Signs of success looking good for 2017

Posted on Nov 15, 2016 :: Editors Note
Sean P. Johnson
Posted by , Insight on Manufacturing Staff Writer

What a relief!

Let’s hope that by the time everyone reads these words, that’s the sense we all have following the conclusion of the 2016 election. At least we hope it will have been decided by then — I still have flashbacks to long nights in the newsroom in 2000.

With the decision finally made, we should have a chance to reflect on what that will mean for us as an economy and a community heading into the next few years. Many of the signs point to the plus side of the ledger, though we must diligently keep watch to make sure the political policies of the next few years don’t impede or reverse the progress we have made.

If you had a chance to walk the floor of Manufacturing First last month, you know there are plenty of positives to be found. The event drew record crowds for both attendees and vendors, and Green Bay native Mark King delivered a powerful keynote. If you were unable to attend, we have a recap of the event on page 20, followed immediately by a special section detailing the discussions from the CEO Round Table that took place over the lunch hour.

Add the 2017 event to your calendar now: Oct. 25-26 at the KI Center in Green Bay.

As we think about the future of manufacturing, we should also think about maximizing some of the incredible resources we have in our region to support manufacturing and help it grow. One that often slips below the radar is the Port of Green Bay. As detailed in our cover story (see page 8), the port is already a busy place, but has the capacity to get even busier. Not only are there opportunities to increase exports — we need to have a chat with our newly elected legislators about changing some long-standing policies that inhibit container shipping — but there are also opportunities to better use the port’s trade zones and develop
additional industries within its confines.

Perhaps that expanded port capacity could support our growing status as a center for advanced manufacturing. While researching information for our “By the Numbers” feature, page 30, we found that Northeast Wisconsin ranks highly for this new wave of manufacturing, which is growing rapidly. These jobs tend to pay higher wages and produce products of greater value. Growth in this sector will be an important trend to watch.

Finally, what could be more important than the educators training the workforce of the future?

Mathematics plays an important part of the training, and we all remember how exciting math class was, right? Well, several local companies have stepped up to show not only the importance of math in the workplace, but how it is actually used. Those real-world applications are the basis of the Get Real Math videos used in the classroom to both inspire and instruct. Check out the Education & Training story on page 14 for more information on this series and the difference it makes.

With 2016 drawing to a close, attention naturally turns to planning for a successful 2017. As I make my plans for IOM, I would love to hear from you about the companies and issues we should be including in our pages next year. Drop me a line at [email protected] or call (920) 882-0491 and
let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.