Manufacturing a Strong Union

Gray CEO Stephen Gray gives his thoughts on manufacturing’s place in the State of the Union Address.

It was clear to me in the State of the Union address that manufacturing will continue to play a large role in the economic recovery of our country. Many of the issues addressed by President Obama directly relate to the success of America’s manufacturing sector. I am pleased to see that our nation’s highest office sees the same opportunities I do when I look at manufacturing.

 

As our nation continues to recover from a period of harsh economic decline, jobs are a key issue. As was mentioned in the address, “[US] manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three [years].” Many of our customers have added to this total. As the President pointed out, Caterpillar is a prime example of how manufactures can provide the kind of new investment and new jobs that the U.S. needs to bolster the recovery. Our team was fortunate enough to design and build two facilities for Caterpillar, one in North Carolina and one in Georgia. Caterpillar’s Athens, GA manufacturing facility has helped create over 400 construction jobs and will create over 1,400 jobs for Caterpillar and their suppliers. Their axle manufacturing facility in North Carolina created over 400 new jobs at that facility alone. No other industry has such a strong jobs multiplier. 

 

Which leads me to America’s energy market, another focal point the President’s speech. Facilities like Siemens’ gas turbine manufacturing facility in Charlotte are helping America reshape its energy market. These improvements in turn make our manufacturers more competitive and make the U.S. a more attractive place for investment. Energy facilities also directly create new jobs; Siemens’ investment in Charlotte created over 1,500 construction jobs and more than 800 permanent jobs once the facility was complete. 

 

It should be clear to all that manufacturing can provide new, lasting strength to our economy.

 

    February 14, 2013

    Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a contributing author and not necessarily Gray.

    Get the latest.