AUSTIN, TEXAS – During testimony before the Texas Senate Natural Resources Committee today, the Texas Association of Manufacturers (TAM) strongly urged the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to resist calls to adopt a highly-regulated “capacity electricity market,” which would cost Texans billions of dollars a year for energy they may not even need.
“A capacity market would have an unmistakable chilling effect on economic growth in the state with a tremendous, long-term negative impact on Texas energy consumers,” said Tony Bennett, president of TAM. “The idea that a ‘capacity market’ is the only way to address power reliability concerns is off-base and is fueled by generators who would benefit from a subsidized market. Far from the only option, a capacity market would be more financially devastating than other alternatives – if change is even warranted – that should be considered.”
“Residential, municipal and industrial energy consumers will pay billions more for electricity in a capacity market,” said Bennett. “Capacity markets subsidize power generators who promise to meet projected future electricity requirements even if we don’t actually need the amount of electricity contemplated in the hypothetical scenarios.” Bennett also noted that a recent study of existing capacity market systems showed that well over 90 percent of the capacity payments went to existing power plants – not new generation facilities – effectively buying consumers nothing.
Beyond manufacturers, several environmental groups, commercial customers, and cities oppose the PUC moving to a capacity market.
Austin -- The Texas Association of Manufacturers (TAM) today applauded voter approval of two Texas constitutional amendments, which the Association says are critical to fortify the Texas economy. Voters approved Proposition 3, which will keep Texas aerospace industry competitive and Proposition 6, which provides funding for critical water infrastructure projects statewide.
Governor Perry signed two critical education bills today, HB 5 and SB 441. The following can be attributed to Tony Bennett, president of the Texas Association of Manufacturers:
The Texas Association of Manufacturers today applauded Governor Rick Perry for signing House Bill 5 (Rep. Aycock/Sen. Patrick) and SB 441 (Sen. Birdwell/Rep. Davis) both of which will broaden opportunities for Texas students during their school years and beyond. HB 5 provides flexibility to ensure that students can graduate from high school well prepared to take on the challenges of a two-year or four-year college, or to seek out a professional certificate. SB 441 establishes a Texas Fast Start Program to promote rapid delivery of workforce education and development for Texas students.
All forms of education are in demand in Texas today given our increasingly competitive, high-tech-driven economy and job market. By passing and then signing House Bill 5 and Senate Bill 441, Texas lawmakers and Governor Perry signaled their understanding that rigor can take many forms and that our education system must be flexible to meet the needs of every student.
AUSTIN, TEXAS – With the Regular Session of the 83rd Legislature fresh in the rearview mirror, the Texas Association of Manufacturers (TAM) today acknowledged some significant efforts by state lawmakers to strengthen the state’s manufacturing sector but cautioned that a few key policy and regulatory concerns went unaddressed.
“We know 2013 had the potential to be a break-out year for manufacturers. House Speaker Joe Straus put us on the right path by providing unprecedented leadership in naming a special interim committee to study ways to strengthen manufacturing in Texas,” said Tony Bennett, president of the Texas Association of Manufacturers. “Texas lawmakers, on the whole, embraced Speaker Straus’ charge by embracing smart, forward-thinking public policy that will help ensure the manufacturing sector continues to flourish, contributing to a strong Texas economy, and delivering continued job creation.”
AUSTIN, TEXAS— Texas could enjoy more than $13 billion in increased economic activity and 97,600 new permanent jobs if the state embraces a more competitive package of Research and Development (R&D) incentives and tax credits, according to a study released today by Texans for Innovation. Texans for Innovation is a diverse coalition working to extend the manufacturing sales tax exemption to materials and equipment used for R&D purposes and to reinstate the R&D franchise tax credit.
“We want Texans to appreciate what R&D means to our larger economy and to the creation of new, good-paying jobs for Texans and their families. This economic research shows that strategic incentives aimed at increasing R&D in Texas can be a real game changer,” said Tony Bennett, president of the Texas Association of Manufacturers and a founding member of Texans for Innovation.
“For large and small companies in industries like manufacturing, high-tech, energy, biotechnology, R&D is the critical ‘first phase’ where questions, ideas, and problems are fleshed out in labs, the field or production facilities to become the products and solutions that power the Texas economy,” added Bennett. “The R&D process is where it all starts.”
The coalition’s study also finds that the absence of an R&D franchise tax credit in Texas is detrimental to the economy. Texas’ share of national business-based R&D increased when the R&D franchise tax credit was implemented in 2001 and then fell when it was repealed in 2006.
