OPINION: Making Manufacturing Great Again Will Require A Two-Pronged Approach

Employment in manufacturing peaked in the late 1970s at over 19 million. Since then, despite occasional positive bumps, manufacturing employment has shown a long-term secular decline. Today, fewer than 13 million workers are employed in factory jobs. This long-run, large scale decline in employment is largely attributable to automation and the offshoring of jobs to low-wage countries. The workers most affected by these technological and global shifts are unfortunately those with the least skills, whose jobs are most susceptible to these causes of displacement. The Carrier deal that President-elect Trump pushed through prevented fewer than a thousand jobs from being offshored, but as the CEO of United Technologies put it to CNBC, many of these jobs will be automated anyway; hence the benefit to US workers is likely very low. Even a thousand such deals are not the solution to the displacement occurring in manufacturing. The correct response to this predicament is skill upgradation, so that workers can work with these new technologies, as complements rather than substitutes. Beyond that, manufacturing also badly needs an image makeover.

In an interview, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, claimed the lack of skilled workers in the U.S. as the reason for the company doing its actual production in China. While some speculate that the skills gap is more fiction than fact, there is clearly a problem in the manufacturing jobs market. Between 2005 and 2016, employment in manufacturing declined by 14%. There many potential reasons for this decline in employment: slow hiring, a small supply of workers, or turnover from workers quitting or being fired. The charts below, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ JOLTS survey, are fairly revealing. Over the same period of employment decline, the number of job vacancies increased from 303,000 to 346,000 while the number of people hired for jobs declined from 369,000 to 272,000.


In addition, as the chart below shows, people were less likely to quit their factory jobs during the recession, but the quit rate is returning to pre-recession levels. Layoffs have fallen and remain low, bringing total separations down as well.


Today, there are 322,000 vacancies that are unfilled. Clearly, manufacturing jobs exist, and employers are ready to hire, but for some reason workers and firms are not matching up to fill these jobs. What could explain that?

As a recent study in the Journal of Economic Perspectives shows, there has been a global shift towards the value added by high skill workers in manufacturing and a shift away from low and medium skill workers. As manufacturing has become more technologically advanced, the demand for skilled workers to occupy positions has grown, but many companies appear unable to find people with the requisite skills. As per a recent report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, 70% of companies reported shortages of workers with adequate technology, computer and technical skills, despite their willingness to pay higher than the market wage in their area. As a result, nearly 2 million jobs will go unfilled over the next decade due to this skills gap.

But there is more to the skills gap than just workers who don’t have the basic problem-solving or computing skills that companies want. A significant problem facing companies is also the lack of demand for these jobs amongst workers with skills. Many workers are simply no longer interested in manufacturing jobs, and there appears to be a stigma attached to manufacturing work. A survey on the Public Perception of Manufacturing shows that while most Americans perceive manufacturing as the backbone of a strong domestic economy, few parents want their children to work in this industry, and manufacturing is the last career choice for people between the ages of 19 and 33.

Read this article in full at Forbes.com.


When Suddenly the Kids Are in Charge of Dad’s Factory

Photo of Sarah and Stacey Bales by Kendall Karmanian

Less than a week after their father died during a 2009 business trip, Stacey and Sara Bales met with the banker who had lent money to their family’s Downers Grove, Ill., industrial plating company. The banker demanded to know how they planned to liquidate.

The business, the 20-something sisters learned, had taken out a loan to ride out the recession. Now the bank wanted its money back.

“We had to fight for the company,” says Stacey, now 34 and president. Sara, 32 and vice president, recalls her sister reeling off sales figures and demanding to know why, given $3.2 million in revenue, they would ever consider selling.

Read the full story here.


Wage Rise in October Highest in 7 Years (Dayton Daily News)

BarryStaff President Doug Barry is quoted in the following Dayton Daily News article. It was originally published on November 5, 2016.


Just as wages rise from a tighter job market nationally, one staffing firm owner says area employers are waging a talent war for qualified, willing workers.

In the final federal monthly jobs report before Tuesday’s presidential election, officials said 161,000 jobs were created in October and the unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.9 percent.

Perhaps the biggest news: Average hourly earnings for private-sector workers rose 2.8 percent over a year ago, the strongest annual wage growth in more than seven years.

