I was recently interviewed by the Wall Street Journal for an article that appeared today on the state of our economy, which paints a balanced picture by drawing on several sources from varied industries. It’s true that the economic rebound is still a tentative and rather slow, but in manufacturing, we’re starting to see some very positive signs that are reason for optimism. Just last week we announced that Gray will design and build a new $200 million manufacturing plant in Georgia for Caterpillar, which is just one more sign that manufacturing is showing early signs of an upswing. Hear it in the words of a few of my team members:
“Our customers take great pains to make sure their investment in a new facility or expansion is going to pay off. If you’re dealing with a project ranging in the hundreds of millions of dollars, there is no room for hunches. One of their biggest indicators is demand; without an increase in demand for a product there is no reason to increase production. The rise in demand for manufacturing plant construction tells me they are seeing a rise in demand.”
Phil Seale – Sr. Vice President, Manufacturing, Food & Beverage Market
“My optimism comes from our qualified leads. Before we consider putting full effort into chasing a project, we want to make sure there’s a real possibility it’s going to go through. We’ve certainly seen a rise in the number of leads that we can quickly qualify over the last 12-18 months, and they’re not just coming from one sector of manufacturing. It’s those strong new leads that feed my optimism.”
Jeff Bischoff – Sr. Vice President, Business Development
“Staying on top of key market trends is paramount in our industry, especially in the economy we’ve all been experiencing. Without a wide range of sources posting positive signs, you really can’t look too far out into the future. Our research continues to produce results that give us reason to believe our core markets, especially manufacturing, are gaining momentum. Trends such as these enable us to plan strategically for the next year and beyond.”
Jill Wilson - Vice President, Communications & Marketing
Although there are many economic factors at work and we still have a long way to go, signs such as these should give us good enough reason to expect continued good news from manufacturing and its growing contribution to the economic recovery.