February 17, 2021 – Small Firm Uses TAAF Co-Funding to Help Keep ISO Certification
Following a suboptimal surveillance audit, this 12-person machine shop needed to correct several significant shortcomings in its quality system to keep its ISO certification. The company chose its local MEP center to assist with their effort, and used the TAAF program to pay for half of the project’s cost.
The MEP center conducted a gap analysis, then provided the implementation assistance and employee training needed to complete the necessary corrective actions. This 6 month project was successfully concluded last month, when the firm passed a comprehensive internal audit. Their Registar will be returning shortly, and the company is now poised to retain their quality certification, which is of great importance to many of their major customers.
February 16, 2021 – GLTAAC client upgrades website to enhance appeal to Defense Industry
What happens when your website doesn’t support your firm’s diversification effort? If you’re a GLTAAC client, you use your TAAF matching funds for a site upgrade.
That’s exactly what this Michigan precision machine shop did. Although the firm saw real opportunities for military applications, their existing website didn’t even mention the Defense industry. So, they selected a supplier to complete a website upgrade project which moved them to a site with targeted content to support their strategic plan. The new site includes fresh blog posts, improved images/design, and clearly specifies Defense as a market served. Total cost of the upgrade: $24K (TAAF paid half).
February 15, 2021 – Michigan manufacturer’s coaching project yields stronger Leadership Team
A family-owned GLTAAC client knew it could use some help to create a more effective executive team. One thing they could agree on – it would be best to use an outside consultant to help them get back on track. After interviewing several consultants, they selected a leadership development expert who had experience with companies of their size.
The consultant’s coaching process included individual and group meetings resulting in a more cohesive management team eager to adapt their roles to fit the needs of the company’s goals. Activities ranged from the simple (setting measurable goals) to the complex (building trust). The manufacturer met the challenge and has emerged with a more unified leadership team. They are now forward-looking – and equipped to commit to goals while handling any ‘productive conflict’ that might show up on their path. TAAF paid half of the $44K project cost.
February 12, 2021 – Ohio TAAF graduate: “We now have better tools and products to compete”
This Ohio GLTAAC client saw many changes in their market since beginning the TAAF program four years ago. During their time in the program, the electronics manufacturer used their $75,000 in TAAF matching funds to tackle projects such as worker training, strategic planning, market research and product development. Today, the firm states that they are more competitive than when they entered the program, and that their TAAF projects helped to “…upgrade our products and marketing strategies.”
February 11, 2021 – TAAF Project Focus: Talent Acquisition
Read more here about how Ohio GLTAAC client, Long-Stanton Manufacturing, used TAAF matching funds to fill a specific position. GLTAAC works with clients on a wide variety of projects – see a sample list here.
February 10, 2021 – Michigan plastics manufacturer begins TAAF program
Despite trying to meet challenges from foreign competition by controlling costs, this supplier to the transportation industry was seeing a decline in sales due to imports. They turned to GLTAAC for help and were recently approved to start using their $75,000 in TAAF matching funds.
The manufacturer is ready to get started right away with the projects in their TAAF Adjustment Plan. First up will be a focus on their top line with a market research project targeting their diversification goal. Soon after, they’ll shift to improving internal efficiencies with a project to help them make progress with Lean and Industry 4.0 implementation. Total cost for these initial efforts: $90K (TAAF will pay half).
January 25, 2021 – Ohio Aluminum Foundry begins TAAF program
Despite years of experience in the highly-competitive aluminum castings market, this Ohio firm was losing sales to imports. As a result, they were short on the cash they needed to strengthen internal capabilities. So, they turned to GLTAAC for assistance through the TAAF program.
Now that they have been approved for $75K of TAAF matching funds, the company is ready to get started on projects defined in their TAAF Adjustment Plan. They’ll begin with an ERP upgrade project – an effort that had been delayed due to lack of cash. After that, they’ll move on to use TAAF assistance for other projects to improve their top and bottom lines.
