Cooley Group is pleased to announce that J.H. Whitney Capital Partners (“Whitney”), in collaboration with Cooley’s executive leadership team, has acquired Cooley Group from its long-time owners, the Siener family. Whitney is a leader in the private equity industry; since their founding in 1946, they have invested in over 400 companies and currently manage approximately $1 billion in private capital. Whitney remains privately owned, providing private equity capital to small and middle market companies with strong growth prospects in a number of industries, including consumer, healthcare, and specialty manufacturing.
American factories grew in December at the fastest pace in more than two years as manufacturing continued to weather the pandemic better than the battered services sector. The Institute for Supply Management reported Tuesday that its gauge of manufacturing activity rose to 60.7 last month, the highest reading since it stood at 60.8 in August 2018. The activity gauge was up 3.2 percentage points from a November level of 57.5. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector. The U.S. economy collapsed from April through June but since that time manufacturing has posted solid gains while the services sector, which includes restaurants, bars and the travel industry, has been harder hit.
Manufacturers in the United States, Europe and Asia increased output at the end of 2020, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).
Why it’s happening: A jump in global trade and a surge in new orders has helped the manufacturing industry stay strong in the face of ongoing challenges. The industry also stands in contrast to service-sector businesses that rely on face-to-face interactions or require workers to be in close proximity. Economists expect manufacturing’s strength to continue and to keep outperforming service-sector businesses until there is widespread immunity against the COVID-19 virus.
The data: “Data firm IHS Markit said its purchasing managers index for the U.S. manufacturing sector rose to 57.1 in December from 56.7 in November. That was the biggest improvement since September 2014, IHS Markit said. A reading above 50 points to an increase in activity from the previous month, while a reading below that level points to a decline.”
The new president enters office with a slim majority in the Senate and plans to prevent manufacturing offshoring. On the campaign trail, President Biden’s manufacturing plan called for stiff tax penalties on companies that offshore operations and an advanceable tax credit for companies to modernize facilities or create jobs in the United States.
We wish to extend our congratulations to the Governor on her being nominated by President-elect Biden. I, personally, have had a great working relationship with the Governor, her staff and Department Heads. I have attached a pdf from National Association of Manufacturers wishing her congratulations as well as noting the working relationship with RIMA that the Governor has developed.
I look forward to supporting her efforts nationwide to bolster manufacturing as it is the backbone of the American economy.
CRANSTON – Working in conjunction with the Back to Work RI initiative, manufacturing, and training organization We Make RI has launched industrial sewing classes.
The goal, say organization leaders, is to fill 50 open positions by the end of the year, with textile manufacturing still facing a shortage of skilled labor.
“We work with several Rhode Island textile manufacturers and they always tell us the same thing: we need trained workers,” said Barbara Jackson, executive director, We Make RI. “We knew in the aftermath of COVID, there would be heavy job losses. Our goal is to match these unemployed workers with open positions at local sewing companies.”
- The U.S. economy jumped 33.4% at the annual rate in the third quarter, the largest increase in the history of the series, which dates to 1947. Despite soaring in the third quarter, real GDP remained down 3.4% year to date. The forecast for growth in the fourth (or current) quarter is 6.0%, with 4.5% growth anticipated for 2021.
- Real value-added output in the manufacturing sector rose to $2.213 trillion in the third quarter, as expressed in chained 2012 dollars. It remained down 1.0% from the all-time high recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019 ($2.236 trillion), despite tremendous volatility year-to-date. Overall, manufacturing accounted for 11.0% of real GDP in the third quarter, with value-added output (in nominal terms) up to $2.329 trillion, just 1.7% from a record high.
- In the latest NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, 74.2% of respondents were either somewhat or very positive about the outlook for their company. It represented notable improvement after the 33.9% and 66.0% readings in the second and third quarters, respectively.
- Just over 29% of manufacturers said that their revenues will have recovered either before or during the fourth quarter, and 67.7% anticipate that their revenues will be back to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2021. After two quarters with weaker domestic demand topping the list of primary business challenges, the inability to attract and retain talent led the pack once again in the fourth quarter.
- New orders for durable goods rose 0.9% in November, rising for the seventh straight month. Overall, the durable goods manufacturing sector has bounced back soundly following steep declines in March and April due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On a year-over-year basis, new durable goods orders have grown by 3.8% since November 2019.
- Orders for nondefense capital goods excluding aircraft—a proxy for capital spending in the U.S. economy—increased 0.4% to $70.90 billion in November, a new monthly record.
This past summer MSSC publicly launched an “Industry 4.0” update of its signature Certified Production Technician (CPT) industry-wide training and certification program. Based on extensive research with leading industry subject matter experts, MSSC selected a list of nine rapidly emerging, data-intensive, “Industry 4.0” technologies that will profoundly influence manufacturing production processes and quality control: 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), Additive (3D) Manufacturing, Autonomous Robots, Augmented Reality, Data Analytics, Nanomanufacturing, and Advanced Materials. MSSC has embedded these technologies in its 2020 “Industry 4.0” Edition of its National Production Standards.
Our nation is now seeing the emergence of a “mega trend” in American manufacturing towards optimally self-sufficient domestic supply chains. By leveraging a production workforce upskilled to the “4.0” level, this trend will also produce higher levels of productivity, competitiveness, and economic growth.
In a recent article in the Providence Journal, in depth discussion noted the very serious concern of frivolous lawsuits. This could be detrimental to the small business sector. In addition, an article in Industry Week quoted Gary Pearce, chief risk architect at Aclaimant. Pearce believes the legal aspect will ramp up once we are past dealing with the day-to-day concerns of the pandemic. He sees an increased willingness on the part of employees to pursue legal remedies. This will arise from higher expectations of safety standards. People will look to their employers, generally a trusted source of information, to protect them. “The issue of safety and ensuring the safety of a workplace will not be something that is nice to have but it will be a must have,” says Pearce. And Pearce warns that if employees feel this is missing they might be willing to pursue remedies which could include regulatory complaints or even take to social media to air grievances. At the end of the day, says Pearce, the workforce needs to believe that the employer is doing the right things, having balanced the needs of the organization, the safety of the employees, and the expectations of the customers.
Based on what we are reading and seeing, RIMA will continue to keep the pressure on including Liability coverage in the next PPP on the Federal level as well as the State level.
Manufacturing production increased 0.8% in November, rising for the seventh straight month, led by strength in durable goods. The largest increases in output in November were in motor vehicles and parts, primary metals, paper, miscellaneous durable goods and aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment. Overall, manufacturing production remained 3.7% below the pre-pandemic pace in February.
After November’s data notched the best readings since September 2014, the IHS Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing PMI pulled back slightly in December. The index continued to signal a strong rebound overall since the spring. Input prices rose at the strongest pace since April 2018. The Eurozone data were also encouraging, improving to the best reading since May 2018, despite lingering COVID-19-related weaknesses in the services sector.