The new year will be an important one for the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) and New York state manufacturing.
MACNY was founded in 1913 and is currently the largest regional association of New York manufacturers. Our goal throughout our long, distinguished history has been to help manufacturers thrive by assisting them in lowering costs, improving profitability, and increasing their ability to compete with businesses throughout the world.
Manufacturing is one of the key wealth-generating sectors of the New York economy, contributing more than $65 billion annually to the state’s GDP. The state ranks eighth among in total manufacturing employment within a national economy that is still one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the world. And manufacturing creates growth in other industries too, with every manufacturing job creating 1.5 related jobs in other sectors.
New York has a rich history. Great companies such as IBM, Carrier, GE and Kodak are a part of the state’s grand tradition. However, today – more than ever – it is the small and medium manufacture that represents the strength and future of New York State manufacturing. They must find and service customers abroad to be successful in the 21st Century.
The other profound change is the level of skills needed by workforce have grown exponentially. Modern advanced manufacturing in the US will only thrive with a highly educated and skilled workforce. With record amounts of cash, ever increasing technology, surging domestic natural gas production, highly skilled workforces and expanding global market opportunities, aggressive, smart and forward looking New York State manufacturers have been and will be able to thrive in some of the most difficult economic climates. I witness state-based organizations doing so routinely.
Just as encouraging, we are seeing a sea change in the way advanced manufacturing is looked at by our communities. Once thought of as passé and undesired by too many, manufacturing is desired and sought after – seen as the economic engine. That is how it has always been.
So what should we be doing to move forward in 2013? We need to leverage an improving economic climate and even more technology to employ the most skilled workforce in creating products for global demands and markets. This is an approach that has proven successful.
Author Randy Wolken is president of MACNY, New York State’s leading manufacturing association. For more information, visit www.macny.org.