January 22, 2021 – Podcast: The Job Shop Show interview with GLTAAC’s Scott Jacobs
Here’s an easy way to learn more about the TAAF program: listen to this interview with GLTAAC Director, Scott Jacobs, on the Job Shop Show. Scott explains the program’s process and how small manufacturers can qualify for up to $75K in matching funds. Many thanks to Job Shop Show host Jay Jacobs (no relation to Scott!) for making sure job shops know about the matching funds and planning assistance available via the TAAF program. Thanks also to NTMA and Paperless Parts for sponsoring this episode.
January 20, 2021 – For this Indiana GLTAAC Client, Certification opens the door to Diversification
When they began the TAAF program 3 years ago, this Indiana automotive supplier could not have predicted their recent switch into the medical market. The move began when Covid-19 dealt them an unexpected blow. But they were able to bounce back, in part, because of their initial TAAF co-funded projects – including efforts which helped them develop better leadership skills and a unified vision.
The manufacturer had joined the effort to make critical PPE, at first to replace a slowdown in automotive-related business and to help beat the virus, but then they saw how well they could fit into the medical market. Their most recent TAAF project got them in shape to pass their ISO 13485 certification audit – a requirement for suppliers to the medical device industry. The certification, in addition to previous TAAF co-funded training and market research projects, have put them on a path to re-balance their product mix and increase revenue as they diversify.
December 11, 2020 – New Michigan Client starts TAAF with Strategy and Job Quoting Projects
When their TAAF funding was approved, this machining firm knew exactly what projects to do. They had worked with GLTAAC to create their Adjustment Plan, which sets the course for how a manufacturer spends their TAAF matching funds.
With the plan approved, they quickly chose consultants to start two projects. First, they began implementing a new job quoting system to improve their responsiveness, increase their win rate, and maintain margins. They also undertook a thorough SWOT of their business to guide future improvements and develop sales. In under 3 months, both projects have now been completed.
December 10, 2020 – Ohio Client begins TAAF with Marketing Projects to Support Diversification
When their TAAF funding was approved, this machining firm knew exactly what projects to do. They had worked with GLTAAC to create their Adjustment Plan, which sets the course for how a manufacturer spends their TAAF matching funds.
With the plan approved, they quickly chose consultants to start two projects. First, they began implementing a new job quoting system to improve their responsiveness, increase their win rate, and maintain margins. They also undertook a thorough SWOT of their business to guide future improvements, with an eye on developing sales. In under 3 months, both projects have now completed.
December 7, 2020 – GLTAAC presents at AMBA Continuous Improvement Forum – Webinar Recording
Now you can hear about the benefits of the TAAF program directly from a matching fund recipient. We were pleased to have GLTAAC client, Michiana Global Mold (Mishawaka, IN), as a co-presenter during a session at the recent AMBA Continuous Improvement Forum.
In this webinar recording, MGM’s President & COO, Eric Karaman, explains how his company used its TAAF program funding. You’ll learn why Eric describes the program as “easy, convenient, and helpful,” and encourages import-impacted manufacturers to take advantage of it. GLTAAC’s Scott Phillips also provides an introduction which explains the TAAF process.
Click here to view the recording. Many thanks to Eric for participating, and also to the American Mold Builders Association for including GLTAAC in their program.
November 9, 2020 – Indiana manufacturer back on track after Covid — tackles improvements from the top down
After recovering from short-term Covid-19 setbacks, this GLTAAC client is now taking on 3 new TAAF-funded business improvement projects. This supplier to the RV industry will first focus on leadership development, with the goal of establishing a shared vision for the firm’s future. The next project provides continuous improvement training for their staff. And the third will help the manufacturer select the best ERP system to meet their needs. In each case, the firm is working with a consultant of their own choosing. Combined, the projects total $40K, with TAAF paying half.
