Local Manufacturing Leaders Join Rep. Malinowski for Conversation on Strengthening Domestic Manufacturing
The current supply chain disruptions and workforce challenges are wearing down manufacturers in New Jersey and nationwide. Manufacturers need support from both public and private partners to weather this storm. NJMEP and a select group of manufacturing leaders in New Jersey had an in-person roundtable discussion on this topic with Rep. Tom Malinowski and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo on October 13th. Participants shared their experiences and perspectives with the legislators to help inform these policymakers on the real-world challenges the industry continues to face.
NJMEP COO, Peter Connolly joined local industry leaders – Haleon, US Commercial Supply Chain and Logistics Lead, Deborah Egan; Intertek Labs President, Mary La Bella; Peraton Labs President, Dr. Petros Mouchtaris; and Precision Graphics Inc. CEO, Alec Weissman in the October 13th conversation in Westfield, NJ. These local manufacturing leaders are highlighting the true impact of supply chain disruptions on local businesses and how these interruptions create a chain reaction nationwide. They discussed local manufacturing, solutions for strengthening the domestic supply chain, and creating more industrial career opportunities for local communities during the discussion.
Forward Progress in Domestic Manufacturing
Policies like the CHIPS and Science Act and Inflation Reduction Act give a boost to domestic manufacturing while strengthening the economy but more work needs to be done to move the industry forward. Part of the CHIPS Act includes establishing a national supply chain database for domestic manufacturers. NJMEP has been working with legislators including Sen. Bob Menendez to create the national supply chain database and have been instrumental in developing the CHIPS Act. Having NJMEP participate in this roundtable was invaluable to ensure the voice of the domestic manufacturer is heard, the supply chain becomes more resilient, and the talent pipeline is restored.
“Supply chain and workforce issues has changed drastically over the last few years and had applied pressure on U.S. manufacturing firms. In addition to disruptions in the supply chain, plus the higher cost of materials, we are also experiencing a reduction in our entire workforce due to retirements. The Department of Commerce through the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP) is developing a National Supply Chain Database capable of providing a transparent view of the national supply chain to determine in near real-time the United States manufacturing capabilities for critical products, including defense supplies, food, and medical devices,” said Peter Connolly, COO of New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program.
Rep. Malinowski has been a proponent of New Jersey’s manufacturing industry. He authored part of the America COMPETES Act, which invests in innovation through research and development that improves the competitiveness of US manufacturing globally. Rep. Malinowski and US Secretary of Commerce Raimondo wanted to hear about the challenges and solutions directly from the manufacturing leaders to work on policy that will best help mitigate the impending supply chain disruptions and address the industry’s workforce challenges.
“New Jersey companies are poised to lead America in making the technologies of the future,” said Rep. Malinowski. “We must build on the CHIPS Act to bring home supply chains for advanced manufacturing, so that our businesses can thrive, costs for consumers come down, and our dependence on adversaries for critical goods comes to an end.”
Conversations are needed to strengthen our supply chain and improve workforce opportunities for New Jersey and nationally. Having this discussion shows the importance of dialogue between manufacturing leaders and legislators to find a solution for the supply chain challenges. Improving the national supply chain, restoring the manufacturing pipelines, and relying less on foreign production boosts US manufacturing, businesses, the economy, and most importantly, increase career opportunities for New Jersey’s residents.