Doug Barry, owner of staffing firm BarryStaff, said a tight employment market is pushing wages up.

“Companies are competing for the people who are working, and they’re having to offer higher wages,” Barry said.

And in many cases, employers are paying more to retain good workers, Barry said. “It’s a competitive job market now. As they say, it’s an employees’ market.”

This year has been a good one overall for Butler County businesses, including Hamilton, where significant expansions and hiring blitzes at Barclaycard, Startek, ThyssenKrupp Bilstein and ODW Logistics will have contributed more than 800 jobs to the city in 2016 alone, according to Brandon Saurber, Hamilton’s director of strategy and information.

The city expects to see an additional 1,000 jobs from those four companies in 2017, Saurber said.

As of Oct. 31, total wages paid by Hamilton employers have increased by around $40 million in 2016 compared with 2015, he said. Those gross wages are expected to top $1 billion annually in the first half of 2017.

“With the number of job opportunities expanding, our number one priority now is to get as many Hamiltonians as possible into these jobs,” said Jody Gunderson, Hamilton’s director of economic development.

Middletown’s economic development team has conducted approximately 75 business retention and expansion visits this year with others scheduled, according to Alexis Fitzsimmons, assistant economic development director.

“Every employer we have talked to has had steady or increasing numbers at their facilities,” Fitzsimmons said. “There are two employers in town that plan to expand their operations in the coming year due to new business lines and several that have excess capacity and are growing organically through existing customers.”

Beyond growth in Middletown’s industrial economic base, the city also has seen growth in its retail sector through new investments, such as the new Buffalo Wild Wings and Aspen Dental on the outskirts of Towne Mall Galleria.

“This is a trend we will continue to see as interest in the Middletown market continues to grow,” Fitzsimmons said.

Any job loss noted would probably be within the re-aligning retail sector, as Middletown continues to swap out large retail with smaller, locally derived experiences, said Matt Eisenbraun, the city’s assistant economic development director.

Greg Kathman, Fairfield’s development services director, said many business leaders have talked about the jobs that have been added or need to be added to keep up with recent growth.

“Just driving around town, you can see a lot of Now Hiring signs in business front yards,” Kathman said.

Fairfield companies that have shown job growth include Veritiv, which completed its move of more than 400 employees into Fairfield within the past few weeks, as well as Koch Foods, which has grown to more than 1,000 employees, with more expected to be added in 2017.

Pacific Manufacturing is constructing a $50 million expansion that will result in at least 62 jobs added to the 540 existing jobs, and CompuCom recently moved into a new building in Fairfield, bringing more than 100 information technology jobs. Element Materials Technology consolidated several local operations into Fairfield earlier this year, with 120 total jobs now at this facility.

West Chester Twp. added 853 new jobs and retained 1,259 jobs so far in 2016, according to township officials.

West Chester lost Bakery Craft, with 119 employees but that relocation was offset when Ohio Eagle Distributing purchased the Bakery Craft building and added 85 new jobs back to West Chester.

West Chester has used expansion announcements to track 71 companies adding new positions so far this year and 36 retaining existing positions through new investments in 2016.

“West Chester continues to see new investment in targeted sectors, including corporate headquarters, advanced manufacturing and information technology, as well as dynamic retail and hospitality development, specifically in the Streets of West Chester and in the area anchored by West Chester Hospital and Voice of America,” said township Administrator Judi Boyko.

“Nearly $56 million has been invested in West Chester so far this year as companies continue to find value in West Chester’s diverse local economy,” Boyko said.

In Liberty Twp., the burgeoning Butler County community has added about 25 new businesses this year, according to Caroline McKinney, the township’s economic development director.

With the opening of Cincinnati Children’s Proton Therapy Center and the addition of 100 jobs there, Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Campus has grown to 650 employees after starting out with 390 in 2008.

Also adding to job growth in the township next year will be continued retail and business growth at Liberty Center and the scheduled opening of The Christ Hospital Medical Center later that year.

“We anticipate continuing the positive momentum we’re seeing in Liberty Twp. as we head toward 2017,” McKinney said.


By the numbers

2.8 percent: Wage growth from October 2015 to October 2016.

191,000: Revised number of new jobs created in September, an increase from 156,000 that was reported earlier.

161,000: Number of non-farm jobs created in October.

