(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Dale Kiefer, freelance journalist)
On Nov. 10, HGR welcomed members of the public to its headquarters to gain insights about important trends that are likely to affect Northeast Ohio manufacturers in the coming year. The third-annual State of Manufacturing event was organized by MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network whose mission is to help area companies grow and thereby contribute to the manufacturing renaissance in Northeast Ohio.
The morning event began with a networking breakfast that gave attendees a chance to connect with other industry professionals, including HGR associates and expert consultants from MAGNET. Ethan Karp, president and CEO of MAGNET, launched the formal part of the program with opening remarks. This was followed by an expression of thanks to HGR and all of the participants from Euclid Mayor Kirsten Holzheimer Gail.
The first presenter was Joseph N. Gross, an OSBA certified specialist in labor and employment law who is also a partner at Benesch Attorneys at Law. He spoke about changes at OSHA and what manufacturers can expect when dealing with the agency in the coming year.
He was followed by Mark Wolk, the central region manager for Bank of America Leasing & Capital, who gave an overview of the equipment finance market. This included a lease versus loan benefit comparison for capital equipment.
The third and final speaker for the morning was Dr. Ned Hill who teaches economic development policy, public policy, and public finance at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University. The focus of his presentation was Manufacturing 5.0, or the Fifth Industrial Revolution, which describes the most recent major shift in the economy’s structure. Under Manufacturing 5.0, all aspects of enterprises will see full digital integration. In this new economy, soft skills will be just as valuable and essential among the workforce as harder technical skills.
Following the presentations, the speakers opened the floor to questions. Thereafter, attendees were given a chance to take guided tours of HGR’s facility and learn more about the history of the company and the value that HGR itself provides to manufacturers. More than 40 attendees toured HGR’s 500,000-square-foot showroom and newly renovated offices.
The State of Manufacturing 2017 event was sponsored by MAGNET, The Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Benesch Attorneys at Law, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.