April 30, 1998
Manufacturing Week 1998 will focus on manufacturing priorities - and on the message that manufacturers make not only goods but also prosperity
The importance of manufacturing to the state's economy will be a key theme of New York State Manufacturing Week May 8-15, sponsored by The Business Council and regional employer organizations around the state.
"New York manufacturers produce more than just computers, cameras, medical instruments, and consumer goods," said Business Council President Daniel B. Walsh. "They also build the essential foundation of New York State's prosperity.
A key target for this message will be lawmakers in Albany - because government policy changes can significantly boost manufacturing and the prosperity it brings New Yorkers.
Walsh noted that New York's economic fortunes over several decades have been closely linked to the fate of manufacturing. Since manufacturing employment peaked in 1953 at just over 2 million jobs, it has declined dramatically. By 1992, nationwide industrial employment was 75 percent higher than in 1939 - while in New York it was 25 percent lower.
In the last four years, both manufacturing and the overall economy have surged in New York. Last year, New York increased manufacturing employment by 4,000 jobs - after 20 years in which the average annual decline in production employment was 20,000 jobs.
Guardian Glass, Corning, IBM, Welch-Allyn, and others are expanding in New York.
New York's manufacturing community has outlined six priority issues for Manufacturing Week 1998, including:
- Tax cuts - to build on existing momentum from tax cuts that create jobs and enhance the state's industrial competitiveness.
- Civil justice reform - to enable business and industry to compete in an environment in which liability costs are both reasonable and predictable.
- Unemployment insurance reform - to make employers UI tax rates more equitable.
- Workers' compensation reform - to trim rates that, for manufacturers, remain eighth-highest in the nation.
- Energy cost containment - by accelerating the state's "Power for Jobs" program and eliminating the gross receipts tax on electricity, natural gas, and steam.
- Enhancing workforce training - to create a business-oriented job-training
program that is industry-based, employer-driven, and delivered through consortia
- Click here for the Manufacturing Week briefing paper.