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ELECTRO-TECHNOLOGY FOR INDUSTRY
Pfannenberg’s Compact Chiller
(CC) Series offers features
usually found in larger chillers.
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CC Chiller Series
different than how they were
being managed pre-crisis.
You’re starting to see a diversification of that supply chain
which leads to a tendency to
see more manufacturing closer to home and closer to the
The U.S. is still a relatively
attractive end market. It’s still
a healthy economy, relatively
speaking, and still attracting
investment — both organic
and foreign investment. There
are a number of factors that
paint the picture for resurgence in domestic manufacturing. Some benefits more
than others. Heavy equipment is one that can benefit
because of the supply chain
and the cost of transportation. It’s now a factor that
outweighs labor costs in some
BB: I would agree. I think
we’re seeing companies trying
to manufacture close to their
customer. On a relative basis you’re seeing people be more confident
about the U.S. prospects. I think that’s contributing to that growth.
It’s pronounced in industrial manufacturing.
IMPO: Some economists say that the unemployment rate is something we place far too much emphasis on. Do you agree with that?
What are the job prospects as they relate to manufacturing?
BM: When I look at manufacturing and look at the jobs story, it’s a
little bit of a ‘tale of two cities.’ Given all of the potential for growth
and resurgence — that creates jobs. Are we creating as many jobs as
we may have lost in the recession? I think it’s probably incrementally
less than what has been lost. But the other part of the story is the
skills gap. There are significant opportunities and jobs within manufacturing that are not being filled. It’s connecting the opportunities to
the skills and the training that I think is really the story for manufacturing. It’s also a perception issue. Manufacturers still have some work
to do on the public perception of what a manufacturing job is.
BB: I don’t think (manufacturers) spend a lot of time looking at the
jobless numbers being up or down and use it to make decisions whether to invest or hire. I think they’re more focused on the end markets
that they participate in, and what the prospects are, and then designing
a strategy around that. I think they’re trying to get a lot more of the very
specific data that’s relevant to them, versus trying to make decisions on
this big overall data. As it relates to the skills gap, I think companies
are beginning to realize they need to get serious about it and they need
to figure out what to do in the short term to fill those holes, and the
medium term, and long term to train the future workers with the skills
they’re going to need going forward. In some cases they’re doing the
training themselves, using an apprentice type model. You’re also seeing
a lot of partnering with colleges and trade schools. You’re finding companies being a lot more active in this training.