The Montana Manufacturing Association hosted the 2018 Manufacturing & International Trade Day on May 22 in Missoula. Here are the top five takeaways from today’s event. Tune in tomorrow for STEP Forward MT: Women in Manufacturing

1. Manufacturer of the Year

  • Blackhawk! in Manhattan was named the 2017 Manufacturer of the Year
  • The award was made by students at Helena College
  • “We’re honored to be recognized for this award,” said Lamont Kotter, the manager of factory operations at Blackhawk!. “We see it as a reflection of our commitment to improve our business and community. It’s those two purposes that we’re engaged in. We’re excited we were recognized for that.

2. Trade Policy Panel

  • Bill Lane, Trade for America:
    • Trade has always been controversial, but essential
    • 1 in 5 people’s jobs is dependent on trade
    • An estimated 1.8 million U.S. jobs lost if U.S. withdraws from NAFTA
  • Adam Stern, Resonon:
    • Company traveled around Asia in 2015 for the first time
    • Sales doubled in 2016 and continued to grow in 2017

3. State of Manufacturing

  • Paul Polzin, Bureau of Business and Economic Research
    • There may be a smaller number of manufacturers, but real GDP is increasing
      Manufacturing has increased in Montana by 12.6 percent
    • Montana’s three fastest growing manufacturing industries are beer, wine and electronic instrument manufacturing
  • Paddy Fleming, Montana Manufacturing Extension Center
    • The average pay of manufacturing workers in Montana is $47,227
    • Every manufacturing job in Montana creates 2.58 additional jobs

4. Addie Lordemann headlines luncheon

  • Glendive native and Montana State University graduate Addie Lordemann was the featured speaker during the luncheon
  • Lordemann was a 2016 recipient of the STEP Ahead Emerging Leaders award from the Manufacturing Institue
  • During her speech, Lordemann spoke about her experiences at MSU and as a women in a male dominated industry

5. Additional Panels

  • Manufacturing HR Panel
    • Many companies have on the job training or apprenticeship programs
    • Many companies are still looking for soft skills in their employees
  • Finance panel
    • The rules have shifted and its important to recognize the changes in revenue recognition

Thank you to current sponsors:
NorthWestern Energy, Montana State Fund, Rocky Mountain Bank, Washington Corporation, 3M, and The Boeing Company

TowHaul, Vision Net, Town Pump Hotel Group, Wipfli, Plastic Design & Manufacturing, LC Staffing, PayneWest Insurance, and EMPLOYERS ®

Great Falls Development Authority, Blackfoot, Montana Hydraulics, Great Falls College MSU, and Wood’s Powr-Grip

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