We Need to Immerse Ourselves in the Community to Serve the Community
UAMMI gathered leaders from Utah’s advanced materials and manufacturing industries, school board, university faculty and department heads, and economic development planners to visit Congressman Burgess Owens’ office for a roundtable discussion to talk about what the industry does, who it represents, and how we can work together to ensure its success in the years to come. The group then took the discussion on the road with visits to three local manufacturing facilities allowing Congressman Owens, his staff, and UAMMI representative to “look under the hood’ to see some of the amazing products Utah produces, and most importantly, meet some of the incredible employees we work for.
Guiding the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Industry Forward Through Dialogue
Throughout the group meeting UAMMI representatives shared information about their companies and services. As is the dialogue around the country, workforce issues
continue to dominate the discussion. Companies pushed for a better pipeline of talent-ready workers to fill a wide-range of open positions. Academic representatives echoed the need to develop talent and identified a gap in the public’s understanding of what manufacturing really is, what skills are needed to work in the industry, and what education tracks are available. This issue is especially prevalent in our youngest populations as the words “engineer” and “manufacturing” are not easily understood. To paraphrase Sandra Hemmert, CTE Specialist at Granite School District, “Our younger students see fireman, police officers, and doctors and can identify those careers but they don’t necessarily see “engineers” in the community.”
The group also discussed the available ARPA funds and pending infrastructure dollars and how the right investments could allow Utah to build the research centers, talent programs, and product development systems necessary to take advantage of Utah’s geo- and demographical resources. Utah sits on some of the greatest stores of raw materials anywhere in the world and is home to a community of the world’s foremost experts in composites and manufacturing. With
additional resources, our community has proven it can produce well beyond what is provided. This conversation was extended to topics of national security and self-sufficiency. Utah has a very real opportunity to reshore manufacturing back the United States and into our State borders. The meeting representatives illustrated Utah’s ability to create many of the raw materials needed along with the vast network of companies capable of processing those materials. As the US deals with decades of lost market share in manufacturing, Utah companies are coming together to reverse the trend and build an infrastructure that allows the country to rely less on foreign partners. If we develop the right policies, we can help companies reduce lead time, improve economic opportunities, and decrease national security risks associated with an absence of critical manufacturing systems.
As the discussion wrapped, one thing was clear: It will take a public-private effort to solve the issues of our materials and manufacturing communities. As representatives spoke, many members from both the academic and industry sides recounted their role in the founding of UAMMI and why they continue to give their time – even as time becomes more strained with exasperated economic issues. It was also very clear that Utah has built the key alliances needed and stands as an example to our nation. It is our network’s intention to continue this effort and to work with our leaders to prioritize programs and services that have a direct impact on the national security of our country and economic opportunities available in our communities.
Thank you to all those who came together to make this happen! If you would like to join one of these events, learn more about UAMMI, or get involved in our network contact us.
Industry Members Committed to Success
Advanced Composites Inc.
One of the best filament winding companies in North America. They specialize in various fields to include Aerospace, Defense and Commercial applications. ACI has an ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D registered quality management system. It works through careful identification and measurement of key performance indicators from design stages through manufacturing. With your ideas and their teams, you can work together to bring about product realization that is focused, delivered within budget and exceeds performance expectations. ACI is a custom manufacturer combining the conveniences of a small company’s versatility with the depth of experience and expertise of a large company’s resources. Advanced Composites, Inc. believes that close customer-supplier relationship is the key to customer satisfaction.
As a leading producer of carbon fiber reinforcements and resin systems, and the world leader in honeycomb manufacturing for the commercial aerospace industry, Hexcel is the strength within hundreds of products offered in multiple markets across the globe.
Hexcel Corporation will build a flagship Center of Excellence for Research & Technology (R&T) to support next-generation developments in advanced composites technologies in Utah, adding up to 150 new high-paying jobs in the next 12 years.
Rock West Composites
Global leader for all things composites. Customer-centric, solutions-focused and one of the first companies to commodify composites technology, they offer everything from a wide selection of stock products to full-service custom composite products that they engineer, develop, prototype and manufacture.