Manufacturers’ Council adds value thru events, advocacy, info

Manufacturers' Council / OMA - Metal Safety Event (6/17/2009)

Manufacturers' Council / OMA - Metal Safety Event (6/17/2009)

The Council & Springfield’s Manufacturing Heritage

The Greater Springfield Chamber is the oldest Chamber in the Dayton / Springfield metroplex and has over 800 members.  When it was founded in the late 1800s by Springfield Mayor O.S. Kelly and other community leaders, it was with a desire to strengthen the presence of manufacturing in the community.  At that time, Springfield had become the world’s leading producer of agricultural equipment, eclipsing such centers as Chicago or New York with William Whitley’s Champion Reaper.  The East Street Shops were the first or second (depending on the source) largest industrial complex under one roof in the world.  Over the next century Springfield became known for its Navistar trucks, its Buffalo Springfield steamrollers, its roses, and Wescott automobiles, and today many of Springfield’s strongest, proudest, and most reknown companies are manufacturers.  In recognition of the importance of manufacturing to the community and the role of the Chamber in adding value, the Chamber and the CIC staff the Manufacturers’ Council, a committee within the Chamber that seeks to support this sector of our economy.

Sponsored Events

With over 100 members, the Manufacturers’ Council (MC) hosts its own perodic breakfasts, while partnering with other organizations to do larger events. 

The first key event for the MC this year was bringing in reknown speaker Fred Keller to its annual Management Leadership Forum on April 29.  The forum kicked off with former Congressman Dave Hobson talking about the Springfield economy and led into Mr. Keller’s comments about the triple bottom line: business, ecological and sociological.  Sponsored by WorkPlus and the County Dept. of Jobs & Family Services, Keller–who is the current Chair of the US Manufacturers’ Council and President of Grand Rapids, MI – based Cascade Engineering, a plastics manufacturer–talked about creative ways his company had added those traditionally hard to place to his staff while reducing turnover and increasing turnover for his entire team.

One of the great partner organizations is the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association.  This year, the MC has partnered with the OMA on two great events:

  1. Safety Management for the Metal Industries (June 17) – Dianne Grote Adams and Brian Basbagill from Safex, experts in health and safety reviewed OSHA recordkeeping, preventing injuries, health and safety programs, amputations, cuts, lockout/log out, ergonomics, metalworking fluids, managing injured workers’ cases, and many other topics. 
  2. Surviving Now, Growing Out of the Crisis (April 17) – Eric Kurjan, President of Six Disciplines and organizational expert, led participants through methods and techniques targeted to help them survive and grow, such as helping employees know their most critical responsibilities and act on them, helping managers set consistent expectations and accountability, and measuring and monitoring progress.

The MC looks to hold its next breakfast networking event in September.  It will likely have the Legislative Forum therem, whereby speakers from the OMA, the Ohio Chamber, and legislators update manufacturers on the most critical issues to them. 

Communication, Advocacy & Assistance

The MC also proactively communicates and provides a communication vehicle for its members.  In a recent example, a Springfield OH manufacturer was looking to purchase a 1000 ton injection molding machine (which is still the case as of this email).  After sending out word to all the 114 MC members, one replied that they had several machines going up to 850 tons to sell.  We were able to send this out to all members as well.  In addition, updates, important events, and other pieces of valuable information are sent out periodically via MC-only emails.

As far as advocacy and assistance, the MC has been able to assist its members in resolving issues with various local, state, and federal governments, including local municipalities, the Ohio EPA, the US Small Business Administration, and the Ohio Department of Development.  This help has saved valuable time and money as well as resolved issues.

How to join

Joining the Manufacturers’ Council is easy, as every member of the Greater Springfield Chamber is eligible to join.  One only need to contact the Chamber/CIC staff person David Zak or a member of the Executive Committee (Andy Brougher at Eagle Tool, Rodney Hickman at Morgal, Phil Bartley at Navistar, Nick Demana at Benjamin Steel) to let us know you want to join.  Sutphen Corporation is our newest member.

>> Manufacturers’ Council – join –
>> Manufacturers’ Council – Exec Committee –
>> Ohio Manufacturers’ Association –
>> Brochure for 6/17/2009 Metal Safety Event –
>> Event from 2008 on Worker Safety & Health –


2 Responses

  1. […] • April – Management Leadership Forum with Fred Keller […]

  2. […] MVITA event is co-sponsored by the East Asian Institute of Wittenberg University and the Manufacturers’ Council of the Greater Springfield […]

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