4.9 percent: October unemployment rate, down from 5 percent in September.

7.8 million: Number of jobless in the U.S., a figure that includes 2 million who have been without a job for more than 27 weeks.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Five tech trends reshaping manufacturing

dollarphotoclub_102769565Manufacturing is entering a digital revolution that will fundamentally shift the way that businesses in the sector operate.

The next manufacturing age, known as Industry 4.0, shares several goals with the previous three industrial revolutions. These include increased speed to market, quality and cost-effectiveness.

However, the similarities end there. Where mass production and global economies of scale were game changers in earlier chapters, the factories of the future aim for greater flexibility and individualization.

Read the full article here.


American manufacturers are looking forward to a big comeback once the election is over

By Akin Oyedele14264020_1568369316803580_5027861358283859885_n

US manufacturers had a strong start to the fourth quarter and are looking forward to the end of the presidential election, according to Markit Economics’ preliminary report on the sector for October.

The flash purchasing manager’s index (PMI) rose to 53.2, Markit said on Monday. The index is based on a survey of manufacturers, and the “flash” reading is based on 85% to 90% of all responses collected every month.

Economists had predicted that the PMI was unchanged at 51.5, according to Bloomberg. A reading above 50 indicates that the sector is still in expansion.

“Both output and new orders are rising at the fastest rates for a year amid increasingly widespread optimism that demand will pick up again after the presidential election, which has been commonly cited as a key factor that has subdued spending and investment in recent months,” said Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit, in the data release.

Manufacturing production increased for a fifth straight month, and new export orders improved from September. The rise in unfinished work due to backlogs was the most in a year. Also, companies said there was more capacity pressures at their plants, partly because they had slowed the pace of hiring.

The manufacturing sector has not yet fully recovered since the dollar’s rise and weak global economic conditions crushed demand for US goods last year.

In September, the PMI rebounded from a contractionary reading of 49.4 — the first slip into that territory since February. Some respondents to Markit’s survey reported a rise in domestic and international sales, with some customers buying ahead of anticipated price increases.

Manufacturing has been a hot button topic in the presidential campaign. Republican nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly said the US does not make things anymore, and has vowed to bring back manufacturing jobs from Mexico and China.

It’s worth noting that manufacturing now makes a much smaller contribution to the US economy compared to the services sector, where two-thirds of all activity takes place.

This piece was originally posted by Business Insider.

Five Things You Didn’t Know About Manufacturing Jobs

By Glenn Richardson
Managing Director – Advanced Manufacturing and Aerospace & Aviation

Advanced manufacturing is one of the key industries driving innovation and job creation in Ohio. The Buckeye State has a rich legacy as a manufacturing hub, and not only has the third-largest American manufacturing workforce, but is considered the best state for manufacturing jobs east of the Mississippi River. Nevertheless, many have an outdated perception of what exactly manufacturing in the 21st Century means.

Here are some facts that might surprise you about a career in today’s manufacturing sector.

  1. You will make a good living. Plenty of manufacturing jobs start out between $40,000 and $60,000 annually, and it’s not uncommon for workers to work their way toward six figures per year with overtime. CNBC reported in June that hourly compensation for manufacturing jobs is 17 percent higher than in other industries and that the average U.S. manufacturing worker earned more than $77,000 a year – with good benefits.
  2. You can stay clean. The image of a manufacturing laborer covered in sweat and grease is an antiquated one. The digital world has transformed manufacturing into a high-tech, knowledge-based industry in which a keyboard is used more often than a power drill. In fact, at Honda, one of Ohio’s top manufacturing and automotive employers, all the associates wear white uniforms. Why? Because if any of those uniforms are dirty, floor managers know something’s not working properly.
  3. Jobs are available. New technologies, materials and manufacturing processes have led to a resurgence in Ohio manufacturing, creating new opportunities for employment. A report released in February by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute declared that 3.4 million new U.S. manufacturing positions will need to be filled in the next decade.
  4. Skills are a must. The manufacturing industry is working hard to attract smart young people with skills in STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – to fill those jobs. Ro Khanna, a former deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Commerce wrote in the Washington Post, “If you think of manufacturing as a tedious job with no intellectual stimulation, you haven’t visited a U.S. factory floor lately. Whether making steel bars or suits for firefighters, many of today’s manufacturing jobs require the ability to operate complex machines, math skills and an understanding of how to maximize efficiency.”
  5. Manufacturing is cool. How many industries afford you the opportunity to play with robots for a living? The new technologies we are seeing in advanced manufacturing have changed the way we make things. 3D printing allows us to create physical products directly from digital files, no tools or fixtures required. – like Robert Downey Jr. building his new Iron Man suit. Ohio institutions like America Makes and Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow are blazing a new path in manufacturing, leading to new innovations and great careers.

