Candidates, and All Policymakers, Please Listen: Manufacturing MattersMarch 1, 2016
“Manufacturing matters” is the theme outlined by PMA’s 2016 Chairman Ron Lowry, owner and president of metalforming company Dayton Rogers, as he sets his course for the association in the coming year. As described in our article this month, the fact that manufacturing matters, to the health of the U.S. economy and up and down the socioeconomic ladder, is no surprise to most of us. And while it shouldn’t be to our nation’s policymakers, either, so often the notion that manufacturing matters falls on deaf ears.
One concern voiced by Lowry relates to the significant recent growth in the number of manufacturing-related training programs, and the growth in their attendance. Lowry worries what will happen when these newly skilled workers hit the job market, and manufacturers that remain strangled by excessive regulations, rising healthcare costs and tight lending policies aren’t able to hire them.
I’ve had similar conversations with other leaders in our industry, but with Lowry the conversation took a unique and welcomed turn. That’s when he shared with me his New Year’s Resolution: “To complain less and do more.” More importantly, he relates that resolution directly to his theme. Lowry urges everyone that has a stake in the success of U.S. manufacturing, including those reading this column, to follow his lead—complain less about the forces inhibiting growth and take personal responsibility.
I recently came across a book that focuses on taking personal responsibility for dealing with what ails us. It’s titled, “Stop Moaning, Start Owning: How Entitlement is Ruining America and How Personal Responsibility Can Fix It.” While it takes readers more on an individual, personal journey rather than relating specifically to business, the book does hint strongly at the same message Lowry is sending to us all. That is, if you’re not happy or even content with what’s happening to you (or your business), avoid the moaning mindset and take action.
The book’s author, Dr. Brian Russell, offers eight steps for achieving personal prosperity, and three of them ring particularly true in the context of Lowry’s resolution:
• Take personal responsibility for fulfilling your needs and wants.
• Be accountable.
• Make a uniquely positive contribution to something larger than yourself.
It’s this last directive that leads us back to your trade association, PMA. The association, under Lowry’s leadership for the coming year, provides a number of ways to make meaningful contributions to the industry. But more importantly, it allows you to stop moaning and start owning, to complain less and do more. I urge you to follow Lowry’s lead.
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