President’s Letter: Off to a Good Start

March 8, 2017 No Comments
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We Have Seats At Many Table

by B Kyle

toc_departments50px2017 has started well. Really well for the MPMA. January’s Golden Gloves event was a huge success, and $4,000 was donated to that organization. The MPMA Education Foundation has over $30,000 for scholarships in 2017; be sure to spread the word. The application is on the MPMA website, and the deadline is April 15. Sponsorships are up; and we are growing. Can’t ask for a better start to the year. What is our progress toward the priorities your Board is promoting this year?

Youth Skills Training Initiative – Led by our lobbyist on this issue, Amy Walstien, the MPMA got an early jump on this initiative by meeting with many organizations and potential legislative proponents before the session started. As of this writing, the Youth Skills Training bill has been introduced in the House and Senate and hearings have been held. MPMA members who have testified on behalf of the bill were Mike Yeager of Yeager Machine, Jaci Dukowitz of UMC, Rod Gramse of MRG Tool and Die, and Kim Arrigoni of Haberman Machine. They were also joined by representatives from the White Bear Lake Area High School’s manufacturing pathway program. The bill’s sponsors are Sen. Paul Anderson (R – Plymouth) and Rep. Jason Rarick (R – Park Rapids). Expect to continue hearing more.

Informational Resources – Under the “Government Relations” tab at, we have a section called “Get Involved.” Within that page is a section, “How to Reach Out to Your Legislative Representatives.” Check it out at: A recent New York Times article encourages you to call rather than emailing or texting your elected representatives. From personal experience, I know that your legislators log these calls specifically. I also know that emails are printed and retained, based on subject matter, so – perhaps – documenting your thoughts in written form can provide your legislators with specific soundbites they can use in addressing certain issues. Find out who represents you and/or your company. Type your home or business address into Visit your representative’s webpage for his/her phone and email to reach out and sign up for email updates.

Per Wells Fargo’s National Economics Group, the dollar’s strength since Election Day has signaled financial market confidence that expansionary fiscal policy will work.

On January 27, 2017, 4Q 2016 GDP growth data was released. The economy grew 1.9 percent in the fourth quarter, capping off a rather tepid year of growth. Analysts from Wells Fargo point out that during recent years’ Q4 readings have been weak, with a growth rate below 2.0 percent. 2016 was no different. For the full year 2016, the economy grew 1.6 percent, the lowest reading on record since 2011, and down from an increase of 2.6 percent the prior year.

In the December 2016 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®, the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI®) reached its highest point in two years, at 54.7 percent – a 1.3 percent gain over November. If you remember, 2016 started with a PMI of 48.2 percent. Interesting increase given the overall marginal expansion seen in the economy overall.

In December of 2016, the overall economy grew for the 91st consecutive month.

See you in the trenches.pm_endmarkgrn-e1320337194716

B. Kyle is the Vice President of Strategic Development at Saint Paul Port Authority. She can be reached at

Copyright © 2017 Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association. For permission to use or reprint this article please contact Nancy Huddleston, publications manager for Precision Manufacturing Journal.


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