November 6, 2020 – Michigan manufacturer completes project to define cost structure
This GLTAAC client knew that a better understanding of their cost structure would help them quote more competitively. So, for their first co-funded TAAF project, they selected a consultant to examine their costs, develop a pricing model, and analyze their SKU’s. The result not only allows them to provide competitive quotes (possibly to new markets), but also helps them reinforce lean concepts and increase both revenue and productivity. Total cost for the project was $37.5K (TAAF paid half)
November 4, 2020 – Automation journey begins for Ohio GLTAAC client
After they had used TAAF matching funds to improve their online presence, this Ohio foundry moved on to address internal efficiencies. They chose to take the first step in their production automation process by upgrading their electrical system. Now complete, the project laid the groundwork for new automation equipment which have special electrical requirements. This automation initiative was part of their TAAF Adjustment Plan which the firm developed with the help of GLTAAC. The Adjustment Plan serves as a ‘roadmap to recovery,’ clarifying how each GLTAAC client will use their TAAF matching funds. Read more about AP development here.
November 2, 2020 – Ohio manufacturer begins TAAF with worker training project
When their TAAF funding was approved recently, this Ohio mold maker decided to start spending their matching funds with a project to build employee skills. The GLTAAC client is focusing on training their staff on the use of their upgraded CAD software, with TAAF paying half the cost. The manufacturer will also use their TAAF co-funding to develop a sales and online marketing strategy, and upgrade their website. Click here to see the kinds of projects TAAF funds
October 15, 2020 – MMA sponsors Webinar featuring GLTAAC and TAAF
Many thanks to the Michigan Manufacturing Association for helping to spread the word about TAAF program funding. During the October 14 webinar, GLTAAC Project Managers Jani Hatchett Cooke and Scott Phillips explained how GLTAAC works with small and mid-sized manufacturers to improve their global competitiveness. See the webinar here: Access $75K in Matching Funds to Offset Foreign Competition
October 8, 2020 – GLTAAC Client and TAAF Program Profiled in MIBiz Article
When they lost sales to foreign competition, GLTAAC client Avio-Tech (Twin Lake, MI) turned to GLTAAC and the TAAF program for help. Now you can read about Avio-Tech’s experience in the 9/27/2020 MIBiz article “Great Lakes trade center helps manufacturers compete with imports.”
Not only did Avio-Tech benefit from TAAF matching funds, they also found an ally in GLTAAC. “Every day you end up having issues…which require something that needs to be solved and I’ve used them as a resource to talk about specifics,” states Lee Thomas, President of Avio-Tech.
October 7, 2020 – New Ebook provides introduction to TAAF program
Have a look at a recent ebook created by manufacturing supplier, Paperless Parts. Downloable from their website, the ebook is titled: “The Job Shop’s Guide to Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms.” The ebook includes interviews with TAAF staff at regional centers around the country. It also explains the process and benefits of the program. We appreciate their effort to make U.S. manufacturers aware of the TAAF program. Thank you Paperless Parts!
October 6, 2020 – Product Development effort expands market for Ohio foundry
This GLTAAC client saw the potential to expand their product offerings, but needed outside engineering help. After selecting a consultant, the manufacturer began a 12-month project which resulted in the development of a new product which will help the foundry secure additional business. Additionally, the consultant provided assistance to prepare them for quality audits, plus ongoing training for employees. GLTAAC paid half of the $25K project cost.
October 1, 2020 – TAAF helps improve Sales and Quality for graduating Michigan Contract Manufacturer
After entering the TAAF program in 2015, this Michigan GLTAAC client used TAAF funding to improve both top and bottom lines. Their first project, a website redesign, led to an increase in quote requests. Another project tackled quality training, which helped to “…get management and employees on the same page.” They ended the program with an ERP implementation project, which made it easy for the firm to organize data, smoothed out the quoting process, and created more useful reporting. As they graduate, the firm has increased sales by 40% since starting the TAAF program.
