The Connecticut Legislature celebrates Business Day on Wednesday March 5th. This event is scheduled for the beginning of the legislative session and is an opportunity for lawmakers, lobbyists, and business owners to shake hands, exchange wish lists, and do all those other things that happen in the political arena. Manufacturers have much to celebrate with the current Administration; as programs to develop the workforce and encourage capital investment have rolled out.

Still, Business Day is often tagged as the day when the legislative agenda is set. Agendas narrow focus and launch a pragmatic discussion of what we will do. Last fall, the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) promoted the Manufacturing Institute’s “Dream it. DO IT.” campaign across the state. Agendas fit nicely into the DO IT part of the campaign. True partnership between manufacturing and government, however, requires some shared dreams. Without vision, agendas are reduced to the Win-Lose arguments of politics.  In the long run, it’s our dreams that will determine if Connecticut manufacturing remains sustainable.

From strategy, to design, and to fabrication, manufacturing has become a virtual, visionary world. Connecticut’s future in manufacturing lies in productivity and innovation, not low-cost commodities. I am concerned whether Connecticut’s dreams are bold enough in the area of the technical education. Someday our economy is going to recover and the shortage of technical talent will endanger our ability to hold our share of the market. We need to find the right incentives and focused programs to entice workers with skills to receive the incremental training to fill the talent gap.

I am optimistic. Every day I see more leaders recognizing the importance of manufacturing in our economy and that manufacturing needs their cooperation and support to succeed. Happy Business Day! 

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