It’s Time to Refocus on Growing Manufacturing Again
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

The events of the past few days have demonstrated to me once again the importance of our democracy. As a former member of the U.S. Army and graduate of West Point, I was horrified and saddened by the events that occurred on Wednesday. The breaching of the Capitol by a group of angry protestors was unprecedented. We are a country well-known for its peaceful transitions of power after contested elections. It’s now time to honor this tradition with dignity and respect for our democratic way of life.

The elections are behind us now. In both Washington and Albany, newly elected officials will begin to govern. MACNY remains committed to working with our elected officials to enhance and grow manufacturing. It is time for us to focus on one very important lesson learned during this pandemic and economic crisis. U.S. Manufacturing matters greatly to the health and wellbeing of our nation. We learned the hard way that we need to make vital healthcare supplies stateside, so they are readily available when we need them. We also need to make so many more of the products we use in the United States. It’s vital to our national defense and our overall economic vitality. We will need strong public policy to make that a reality.

We need better public policies that encourage domestic production. As our nation recovers from this pandemic, strong growth policies will help us put people back to work and enhance local manufacturing. This helps everyone. Manufacturing jobs pay the best of any industry and are accessible to individuals with skills training, technical degrees, and college degrees. We can lead in the development of state-of-the-art technologies that can solve our most difficult challenges. New York can lead in so many ways. A healthy manufacturing and technology base will allow New York to recover more quickly from the COVID-19 crisis.

To do this, we need more skilled workers. MACNY and our Manufacturers Alliance partners are focused on both apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship paths to help manufacturers secure the workforce they need. The New York State Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (NYS MIAP) is a nation-leading approach to assisting companies in finding and training the talent they need. We are also the state leader in helping businesses connect to P-TECH programs and Career Awareness at the middle and high school levels. As a nation and state, we will need to invest even more in creating paths to high-tech careers.

We will also need tax policies and other incentives to encourage capital investment and production of manufactured goods in New York State and the United States. It is a global competition to secure these outstanding jobs and companies, and we need to find the will and way to see it happens here. We can build back better with smart growth policies. Such policies will put us on the path to success as we secure the companies that will employ our communities’ individuals. Creating a robust ecosystem of growth must be a top priority of local, state, and federal representatives.

When we focus on how we grow back better, we can take the lead in the national recovery. We have the people, the schools, the companies, and the community to once again grow in New York State. That must be our number one goal as we work together to create a better future for ourselves and our children.