Manufacturing Solutions

Report to Members

Manufacturing across the US has been building back strong despite inflation, labor shortages and significant supply chain challenges that undermine growth and profits. In New Jersey, thousands of large and small manufacturers have demonstrated their resiliency and tenacity as well.

According to the most recent data from the National Association of Manufacturers, New Jersey’s manufacturing output roared back to $60.5 billion in 2021, just one year after the pandemic began and economic havoc caused the state’s manufacturing output to drop to $54.7 billion. The rebound even exceeded the state’s pre-pandemic manufacturing output ($57.5 billion).

Our manufacturers are resilient, but they still face immense challenges. Job openings in this industry remain near record highs in a tight labor market, and the raw materials needed for manufacturing processes are more costly and take longer to obtain. These obstacles make it more difficult for manufacturers in New Jersey and around the country to operate efficiently and profitably.

NJBIA works with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), as well as our state-level partners, including the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP), the Legislative Manufacturing Caucus, and state government agencies, to keep policymakers focused on manufacturing’s challenges. Beyond workforce retention, inflation and supply chain issues, manufacturers also struggle with immigration policies that cause talent shortages and need tax reform and regulatory change at the federal level.

This is why I am honored to have been recently elected to NAM’s board of directors, where I can be more actively involved in NAM’s fight for national pro-manufacturing policies to sustain and grow an industry that now provides jobs for 13 million workers nationwide, including 252,000 in New Jersey.

NAM is the nation’s oldest industrial trade association, and its membership includes some of the world’s most iconic brands and many of the small manufacturers that power the US economy. In fact, about 90% of NAM’s 14,000 members are small and medium-sized businesses.

I am eager to share the stories of New Jersey manufacturers and how this state has responded to their workforce challenges. For example, the New Jersey Pathways to Career Opportunities initiative, led by community colleges and NJBIA, has brought together industry and education partners to provide structured academic pathways that ensure students learn the skills employers require for 21st century jobs in advanced manufacturing and other high-growth industries.

Expanding New Jersey’s vo-tech schools using more than $300 million from a voter-approved bond act is another way we are providing a talent pipeline for the future. However, we need more than just workforce solutions. I look forward to working with NAM on removing the tax and regulatory obstacles as well so that manufacturing can build back even stronger.

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

Related Articles: