September 2015

steve-macias

Arizona Manufacturers Council Reloaded

by Steve Macias
September 8, 2015

As football season is upon us, it is often said that schools like Alabama and Oregon don’t rebuild, they just reload, and so it is with the Arizona Manufacturing Council (except without the chrome helmets).

As we plan forward for the 2016 legislative session, there are many issues to address for manufacturing and our economy and the AMC is poised and ready to help the state move forward and stay on track with our economic recovery.

Governor Doug Ducey has been a whirling dervish of engagement and promotion since he hit the ground running in January and his activity on a state, regional, national, and international level is already starting to pay dividends as companies take notice that Arizona is open for business.  The Governor’s ability to put together a coalition in pursuit of a goal is a valued skill that will serve the state well in our quest for quality jobs and economic development, and the AMC is ready to help.

But looming large is the funding issue of Career and Technical Education (CTE) as well as the Joint Technical Education Districts (JTEDs).   The recent economic downturn resulted in some tough funding decisions throughout the state budget, but the cutbacks in these programs will cause a time bomb of unprepared workers moving into the economy at the exact period when it is imperative to have those skills and those workers available.  If Arizona is to expand the technical and manufacturing sector, young people coming from the JTEDs and with CTE training will be critical for that expansion.

However, counter to that expansion and what appears to be the new trend, federal agencies such as the EPA and the NLRB continue to throw sand into the gears of economic expansion, and that is another front the AMC looks to address.  It is now to the point that I tell my youngest son not to splash water out of the bath for fear the EPA will determine my house a critical waterway.  Our three boys have already burned us by declaring my wife and I “Joint Employers” and demanding more steak, less school, and higher allowances, so we can already imagine the effect the NLRB rulings will have.

Fortunately the key to addressing these national issues is being able to work with our elected federal representatives, and from our most recently elected congressmen and women to our senior senator; they are taking the reins on problems ranging from Veterans Affairs to protecting the A-10 and the defense assets of our state.  Though their social and ideological stances may vary significantly, our current group has shown a willingness and eagerness to work together on matters affecting and benefitting Arizona that I have not seen in my years of experience, and it is hugely appreciated.

Wrapping this all together is a renewed focus and spirit within the AMC itself.  Mark Dobbins (SUMCO USA), our newly elected Chairman Emeritus, will be at the forefront of many issues, the JTED and CTE ones being chief amongst them.  Our spiritual lead and figurative cup of coffee is Dawn Grove with Karsten Manufacturing, maker of PING golf clubs. Dawn brings a passion and excitement for manufacturing that we look forward to unleashing on the general population, so get ready for some fun.

Now let’s all go out and build something, literally or otherwise, we’ll take all the help we can get!

 Steve Macias is the president of Pivot Manufacturing and the chairman of the Arizona Manufacturers Council