CI Newsletter | April 20, 2023

Posted By: Taylor Dowd Newsletters,
The Bi-Weekly Newsletter of the Council of Industry
April 20, 2023
Council of Industry Updates
What's Happening in Your Association
Manufacturing Champions Breakfast and Workforce Developers Expo May 18th, Sponsors Needed 
Join us for the 2023 Manufacturing Champions Breakfast and Workforce Developers Expo May 18th at The Villa in Middletown. The event typically draws more the 200 people and will be broadcast by WKIP’s Hudson Valley Focus Live with Tom Sipos (2018 Champion)
The Council of Industry's Manufacturing Champion Award is presented annually to individuals and/or organizations that work in the sector or provide direct support to the manufacturing sector in the Hudson Valley. This year we recognize: 
Marty McGill – Vice President, Allendale Machinery Systems 
Elisha Tropper – President, Cambridge Security Seals 
Joe Andriac – General Manager, Elementis 
Mathew Leifeld and Noah Smith – Teachers, Hudson Valley Pathways Academy 
Past champions can be found here.
We hope you can attend! 
Sponsors make this event possible! Thank you JPMorgan Chase, PKF O’Conner Davies, Allendale Machinery and Ashworth Creative for your support! If you would like to join these generous businesses to support this event please click below or email Harold King for information.  
HV MFG, The Magazine: Spring 2023 Edition is Live Online
We are proud to present the Fall 2022 edition of HV Mfg., the magazine by, for and about Hudson Valley Manufacturing. With this edition we mark a significant milestone: the 10th anniversary of HV MFG. To commemorate the occasion, we take a trip down memory lane with a retrospective on the magazine’s origins and mission.  
This edition of the magazine also focuses on some of the most pressing challenges facing the manufacturing industry today.  
  • Steve Howell, Partner with RBT CPAs takes a deep dive into the challenges that manufacturers face when it comes to attracting and retaining talent and showcases some of the best practices that companies are using to build a strong and sustainable workforce. 
  • Rand Realty’s Paul Adler writes on the crisis of affordable housing and its impact on the manufacturing workforce.   
  • Lawrence Baye, CPA with PKF O’Connor Davies explores the complex and rapidly-evolving landscape of global supply chains, and discuss some of the key strategies that manufacturers can use to navigate this terrain and stay ahead of the curve. 
  • The company profile in this edition is of Catsmo, an artisanal smoked salmon company located in the Hamlet of Wallkill. For more than 30 years they have been producing some of the finest smoked salmon in the world. For this interview, Johnnieanne Hansen and Taylor Dowd spoke with the company's CEO and co-founder, Markus Draxler, about the challenges and opportunities facing the food manufacturing industry, and how Catsmo has been able to stay competitive in a crowded and ever-changing market. 
  • Our leader profile is with Bre Pettis, the President of Bantam Tools and founder of MakerBot. In this conversation we talk about how Bantam’s unique desktop CNC machines are facilitating innovation across industries and helping to develop the next generation of creators for the manufacturing workforce. We also discuss Bre’s unique journey to his current role and his commitment to supporting workforce development in the Hudson Valley.  
  • Directories of Members and Associate Members.  
A big thank you to all the firms that support HV Mfg and the Council of Industry with their advertisements in this publication.  
For information on advertising in this and other CI publications
contact Harold King ( for more information
Congrats Screaming Eagles!
Onteora Schools Rocket Club Selected as National Finalist
The Onteora Rocket Club's Echo Team, qualified as one of the top 100 out of 798 Teams from across the country and is a National Finalist in this year’s American Rocketry Challenge
Echo Team will be traveling to Washington, DC., and the “Great Meadow” in The Plains, Virginia to participate in this year’s National Finals the weekend of May 20, 2023.
At the National Finals the Team will compete for more than $100,000 in cash and prizes, the title of National Champion, and the honor of representing the United States at the International Rocketry Challenge in Paris, France in June 2023.
The contest requires building a rocket that reaches an altitude of 850 feet, carry a payload of 1 hen egg, separate into two sections at apogee, each section being recovered by parachute, and have a flight time between 42-45 seconds.
Congratulations to Echo Team!
Manufacturing Sector News
Small Manufacturers Can Win Big with Digital Transformation 
“Because the cost of data collection and analytics is getting lower and lower, even as a small company we can collect data at a rate that gives us meaningful information we can act upon,” said Graphicast a 25-person precision metal parts company in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, President Val Zanchuk. “For example, we created a linear programming model of our business. If we’re growing at a certain rate, I can use it to determine the most economical next steps, such as whether we should hire more people, work overtime or purchase more equipment.” 
