Forging Ahead for Maryland Manufacturing Success

Posted in: Commercial Insurance

With unknowns in the global market, pending trade deals with China and implications of those deals, and omens aligning with the possibility of a recession for the American economy looming in the future, are you staying abreast of changes and issues set to hit the Maryland manufacturing industry in 2019? PSA was privileged to host an event recently in partnership with The Regional Manufacturing Institute (RMI) of Maryland to address these important issues. RMI is a non-profit association providing services, programs, and advocacy for manufacturers throughout the state of Maryland. PSA is enthused about partnering with RMI as we both share a focus on the future and a commitment to building a stronger Maryland manufacturing community.

The PSA/RMI joint event featured a panel presentation with speakers including Secretary of the Department of Commerce, Kelly Schulz; Sage Policy Group, Chairman and CEO, Anirban Basu; and Vice President of Human Resources for Global at Stanley Black & Decker, Gregg Chamberlain. The seminar was well attended, with over 100 members of the Maryland manufacturing community present. The panelists addressed issues such as the projected growth of the U.S economy, the possibility of recession on the horizon, the Governor’s agenda for manufacturing, and how manufacturers are positioned for the global economy to attract the talent necessary to compete in 2019 and beyond.

Here are some of the highlights from each speaker.

1. Kelly Schulz discussed Governor Hogan’s goals for his second term, which he is referring to as the “opportunity session.” The Governor plans to further develop Opportunity Zones (a program sponsored by the federal government), which incentivizes development in economically challenged areas and underserved communities. Maryland has 149 Opportunity Zones (at least one in every county). Building on this program, Governor Hogan is supporting legislation called More Opportunities for Marylanders, which adds on to the More Jobs for Marylanders Act and assures not only that manufacturing companies get tax credits for the number of jobs that are created, but also that the incentives expand outside of manufacturing into all of the Opportunity Zones.

2. Anirban Basu shared that the Baltic Dry Index has been his favorite indicator of the health of the economy for many years because there is no better way to take the temperature of the global economy than to observe the trends related to the price of shipping of major raw goods by sea. Right now, the Index shows that economic growth is slowing globally, but the U.S. is still experiencing growth in industrial production and has a strong labor market. Last year, we added more than 1,400 manufacturing jobs in Maryland alone. This number continues to grow because our state has started implementing policies needed to support manufacturing. As Anirban stated, the number one challenge facing manufacturing job growth according to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Manufacturer’s Outlook Survey is attracting and retaining a quality workforce—some of this comes down to policy and training people to join the workforce. How is your business finding and maintaining the right employees for business success?

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3. Gregg Chamberlain shared the changing infrastructure of manufacturing and technology companies with the introduction of Industry 4.0. We are in the fourth industrial revolution as a culture, which is
characterized by new technology fusing the digital and physical worlds. With the introduction of this new technology into manufacturing companies comes a new opportunity for risk in the realm of cybersecurity.
You may be physically protecting your business well in terms of building security, worksite safety, and employee training, but what about when it comes to the host of cyber threats that accompany innovative and
necessary technology?

PSA was honored to host such a successful and impactful event in partnership with RMI. As a local broker with a community focus, we are excited to get to know the manufacturers in our area, and will continue to partner with Maryland manufacturing businesses. Stay tuned as we explore in greater depth the topics discussed at the panel discussion through a series of blogs. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me at with any questions relating to your manufacturing insurance or risk management needs.