The Montana Manufacturing Association hosted the 2018 Manufacturing and 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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