This piece was originally posted on jobs-ohio.com.

BARRYSTAFF Issues Statement on Medical Marijuana

Although Governor John Kasich signed legislation earlier this month to legalize the use of medical marijuana, BarryStaff stands with many other businesses across Ohio in announcing its substance abuse policy will not change.

“We’re looking out for our clients and our employees when we say the use of marijuana is not OK,” said BarryStaff President Doug Barry. “We wouldn’t want an employee to be working under the influence of Vicodin. Medical marijuana is no different. If employees test positive, they will not work for BarryStaff.”

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce advocated for certain protections for employers – protections BarryStaff has embraced. As the agency states on its website, “The bill allows an employer to discharge, refuse to hire, discipline or take adverse employment actions against an individual with respect to tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment due to the individual’s use, possession, or distribution of medical marijuana.”

Employers simply do not need to accommodate an employee’s use of medical marijuana.

Bob Dunlevey, an OSBA board certified labor and enforcement law specialist, said “Even if marijuana is prescribed by a physician to treat a disability recognized under the American with Disabilities Act and even if the marijuana is used during off-work time, these employees will be terminated for testing positive. It is not a violation of the ADA for an employer to refuse to accommodate the medicinal use of marijuana.”

BarryStaff puts clients and employees first. The welfare of both parties is of paramount interest to the company. These priorities ultimately reinforced its long-administered substance abuse policy.

BarryStaff Holds Successful Job Fair


There were several unknowns.

BarryStaff opened its Springfield branch in 2015 and expectations for a job fair in mid-June were somewhat tempered. Did people know about the new office? If not, were they willing to find it?

There was nothing to worry about.

The job fair, held June 8, was more successful than BarryStaff ever imagined. More than 50 percent of the applicants interviewed were qualified to fill oft-needed positions at Clark County area companies.

One man, who said he saw advertisements for the job fair in the newspaper and on TV, said people are willing to do anything to work.

“I think (job fairs) are a good thing,” he said. “There are a lot of people who need jobs and there are a lot of good workers who aren’t working.”

Roughly 25 people interviewed over the span of a few hours.

BarryStaff is currently in the midst of planning another job fair, this time at the company’s headquarters in Dayton. Details will be released as plans are finalized.

45 Ohio Fun Facts

1. Fifty percent of the United States population lives within a 500-mile radius of Columbus, Ohio.

2. Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was from Wapakoneta, Ohio.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

3. It is illegal to fish for whales on a Sunday in Ohio… not that there’s any place to do that. Well, at least you can fish for them every other day of the week.

4. Thomas A. Edison, the inventor of the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph, and the early motion picture camera, was from Milan.

5. Akron was the first city to use police cars.

6. Ohio has the largest Amish population of any state in the nation.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

7. John Lambert of Ohio City made America’s first automobile in 1891.

8. The first full-time automobile service station opened in 1899 in Ohio.9. Oberlin College, founded in 1833, was the first interracial and coeducational college in the United States.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

9. Oberlin College, founded in 1833, was the first interracial and coeducational college in the United States.
10. Seven United States presidents were born in Ohio: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William H. Taft, and Warren G. Harding. Must be something in the water.

11. There is an alley dedicated to drummer Dave Grohl in his hometown of Warren, Ohio.45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

12. The largest drum sticks in the world are in David Grohl Alley, each measuring 23 feet long and weighing a half-ton.
45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio
13. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton.

14. Women are prohibited from wearing patent leather shoes in public in Ohio. The reasoning? So that men can’t see reflections of the women’s underwear in their shoes. Obviously.15. Life Savers candy was invented by Clarence Crane of Garrettsville, Ohio in 1912. They were touted as a “summer candy” since they didn’t melt like chocolate.

