News and Analysis
It’s here — Manufacturing Day 2019. Throughout Ohio, manufacturers, community colleges, and others are opening their doors to give students a firsthand look at the many rewarding, well-paying career options in the manufacturing sector.
Not all of Ohio’s MFG Day events will take place today. Several will be held later this month. So if your company wants to host an event to inspire the next generation of manufacturers, there’s still time. (By the way, be sure to send us images from your MFG Day event to share on OMA’s social media.)
Meanwhile, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted have recognized October as Manufacturing Month. In a proclamation presented to the OMA, the state’s top two leaders point out that Ohio is the third largest manufacturing state — and that manufacturing provides more than 700,000 Ohio jobs, while employing more than 20% of rural Ohioans. 10/4/2019
In a guest column published this week by The Business Journal in Youngstown, OMA President Eric Burkland discusses the biggest change in automotive technology in more than a century — the electrification of cars and trucks — and the opportunity it presents Ohio to power the next generation of automotive manufacturing.
Burkland writes: “With its proposal of a battery cell factory, General Motors is offering Ohio — particularly the Mahoning Valley — the chance to be at the forefront of this revolution.” He concludes that Ohio “cannot afford to miss such opportunities.” 10/2/2019
Late last week, President Trump signed a seven-week continuing resolution into law to keep the federal government running through Nov. 21. Of note for manufacturers, the extension includes a short-term reauthorization of the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im). The National Association of Manufacturers’ Linda Dempsey said while this move was a necessary step, Ex-Im users need more certainty to plan for the future. As the nation’s official export credit agency, Ex-Im has served 159 exporters in Ohio since 2015, with a combined $1 billion in exports. 10/1/2019
This week, DuPont broke ground on a new, $220 million expansion of its Circleville facility. Already one of the largest employers in Pickaway County — employing 500 full-time workers — the company is expected to add around 50 new jobs. The expansion will allow DuPont to increase its ability to manufacture Kapton® — a durable and versatile plastic film used in numerous applications, from cell phones to space travel.
Steve Irwin, plant manager and an OMA board member, led this week’s groundbreaking, which was attended by Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) and District 17 Sen. Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House). 10/1/2019
This week it was announced that Rep. Louis Blessing III (R-Colerain Township) has been selected this week to fill the Ohio Senate’s vacant 8th District seat, representing a large section of Hamilton County. The seat was formerly held by Lou Terhar, who resigned for health reasons. 10/2/2019
A recent comparison by the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council shows Ohio’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) fees are 21st lowest among the 50 states. The rankings were determined by applying each state’s maximum UI tax rate to its wage base, then taking that figure as a share of the state’s average pay. Ohio fell six spots from its 2018 position due mostly to other states lowering their UI fees. 9/30/2019
In a victory for the state’s legal climate, as well as common sense, the Supreme Court of Ohio has reversed a lower court’s award of $360,000 — which had been reduced from more than $1.3 million awarded by a jury — in a suit against a grocery store chain. The case involved a customer who was injured by another driving a motorized shopping cart in 2012. The Sept. 19 decision is a blow to trial lawyers pushing similar injury lawsuits against Ohio businesses.
In a rare 7-0 decision, the court said Giant Eagle was not liable because there was insufficient evidence that the store’s actions caused the incident. Justice Melody J. Stewart, a Democrat, wrote on behalf of court: “It is not enough for the plaintiff to assert or speculate that the defendant’s actions or failure to act might have caused the injury.” 9/23/2019
State Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) — a former speaker of the Ohio House — has announced his resignation. He will step down on Thursday, Oct. 3, to lead Rio Grande Community College and the private Rio Grande University.
Rep. Smith, who is term-limited next year, was elected speaker in June 2018 after the resignation of former Speaker Cliff Rosenberger. He lost a hard-fought campaign for the speaker post to Rep. Larry Householder (R-Glenford) earlier this year. 9/26/2019
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) this week released the results of its Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for Q3 2019. For the second consecutive quarter, the survey showed a drop in manufacturers’ optimism amid uncertainties, a softening global economy, and worsening workforce shortage. While 68% of manufacturers had a positive outlook for their business in the third quarter, that was down from 79.8% in the second quarter and 89.5% in the first quarter. 9/25/2019
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) reports that the Trump administration successfully negotiated changes to the Universal Postal Union (UPU) to protect manufacturers from counterfeiters and other bad actors who have been exploiting the international system by shipping packages to the U.S. at highly subsidized rates.
The NAM notes that some countries in the UPU, such as China, pay lower rates because they were classified as “developing countries” when the terms of the UPU were originally agreed to. NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons says the changes announced this week will “level the playing field.” 9/25/2019