Graphicast, which counts Fortune 100 companies among its clientele, has used cloud computing, AI-based systems and more to help it succeed, according to Zanchuk. The manufacturer is also looking into the use of collaborative robots as a potential solution to the labor force shortage. “When it comes to Manufacturing 4.0, we think about what our customers will be looking for from us in terms of digital collaboration,” said Zanchuk. 
Take the Clarkson/CI Foundations of Digital Transformation Course - Learn More 
What Exactly is a Cobot? 
Called “a new breed of robots” by the International Federation of Robotics, collaborative robots, or cobots, can operate safely alongside humans without fencing. In a 2020 report, the IFR defines four stages of collaboration. The stages are: 
  1. Coexistence: No fencing, but no shared workspace 
  2. Sequential cooperation: Robot and worker both active in the workspace, but movements are sequential 
  3. Cooperation: Robot and worker work on the same part at the same time — both in motion 
  4. Responsive collaboration: Robot responds in real-time to movement of worker  
The most common of the interactions between humans and cobots involve the first two stages — in which machines and humans work separately or carry out consecutive duties, according to a 2022 academic paper, “The Expanding Role of Artificial Intelligence in Collaborative Robots for Industrial Applications: A Systematic Review of Recent Works.”  
Automotive Industry Employs 1 Millionth Robot
Operational stock of 1 million units moved the automation bar even higher in the automotive industry, with the largest number of robots working in factories around the world. This represents about one-third of the total number installed across all industries, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the voice of the global robotics industry. “The automotive industry effectively invented automated manufacturing,” said IFR President Marina Bill.  
“Robots are playing a vital role in enabling this industry’s transition from combustion engines to electric power. Robotic automation helps car manufacturers manage the wholesale changes to long-established manufacturing methods and technologies.” Bill said. Robot density is a key indicator, illustrating the level of automation in the top car-producing economies. In the Republic of Korea, 2,867 industrial robots per 10,000 employees were in operation in 2021. Germany ranks second with 1,500 units, followed by the United States counting 1,457 units and Japan with 1,422 units per 10,000 workers, according to IFR. 
Just 33% of Supply Chain Managers Think Warehouse Inventories Will Return to Normal 
In a recent Survey, released on April 5, Bloated warehouse inventories are an expensive pressure eating away at the bottom line of many companies, and for many, the excess supply and associated costs of storage won’t abate this year, according to a new CNBC Supply Chain Survey. The survey was comprised of 90 logistics managers representing the American Apparel and Footwear Association, ITS Logistics, WarehouseQuote, and the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, or CSCMP, who participated in the survey between March 3-21. 
Just over one-third (36%) said they expect inventories to return to normal in the second half of this year, with an equal percentage expecting the gluts to last into 2024 — 21% saying a return to normal can occur in the first half of the year, and another 15% expecting normal activity by the first half of 2024. But uncertainty about inventory management is significant, with almost one-quarter (23%) of supply chain managers saying they are not sure when gluts will be worked off. 
Women In Manufacturing: The Ball Is Rolling, Now It Must Go Faster  
According to U.S. Census Bureau data, there are currently around 12.1 million people working in manufacturing, making it the nation’s fifth largest employer. This represents a considerable bounce back after a prolonged period of decline in the early part of this century. And what’s particularly interesting is that 30% of those jobs are filled by women. This isn’t quite a reason to break out the champagne. Currently, women account for around 47% of the general workforce, meaning the industry is still lagging behind many others. But it does, at least, provide a strong platform from which manufacturing companies can build a more gender-balanced future.  
As for what’s driving this progress, there are several factors at play. Certainly, the perception of manufacturing as a dirty, dingy world is on the wane. Instead, word is spreading that the industry is now more about automation than perspiration. Meanwhile, the rigid technical jobs of the past have been replaced by more contemporary roles centered around innovation, problem-solving, adaptability and collaboration. These characteristics are, historically at least, more in line with what female workers look for in a career. 
AI: Are We Ready for What is Coming?  
The competition for AI dominance is heating up as the world's biggest tech giants go all in on an area that will "impact every product across every company." That's the opinion of Google (GOOG, GOOGL) CEO Sundar Pichai, who hastily released the company's chatbot called Bard in March. The developing industry isn't limited to chatbots, with calls to pause many AI tools until new safety standards for the technology are in place, such as regulations for the economy, laws to punish abuse, and international treaties to make artificial intelligence safe for the world. 
Is society prepared for what's coming? "On one hand, I feel no, because the pace at which we can think and adapt as societal institutions, compared to the pace at which the technology is evolving, there seems to be a mismatch," Pichai told CBS's 60 Minutes. "On the other hand, compared to any other technology, I've seen more people worried about it earlier in its life cycle... and worried about the implications." There is no doubt that companies are on the brink of something big in terms of artificial intelligence, but it's also important to separate hype from reality when talking about any emerging technology.  