AUSTIN, TEXAS – With more than 852,000 Texans employed and compensation averaging 70 percent more than the rest of the Texas workforce, Texas’ manufacturing sector is a force for economic growth and job creation.
Today at the State Capitol, state leaders and members of the Texas Association of Manufacturers celebrated Manufacturers’ Day, an opportunity to quantify the far-reaching effects of a strong manufacturing industry and to increase awareness of policy priorities that will strengthen this key sector of the state’s economy.
In his official proclamation of Manufacturers’ Day, Governor Rick Perry noted that Texas has been the top exporting state for 11 consecutive years and that “manufacturing is an especially important part of our state’s thriving economy.”
“State leaders like Governor Perry, Speaker Straus and Chairman Murphy have wisely focused on ways to grow Texas manufacturing to sustain continued economic recovery and growth here,” said Tony Bennett, president of the Texas Association of Manufacturers. “With the right policies in place, 2013 is poised to be the Year of the Manufacturer and all of Texas stands to benefit through high-quality jobs, continued capital investment, and robust contributions to state and local tax coffers.”
AUSTIN, TEXAS—A new statewide coalition of business and industry leaders says strategic incentives to expand research and development (R&D) are key to sustained and expanded economic growth and job creation in Texas.
Texans for Innovation unites leaders across business and industry sectors and includes the Texas Association of Manufacturers, Texas Association of Business, TechAmerica, TechNet, Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute, Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, and the Metroplex Technology Business Council. Together, coalition members point to the need for an expanded emphasis on research and development to maintain the state’s competiveness in the U.S. and globally.
“For large and small companies in industries like manufacturing, high-tech, energy, biotechnology, the research and development process represents the critical ‘first phase’ where questions, ideas, and problems are fleshed out in labs, the field or production facilities to become the products and solutions that power the Texas economy,” said Tony Bennett, president of the Texas Association of Manufacturers and a founding member of Texans for Innovation.
Tony Bennett: Schools and the Talent Shortage
You’d think that in this economy, job openings would barely see the light of day before getting snapped up by eager applicants. That’s not the case in the manufacturing sector, where high-quality, high-paying jobs sit vacant — sometimes for months, sometimes indefinitely — because of a shortage of manufacturing workers.
According to a recent Skills Gap study conducted by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte Consulting, two-thirds of business respondents report a moderate to severe shortage of qualified, available workers. Last spring, the San Antonio Manufacturers Association shed local light on this problem, estimating more than 1,500 open jobs in the area remained unfilled due to a lack of skilled workers. Training programs from the Texas Workforce Commission help to bridge the gap, but we need a long-term, comprehensive solution.
Texas isn’t alone, as the skilled-talent shortage is acute nationwide and around the globe. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, for every three skilled workers who retire, only one person steps up to fill the gap. Globally, more jobs for skilled tradespeople go unfilled than any other category of employment, according to a recent survey by ManpowerGroup.
A number of factors may be causing the manufacturing talent shortage in Texas. Read more.
AUSTIN, TEXAS – A manufacturing industry executive with wide ranging public policy experience, Tony Bennett will take the reins of the Texas Association of Manufacturers as its new president, the group’s board announced today.
“In Tony Bennett, we have found a president who fully appreciates the challenges and opportunities the manufacturing industry faces, including energy, tax, environment, transportation, workforce development and tort issues,” said Bill Oswald, Chairman of TAM. “While the manufacturing sector is on the rise in Texas, the Texas Association of Manufacturers knows the economic recovery is tenuous and fragile at best. Under Tony’s capable watch and leadership, TAM and its members will be positioned for long-term success.”
Bennett’s new position as president of the manufacturing trade association is also a homecoming of sorts. In 2005, Bennett served as the founding chairman of TAM, leading the industry’s efforts to establish a unified voice for the state’s manufacturing industry concerns at the Texas Capitol and in Washington, DC.
“There’s work to be done if we are to maintain Texas’ world-renowned dominance as a job creating powerhouse with one of the best business climates in the world,” said Bennett. “I’m ready to lead TAM forward and provide the necessary voice, vision and action our industry needs to succeed.”
AUSTIN – The Texas Association of Manufacturers (TAM) political action committee, the Manufacturers PAC of Texas (MPACT), today announced several primary endorsements of candidates for the Texas House of Representatives.
“Manufacturing is a driving engine of the Texas economy and we proudly support candidates who are committed to keeping manufacturing in Texas strong,” said Warren Mayberry, chairman of MPACT. “We are confident that these candidates will work to advance a strong manufacturing climate in Texas and continue to grow the jobs that anchor the state economy.”