MFG Advocate …

By  Penny Brown, MTAdvocacy Manager

The New Year brings so much promise. It’s like a blank sheet of paper just waiting to be filled. So often we spend the end of a year planning and strategizing about all the things we want to get done in the next year: big plans and initiatives just waiting to be developed and rolled out and implemented ... and ... and ...

If you’re like me, a lot of that newfound energy can give way to old routine after just a few weeks. Isn’t that a shame? Maybe you find yourself in the same boat. I can’t blame anyone but myself; it’s a matter of priorities. So my goal for 2015 is to prioritize the things that are important to me, and minimize the things that keep me from them – to the greatest degree possible.

As AMT members, you are likely passionate about manufacturing and want to ensure that it has a strong future. But have you made it a priority to help create that future? Are you thinking that someone else will do it; that it’s another person’s job; or worse yet, that there’s nothing you can do anyway?

While AMT’s Advocacy team is always looking for ways to make sure our members’ interests are heard, it is indeed your own voice that is the strongest. That means your elected officials need to hear from YOU! Letters, phone calls, plant tours, and face-to-face meetings are all effective ways to build a dialogue with your state and federal representatives.

Beyond building those relationships, though, another important aspect to good advocacy is building a good image for manufacturing. That means demonstrating that manufacturing is an advanced, high-tech industry and is the real enabler behind our quality of life. It also means showing how much value manufacturing adds to the local economy, as well as the good careers that the industry offers.
 
Those of us in and around the industry know all of these things, but how do we spread the word? This is where AMT’s Advocacy team can help you! If you want to prioritize a good environment for manufacturing – which therefore could mean smoother sailing for your business – use AMT’s resources to help make your voice heard. Here are a few tips:

  • Identify your top issues and priorities. Whether it’s an issue with tax policy, export-import laws, rules and regulations, or something else, please let us know what’s most important to you. Reach out to us to get a conversation started. It’s immensely helpful to us when we know what members are experiencing firsthand.
  • Find the resources available to you. The Advocacy page on AMTonline (www.AMTonline.org/advocacy) is a great place to get started. There you can find out who your representatives are and how to contact them. You can also find news and information from Washington, tips for hosting a successful plant tour, and more.
  • Share your good news with us! Did you meet with an elected official? Start a relationship with a local technical school or community college? Take part in something interesting to give back to your local community? We want to hear about it! The more “good things” we have to talk about, the more we can focus the conversation on the best of what manufacturing brings to the table.
Be sure to check out our blog, MFGAdvocate.com, and watch for other exciting news and Advocacy initiatives for 2015. Cheers to a great New Year – one where we all keep our priorities straight and focus on what matters!

Email me at pbrown@AMTonline.org.