Happy New Year to each of you! I hope by now that we have the holidays behind us and we are beginning to re-focus on the tasks at hand for 2013. As I have been writing, it seems like each month our country is faced with some type challenge. As most business men and women know, if the country faces challenges most likely our businesses will as well. We ended 2012 on the fiscal cliff now headed in 2013 towards the monster known as the debt ceiling. Through the holidays we saw the very best of human kindness only to be shadowed by the worst of human tragedy.
As the backbone of our nation’s economy, the entrepreneurial based companies, regardless of industries served, must rise again to the forefront in leading our nation through an ever changing political and economic landscape. Part of that leadership must revolve around personal leadership of our companies and the team members that work for us. It must include our involvement in the process, whether it is through joining forces together through Trade Associations like NTMA, or through your personal civic commitment.
NTMA’s own Mark Romanchuk, a shop owner, did that by interjecting himself into the political arena and won the election in November to become a State Representative for the great State of Ohio. Mark, committed to Small Business, Manufacturing and job growth, will be a great spokesman for all entrepreneurial based businesses. Again whether one jumps in with both feet like Mark, or joins together through Associations, the real point is we "all" must get involved. As Omar Nashashibi of the Franklin Partnership has told us for years, "If you are not at the table you are on the menu." Unfortunately that is some what funny, but true regardless at what table you chose to sit; Associational Boards, Community Economic Development Groups, local/nation business industry councils, and the list of opportunities goes on and on.
For NTMA the future direction on our member’s behalf is clear, focused, and moving forward. The real test of our progress for both effectiveness and speed is the willingness of our member company’s ownership and key leadership, to step up and be willing to set at the table on behalf of themselves, our members and our industry.
NTMA’s focus on education/training, advocacy, technology, and industry partnerships avails many opportunities for members to sit at the table and to influence our association and industry. NTMA is not the focus, rather it exists to serve as the rallying point for our industry and to supply the needed resources to carry out our combined direction of you the member. Alone, most companies cannot financially support such resources or open the doors to influence change in the focused areas mentioned above. There is strength in numbers and as the story goes about the individuals strands in a rope; any single strand can be broken, however many strands bound together cannot be broken. Ladies and gentlemen, the reality is that we continue to see the strength of our nation weakened one strand at a time. We can no longer afford to depend on others to protect, lead, or advocate on our behalves personally or professionally.
For NTMA to continue to be the rallying point of our industry, we need individuals willing to serve and to join forces with us for the good of all. We cannot look at, or navigate the challenges ahead alone, but must join together to rethread the strength of our industry and the important role we play in our nation’s economy. It is time to step out and step up in supporting our association and industry with the same passion that has made you successful today. Many have gone before us to clear the way for us now and it is our time to give back and take the lead. Joining forces with other like mind leaders brings out the best in everyone and the combined effort is what gets us all to the next level or through the next challenge.
In my early travels this year this new message came through loud and clear. In my recent visit to the North Texas Chapter I visited with member companies and leaders who are on the move. As a Chapter, they are moving together as witnessed by a gathering of 95-100 people packed together in a member company’s shop surrounded by the latest in manufacturing technology taking about the future and the leaders of tomorrow. North Texas is planning for the future while working on today.
Just last week, I was reminded of the combined effort and synergies taking place among NTMA and our industry partners. I had the privilege to spend the afternoon with the President and key leaders of one of the major machine tool builders. We walked through my company and discussed the current and future needs and opportunities for the manufacturing industry. We discussed the growing Reshoring of products to the United States and the opportunities afforded those who are prepared. We discussed the importance of our growing relationship to capitalize on the future through new technology in machine tools, tooling, work holding, and manufacturing systems.
For us to be successful it is going to take us all working together. The time is now. We need more members to lead the charge for today while preparing more leaders for tomorrow. We must all do our part and I passionately believe that NTMA can again be that rallying point of which we revolve. Again it is not about NTMA, it is about the resurgence and sustainment of US Manufacturing. I urge you to be a part.
I wish each of you a great and successful year and look forward to working hand and hand with you for the sake of us all. Let me personally invite each of you the 2013 MFG Meeting this March. Industry leaders from all over the nation will be there with the single focus of "manufacturing". I hope to see you there and until then my commitment to you remains "Transforming for Competitiveness".