Hudson Valley Investment Advisor’s Gus Scacco Comments on Manufacturing and the Economy
In a report to investors HVIA, Inc. CEO and Chief Investment Officer Gus Scacco, comments: “We don’t see a recession over the next six months, because we are going in with such strong economic growth. Recessions don’t happen when you’re adding 200 000 jobs to the payroll every month Roughly 70 of the economy is comprised of service based companies. As long as employment holds up, we still expect positive GDP growth. We expect inflation to come down by 2 3 percentage points More people are coming back to work, so wage inflation is moderating.” 
On trends in manufacturing Scacco adds: “I think the re-shoring phenomenon is going to continue. For perspective, the US only exports 8% of GDP - more people send goods into us than we send out. To give you an example, if you walk into Walmart or Target, you’re going to pull something off the shelf that’s made in Asia because it’s the lowest cost of labor. Re shoring is happening because 60% of manufacturing costs used to be labor it’s now 30%. You may not realize it, but the Midwest is a new emerging market more than 25 battery facilities are opening there. There are nearly 1,200 companies right now moving manufacturing jobs back to the US. 
Grant Opportunities for Manufacturers Through FuzeHub 
Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund: Round 2 Applications Are Now Open for the Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund Manufacturing Grants. These grants are designed to encourage collaboration between not-for-profit organizations and small to medium-sized manufacturing companies in New York State. The grants serve as a resource to help companies achieve success from early stage, proof of concept through maturity. The partnership created by the not-for-profit organization and the industry partner serves as a pathway to technology transfer, adoption and implementation of new manufacturing processes, as well as the creation of enhanced products and services. Application Period Closes May 16 at 4 PM EST. Learn more 
The Department of Defense Modernization Grant: This grant offers funding to New York manufacturers whose main source of revenue originates from defense related contracts. The program offers manufacturers up to $25,000 (plus a required 25% company match) to engage in modernization projects. Applications are considered on a rolling basis, and projects must be completed by the 31st of August, 2023. If you have questions about this funding opportunity, please reach out to Ben Weinberg at FuzeHub
Advice on How to Deal with Workplace Shootings 
In an article on PBS, James Densley, professor of criminal justice at Metropolitan State University in DePaul, Minnesota and co-founder of The Violence Project, made this observation. “We have built an industry around how to lock bad guys out. We have heavily invested in physical security measures like metal detectors, cameras and armed security guards. But too often in workplace shootings, this is someone who already has access to the building.” 
And the numbers bear this out as a recent study of mass shootings between 2016 and 2020 found that about half of all attacks were perpetrated at businesses, many by employees or customers. How can companies address this? An article by Christina Jepson, of Parson Behle & Latimer, says a company's anti-violence policy should also contain policies that address other subjects including Background checks, mental health support, workplace dispute mediation and more than a dozen other ideas.  
Upcoming Events
HR Network: Compliance Update and Current Environment with Jackson Lewis
Thursday, April 27
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM (EDT)
The regulatory and legal playing field is constantly changing and it seems like the changes are coming faster than ever in the past 12 months. 
At this HR network meeting attorneys from Council of Industry Associate Member, Jackson Lewis will provide an update on state and federal labor and human resources regulatory changes, how they impact your business and compliance best practices. 
Items Tom McDonough and Rob Guidotti will discuss include:
  • Changes to the Federal Independent Contractor Rules
  • Changes at OSHA
  • Developments at the NLRB 
  • New York State Wage and Hour Laws
  • And More
Effective Business Communication
Thursday, May 4
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM (EDT)
Fair Rite Product Corp.
Effective Business Communication is designed to enhance individual ability to effectively communicate information to others within a company. Course content relates directly to supervisory relationships, co-worker dynamics, customer contact and dealing with managers. Participants learn usable techniques and theory for effective communication that ensures that messages are delivered and understood.
Asynchronous Courses With Clarkson University in Digital Transformation and Project Management - Learn at Your Own Pace
The Council of Industry is pleased to partner with Clarkson University, one of the nation's premier engineering and business universities, to deliver training in Digital Transformation in Manufacturing and Project Management. Designed to support experienced and emerging manufacturing executives, these asynchronous modules are available to Council members at a discounted rate.
  • Foundations of Digital Transformation - Learn More 
  • General Project Management Topics for Leaders - Learn More 
  • Managing Project Risks - Learn More 
  • Project Portfolio Management - Learn More 
  • Strategic Project Management Methodologies - Learn More 
  • Advanced Project Management Tools & Techniques – Learn More 
Each module takes approximately 10-12 hours to complete and are delivered by Clarkson faculty. Learners earn a digital micro-credential (badge) at completion issued by Clarkson. Badges indicate proficiency in the subject area of each successfully completed course.  
Additional courses in Budgeting and Finance, Technical Sales, Fundamentals of Negotiations, Supply Chain Management and Critical Conversations are in the works!