September 30, 2020 – NTMA-hosted Webinar features GLTAAC and the TAAF program
Many thanks to NTMA for hosting a regional webinar to introduce TAAF program benefits to their members. NTMA invited GLTAAC’s Scott Phillips and Jani Hatchett Cooke to present at this informative 20-minute session. Thanks also to NTMA for now making this recent webinar available to non-members at no charge! To view the webinar recording, get started at this link. You’ll learn about how import-impacted firms can qualify for up to $75,000 in matching funds via the federal TAAF program.
September 14, 2020 – GLTAAC at UofM’s Economic Growth Institute Awarded $1.1 million
The U.S. Department of Commerce through its Economic Development Administration has awarded $1.1 million to GLTAAC to continue helping import-impacted manufacturers in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. The award is part of the EDA’s grant to support the national Trade Adjustment for Firms program (TAAF). Read more here.
GLTAAC began as a TAAF center in 1983 and has assisted hundreds of companies over the years. GLTAAC is part of the University of Michigan’s Economic Growth Institute, which is dedicated to fostering innovation and creating positive economic impact by assisting small and medium-sized enterprises. Read more about the Economic Growth Institute here.
September 10, 2020 – Training Project helps Ohio Iron Foundry Improve Quality & Turnaround Time
This GLTAAC client continued to improve their operational capabilities and efficiencies with help from the TAAF program. After completing 3 major shopfloor system projects over the past year and a half, the foundry looked to strengthen their product engineering function. So they used TAAF matching funds for advanced solidification software training, which included learning about best practices for model building simulation, as well in-depth, hands-on software use. The training has already paid off, allowing the manufacturer to meet specific customer quality and turnaround requirements. The foundry also anticipates a long-term decrease in scrap as a result. The $17K training was performed by an expert outside consultant, with TAAF funding paying half.
September 9, 2020 – Digital Marketing Campaign brings Results for Ohio Manufacturer
Seeking to improve their consumer product line sales, this GLTAAC client used TAAF matching funds for a Digital Marketing project. Working with an outside consultant of their choice, the project focused on reaching their target market using tactics such as social media posts and search engine optimization. The year-long project resulted in an 18% jump in brand awareness, as well as increased sales. Total project cost was $41K (50% paid by TAAF funds).
September 8, 2020 – Covid-19 PPE Pivot helps Indiana Automotive Manufacturer’s Diversification Effort
In January 2020, when this GLTAAC client began working with an outside consultant on a TAAF co-funded diversification project, they had no way of anticipating COVID-19’s impact. With the project underway, but their sales hurt by the virus, the firm quickly chose to pivot to PPE manufacturing – initially as a temporary measure.
Despite the pandemic, the diversification consultant’s work continued, with several new markets identified. But also, the consultant saw that the manufacturer’s quick response during their PPE pivot showed their corporate strength.
The diversification project ended with successful participation in a program to identify new government/defense suppliers. Key to the success was the consultant’s ability to tie together the firm’s production capability, as well as the flexibility and speed they demonstrated during the COVID-19 pivot. The firm is also planning to continue pursuing the medical supplies market.
August 19, 2020 – Ohio Healthcare Supplier Completes Market Research project
Before finalizing a key new product’s design, this company needed to better understand their market. So the GLTAAC client used TAAF matching funds to hire a trusted consultant to research it. Using focus groups and interviews with both prospective customers and potential end-users, the project provided insight into the entire buying cycle, how COVID-19 might affect market needs, and feedback on desired features and pricing. Total cost for the research was $33K, with GLTAAC paying half.
August 17, 2020 – Indiana Furniture Manufacturer uses Funds to Build Brand Awareness
This Indiana GLTAAC client was well-known by existing customers for their high-quality cabinets. However, the company needed to spread the word in order to expand their client base. So using a consultant of their choice, they undertook a Brand Awareness project, which included the creation of a new website and development of a targeted out-bound marketing campaign. Activity and engagement are up and the company has identified potential new customers. The TAAF program paid for 50% of this $28K project. See more about the kinds of projects TAAF funds here.
