National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 2018 State of Manufacturing Tour
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) kicked off a 10-day State of Manufacturing Tour in February. Touring manufacturing representatives visited eight states and several manufacturing sites to share opportunities in manufacturing and the importance of the industry. NAM has been conducting this tour for the past four years, and it offers a chance for “telling the story of modern manufacturing,” according to NAM CEO Jay Timmons in the IndustryWeek article. If you missed the 2018 tour, catch up on some highlights!
Where did NAM travel this year?
The eight states NAM reps visited this year each offer unique manufacturing opportunities, and those presenting on behalf of the State of Manufacturing Tour touted the importance of manufacturing infrastructure and industry growth.
- Troy, Michigan — The tour stopped at Oakland Schools Technical Campus Northeast in addition to Troy’s BASF plant, a chemical company with products in many industries including automotive, construction, nutrition, plastics, and textiles. Michigan was a meaningful site for this kickoff since it’s central to American auto manufacturing, an industry that is rapidly changing due to automation. Indeed, NAM’s kickoff address in Troy was titled “Automation Alley.”
- Georgetown and Lexington, Kentucky — The two Kentucky stops featured a tour of the new Toyota production plant and a visit to Bluegrass Community and Technical College, an important part of NAM’s goal to provide outreach to students entering the industry. Of course, a visit to Kentucky wasn’t complete without a whiskey tasting at a Kentucky bourbon distillery.
- Indianapolis — This stop featured more educational outreach at Ivy Technical Community College as well as stops at major manufacturers International Paper and Eli Lilly.
- Birmingham, Alabama — The Birmingham stop included a visit to Lawson State Community College and to Altec, a company that provides equipment and products for telecommunications and electric utilities. This stop mixed the traditional with the new: In addition to stopping at Altec, which was founded in 1929, the tour also paid a visit to the Innovation Depot, a startup incubator.
- New York — Using this visit for an NYC media day, NAM made sure to spread its message in one of the most connected and influential cities in the world.
- Wichita, Kansas — A stop at the Cargill biodiesel plant put focus on the manufacturing and ecology merger, pointing to the importance of innovation for manufacturing’s future.
- San Francisco, San Jose, and Sunnyvale, California — Three separate stops over two days of the tour demonstrated California’s importance to the future of manufacturing. These stops included the cloud computing company Salesforce, leather manufacturer Circa of America, and Nextflex, a consortium working together on flexible hybrid electronics manufacturing, among others. These California stops highlighted the importance of technological advancement in the industry.
- St. Louis — The final stop on the tour featured a visit to Ranken Technical College and Anheuser-Busch, the beer and beverage manufacturer.
With stops like these, the NAM tour helps to demonstrate connections between manufacturing industry members and display the importance of understanding collaborative opportunities. By focusing on both long-standing and new companies, stopping at schools as well as established practices, and offering chances for the “story” of manufacturing to encompass them all, NAM paints an inclusive and connected future for manufacturing.
NAM’s successful State of Manufacturing Tour stops at different locations each year. If you missed the 2018 tour, be on the lookout for the 2019 lineup!
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