Test Drive - Page 3

INTRODUCTION Manufacturing Success in Texas Tony Bennett, president of the Texas Association of Manufacturers, recently spoke about the business environment in the state and various issues affecting the vitality and future of our manufacturing sector as follows. For many years now, Texas has had the reputation of being heaven on earth for manufacturers. We have inexpensive energy, very efficient access to global markets and the ports along the Texas coast to help us get our products anywhere in the world. Texas is located in the center of the country and that brings efficiency to logistics and supply chain issues. We have low taxes and we have sensible regulation. Our Texas Universities have strong graduation rates, which is encouraging for our workforce needs. There are some gaps in workforce demands and the industry is working closely with community colleges, to help prepare the future workforce for the high-quality jobs manufacturers have to offer. It appears that Texas will continue to offer pro-business politics for many years to come and our business environment has become the envy of other states and many countries around the world. It is costly to move parts to a plant for manufacturing and final assembly and to take that product and deliver it to the customer. Texas has a geographic advantage because we are located in the center of the United States, and also in the center of North America. Our state's number one trading partner is Mexico with Canada, second giving an advantage to being located in the middle of the best market in the world. Manufacturers and suppliers can deliver goods and supplies to the many Texas airports, and we have access to ports in Corpus, Houston, and Beaumont allowing distribution of products anywhere in the world. We are also seeing more re-shoring or onshoring – bringing back jobs that used to be in China and other places overseas. Many of those jobs come back to North American and to Texas. Advanced manufacturing technologies are in many of today’s processes with robotics, nanotechnology, micro-electromechanical systems and 3-D printers being found in nearly every sector and region of our state's manufacturing economy. There will be a retrofitting of fabrication plants all over the world with equipment in fabricating industries needing to be modernized. Manufacturers need many different skilled workers including engineers, welders, electrical engineers, and assemblers of products. There is need of every kind of skill sets imaginable to fill the current need and to prepare for the retiring manufacturing workforce as baby boomers retire in big numbers over the next five to 10 years. The Need for a Skilled Workforce In Texas, we have discovered a leak in the education pipeline between the number of students who enter into college and the number who exit, which results in costly Copyright 2016 North Central Texas InterLink, Inc. ~ All rights reserved. 1