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How Much Do You Know About the History of Specialty Chemical Manufacturing?

Posted: 09/22/14 at 1:12 PM

By Lawrence D. Sloan, SOCMA President & CEO

Did you know the U.S. chemical industry was founded on the premise of two World Wars and the subsequent Cold War?  This was just one of many interesting facts shared during an insightful overview of the U.S. specialty chemical industry at the 2014 ChemAgro Show in Charleston, S.C.  Conveniently packaged in a 50-minute session, Bill Knab, formerly of BASF, and Jim DeLisi, President of Fanwood Chemical offered a review of the origins of the U.S. specialty chemical sector and perspectives on where we may be headed.

This is the first in a series of three blogs about their presentation on our industry’s history.

To kick things off, Mr. Knab asked for a show of hands of those who have worked in the chemical industry for various intervals of time (more than 30 years, 20 to 30 years, etc.).  Not surprisingly, the audience was populated by folks in the “20 and up” categories.  Only a handful raised their hands in the “under 10” bracket.  Hardly scientific, but perhaps tellin...

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Is it past time to regulate the regulators?

Posted: 09/16/14 at 10:47 AM

By Dan Moss, Senior Manager, Government Relations

A recent study commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) found that federal regulations cost the U.S. economy more than $2 trillion annually, equal to more than 12 percent of the nation’s GDP.  The newly released NAM study builds on previous studies conducted by the same economists for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy.

Manufacturers, in particular, bear a heavy share of this burden.  On average, the study found, a manufacturing firm spends nearly $20,000 per employee per year to comply with regulations, approximately double the per-employee rate for all firms.  Furthermore, the study showed that smaller manufacturers, in particular, bear a disproportionate share of the regulatory burden.  For those manufacturers with fewer than 50 employees, the per-employee, per-year cost rises to more than $34,500.   The majority of those costs, almost 60 percent, derive from environmental rulemaking.

Apart from the issue of costs, regulatory transparency remains a...

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Women in Manufacturing – An Untapped Resource

Posted: 09/03/14 at 10:48 AM

By Jennifer McNelly, President, The Manufacturing Institute

Claire Backer is a Project Engineer for Jost Chemical Co. Overcoming the odds of being the only female engineer at Jost Chemical, Claire has demonstrated exceptional leadership and was a STEP Award Honoree in 2014.

Women like Claire – leaders in manufacturing – are the success stories that need to be told to help the manufacturing industry grow to its greatest potential.  This industry is currently experiencing a shortage of women in the workforce, representing only 24 percent of the manufacturing labor force.  Women represent manufacturing’s largest pool of untapped talent, which makes them a critical factor in closing the skills gap.

Women are the future of manufacturing industry leaders and essential to the success of the industry. That is why in 2012, The Manufacturing Institute launched the Science, Technology, Engineering and Production (STEP) Ahead initiative to honor and promote the role of women in the m...

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