As we close out 2017 and look back on the year, it is hard to argue that the domestic manufacturing sector has certainly enjoyed a resurgence. Since Q4 2106, the manufacturing sector real output has been steadily gaining ground and is approaching the historic high levels last seen in 2008. It is undeniable that we now live in a global economy and that our domestic manufacturing sector consistently faces headwinds from global competition. This new reality is unlikely to change; however, we remain optimistic that the policies that are being promoted and executed will continue to favor the expansion of our domestic manufacturing sector as a prominent player in the global economy.

Contemplating the positive developments that we have seen in 2017 certainly fosters a sense of optimism. We favor a forward-looking view and find that this has us excited about what 2018 and beyond have in store for our domestic manufacturing sector. In strategic planning, we often challenge ourselves to ask What If? That simple question gets us thinking beyond what we currently see and to envision and plan for the possibilities of what could be.

What if… tax and regulation policies in the US continue to trend more business and manufacturing friendly? Will this drive more innovation in a wide array of markets and accelerate the need for manufacturing expertise and capacity? If so, then will this not drive the need to develop new generation of technical and manufacturing talent?

What if… we see continuing momentum in the HEV market? Will this spawn an entire sector of manufacturing opportunities to develop and build the required infrastructure to support this market?

What if… the ever-increasing demand for electric power drives much needed reinvestment in the power grid? Will this accelerate the move towards a more decentralized grid and the demand for an array of power generation and distribution technologies? That would certainly have a positive impact on the demand for electric motors, transformers, generators and related manufactured components.

As we have shared previously, the job multiplier for manufacturing jobs is strong. It fuels real GDP growth and energizes our entire domestic economy. We are optimistic that the answer to these "What If" questions is a resounding YES in 2018 and beyond.

At Sko-Die, we are continuing to invest on our business and to position ourselves to meet the growing demand that a strong manufacturing sector drives. We are thankful for the support of all our customers and supply partners in 2017 and look forward to a prosperous 2018 with you. 

At Sko-Die, we remain ---