15. Life Savers candy was invented by Clarence Crane of Garrettsville, Ohio in 1912. They were touted as a “summer candy” since they didn’t melt like chocolate.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio


16. Some well-known personalities were born in Ohio. Among them are Steven Spielberg, Paul Newman, Annie Oakley, Arsenio Hall and Clark Gable.

17. It is illegal for more than five women to live in one house in Ohio.

18. The world’s largest horseshoe crab is more than 55 feet long, and lives in Blanchester.

19. Ohio’s state flag is not a rectangle like other flags—it’s a pennant design, and it’s the only state flag in the United States with that design.

20. By state law, no one may be arrested on a Sunday or on the Fourth of July in Ohio, which is totally awesome and definitely not enforced.

21. Roy J. Plunkett of New Carlisle, Ohio invented Teflon in 1938.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

22. You can take tours of a house made entirely of trash, affectionately referred to as ‘House of Trash’ in Philo. Spoiler: It’s actually totally cool.

23. There’s a mysterious rolling sphere in the Marion Cemetery. The 5,200-pound sphere of granite has been revolving on its base since it was placed there in the late 1800s. “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” featured it in 1929. It’s still moving at an average of two inches per year.

24. The first airplane was invented by Dayton natives the Wright Brothers.

25. The Great Serpent Mound, the largest serpent effigy in the world at a half mile long, is on a plateau overlooking Brush Creek Valley in Adams County.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

26. The largest, most comprehensive collection of historical contraceptives in the world is at the Dittrick Museum of Medical History in Cleveland.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

27. The very first mechanical cash register was invented in Dayton.

28. The first concrete street in America, which is still in use today, was poured in 1891 near the Logan County Courthouse in Bellefontaine.

29. If a restaurant wants to serve horse meat in Ohio, they must display a sign that says, “Horse Meat Served Here.” Thank goodness for that.

30. There is a double Futuro House, aka UFO House, in Carlisle.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

31. The first capital city of Ohio wasn’t Columbus—it was Chillicothe, which is now part of the Greater Columbus Metropolitan Area.

32. In 1879, Cleveland became the first city to be lighted by electricity.

33. Akron is the rubber capital of the world.

34. It is unlawful to leave chewing gum in public places in Cleveland.

35. “Hang On Sloopy” is the official state rock song.

36. Ohio is the leading producer of greenhouse and nursery plants.37. The Lake Erie Monster, aka “Bessie,” is a serpent-type monster that lives in Lake Erie, or at least it’s been sighted a lot over the last 100 years. The New York Times even did a story on it in 1931.

37. The Lake Erie Monster, aka “Bessie,” is a serpent-type monster that lives in Lake Erie, or at least it’s been sighted a lot over the last 100 years. The New York Times even did a story on it in 1931.

38. The Glacial Grooves on the north side of Kelleys Island are the largest and most easily accessible great ice sheet grooves in the world. They were created 18,000 years ago by the great ice sheet that covered part of North America.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

39. Dresden is the home of the world’s largest basket. It is located at Basket Village USA.

40. There is an ‘Unofficial Lego Museum’ in Bellaire and it has some of the coolest lego creations known to man.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

41. For many years the patrons of Maid-Rite Sandwich Shop in Greenville have been sticking their gum outside the walls. Three of the building’s four walls are covered in gum, creating the infamous ‘Wall of Gum’.

42. In Dublin there’s a public art installation called ‘Field of Corn (with Osage Orange Trees)’. By the locals it’s called ‘Cornhenge’ and features 109 ears of concrete corn that stand eight feet tall. It’s a tribute and celebration of Sam Frantz, who invented hybrid corn species.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio

43. There is a permanent ‘Things Swallowed’ display at the Allen County Museum in Lima that featured things that have been swallowed and retrieved by doctors, including buttons, thumbtacks, bones, coins, dentures and other things swallowed.

44. There is a shrine called the ‘Temple of Tolerance’ in Wapakoneta, that looks like it should be somewhere sacred, but it’s in Jim Bowsher’s backyard. He’s the temple master and gives free tours every day.

45. Ohio holds the record for the world’s largest basket, the Longaberger Company headquarters building in Newark. It’s seven stories high and 180,000 square feet.

45 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Ohio