Guest column by Michael Train & James Carter
As we have witnessed throughout this crisis, beyond the noble efforts of health care workers around the globe, there is yet another category that needs to be celebrated – those who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes in critical manufacturing roles despite many challenging circumstances. These are the people who have literally kept the lights on by ensuring electricity is uninterrupted and sources of energy are kept intact. These are the workers that produce sanitizer and cleaning solutions, members of water and waste management teams, pharmaceutical and medical device employees and people who manufacture personal protective equipment — and the list goes on.
At Emerson, our colleagues around the world have been proud to do our part to enable these important efforts. Our teams have worked diligently to keep hospitals running, operating rooms cool and medicines refrigerated. We helped our customers accelerate the production of face masks, face shields and hand sanitizer. We enabled professional tradespeople with the technology to use their skills to keep critical infrastructure operating smoothly. Many of the people behind these efforts spent time away from their families and worked around the clock to keep things running, all while doing their best to protect their own health and well-being.
So often, the industries and employees who fill these critical roles do not always receive the praise they deserve – but today, we express our deepest gratitude for the hard work each and every person in the manufacturing community has contributed over these trying months. It is our responsibility to not only thank these manufacturing workers for their ongoing dedication, but to continue supporting them as we move into the next phase of our economic renewal.
From the onset of the crisis, policymakers at the federal, state and local level have played an important role in ensuring that critical manufacturing functions were maintained as safely as possible amid the pandemic. We applaud the bipartisan lawmakers across all levels of government who participated in important dialogue, listened and put guidelines in place that allowed our global supply chains, local factories and business partners to continue operating safely. And as we look to the future, we must now continue to work together to ensure that manufacturers are positioned to be the engine for the resurgence of our economy.
Manufacturers and policymakers must work together to ensure global supply chains continue to operate without disruption, provide ongoing educational training and workforce development for the advancement of skilled tradespeople and support continued investment in 21st-century infrastructure. These policies will empower manufacturers of all sizes to continue their essential work in our communities.
Many challenges still remain for our economy, our society, and our world – but we remain optimistic that brighter days are ahead. The hard-working people of the manufacturing community are standing by to continue bringing us the essential products and services needed for daily life. We thank them for the invaluable contributions they have made to our communities during our time of need, and we look forward to the unprecedented renewal that manufacturing will make possible.
Michael Train is president of Emerson and chairman of Emerson Automation Solutions. James Carter is vice president of government affairs at Emerson. Previously, he served as deputy undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Labor.