedule your personal tour of the facility. 1/28/2020

Leading this week’s ribbon cutting ceremony at MAGNET were (from left) Ethan Karp, president and CEO of MAGNET; Felix Brueck, MAGNET board chairman; Lt. Gov. Jon Husted; Robert “Bob” Smith, JobsOhio board chairman; and Eric Burkland, OMA president.

Senate Begins Hearings on Bill to Reduce Statute of Limitations on Contracts

January 31, 2020

The Ohio Senate this week heard sponsor testimony on House Bill 251. The bill, which is supported by the OMA and the business community, would reduce the statute of limitations for oral contracts from six years to four years — and for written contracts from eight years to six years.

As introduced, HB 251 would have reduced the statute of limitations for both types of contracts to three years. However, the House amended the bill after much discussion with the interested parties. The bill is expected to have several more hearings in the near term. 1/30/2010