August 14, 2020 – SPOT Imaging uses TAAF funding for Diversification
A supplier to the life science market, SPOT Imaging (Sterling Heights, MI) was facing stiff import competition. They turned to GLTAAC for planning and funding to help achieve their diversification goals. Read more
July 17, 2020: Read all about it! MiMfg Magazine features article about TAAF and GLTAAC
The July 2020 issue of MiMfg Magazine (a publication of the Michigan Manufacturers Association) features an article by GLTAAC Director, Scott Jacobs. You’ll learn about how firms qualify for the TAAF program, how the TAAF process works – and why import competition is still a challenge for U.S. manufacturers. See a quote from MMA member and GLTAAC client, Superior Fabrication, plus a link to the article here.
July 16, 2020 – Sales and financial project proves its value – helps firm manage COVID-19 challenges
This GLTAAC client chose to tackle both top and bottom lines with a single project. The Ohio manufacturer selected a trusted consultant, initially to improve their sales process and train their team. However, the consultant, who has expertise in their industry, also was able to improve the firm’s cash flow analysis capabilities. Now completed, the manufacturer states that the project, “….is already very helpful as we monitor our cash flow. This important now but will be even more so following our shutdown during Covid-19 …. we will be glad we had this already in place.” TAAF funding paid for 50% of the project’s cost.
July 14, 2020: Project creates promotional videos for Michigan manufacturer
Seeing is believing. With that in mind, this machine builder wanted to use short videos to display their abilities. The GLTAAC client selected a consultant and used TAAF matching funds to create 4 videos, which clearly demonstrate their high-speed equipment to the defense and automotive markets. The videos are now installed on their website, can be used at trade shows, and also help to commumicate with prospects when in-person demos are not possible.
July 10, 2020 – New website first project for Indiana firm
An outdated website just wasn’t keeping pace with this Indiana furniture manufacturer’s capabilities. As a new GLTAAC client, the firm chose to begin spending their TAAF co-funding on a project to re-vamp their site to reflect their quality products. The project is now complete, resulting in website with refreshed images and updated content. Additionally, the site makes it easy for customers on all levels to contact the firm for quotes. TAAF funding picked up 50% of the cost for the new site. (See more about the kinds of projects TAAF funds here.)
July 7, 2020 – Ohio client completes TAAF program with ISO certification project
A custom manufacturer will soon graduate from the TAAF program after completing a CAD system migration project to better support their complex design environment. The project also included a review of ERP systems best suited to their needs, and got them started on the path to ISO 9000 certification (value $17K). The TAAF program also helped them tackle succession planning and a company-wide office software upgrade.
June 22, 2020 – Watch Now: GLTAAC Presentation on MedTechCrossroads Webinar
Want a quick way to learn more about the TAAF program? Now you can watch GLTAAC’s Scott Phillips presentation in a recent MedTech Crossroads webinar (a weekly production of in2being ). Scott includes examples of how GLTAAC clients make great use of their TAAF matching funds – including one Michigan client who manufactures instruments for the life science market. As Scott states, “We don’t want to leave money on the table if we can help manufacturers.”
See the recording of Scott’s presentation here, and thank you to in2being (Saline, MI) for including GLTAAC in their informative MedTech Crossroads webinar series.
June 9, 2020 – Michigan Firm graduates from TAAF Program: Completes Projects to improve Top and Bottom Lines
This GLTAAC client recently completed a lead generation project, using an outside consultant with expertise in their industry. The effort was successful, producing quote requests, increasing awareness for the client, and expanding their geographic territory. The results were so impressive, that the client has chosen to continue using the consultant in a follow-on project, with TAAF funds paying for half the $23K cost.
June 5, 2020 – Indiana Mold Maker uses TAAF funds to fill Sales Funnel
This GLTAAC client recently completed a lead generation project using an outside consultant with expertise in their industry. The effort was successful, producing quote requests, increasing awareness for the client, and expanding their geographic territory. The results were so impressive, that the client has chosen to continue using the consultant in a follow-on project, with TAAF funds paying for half the $23K cost.
June 1, 2020 – Video: Webinar focuses on Northwest Ohio manufacturer needs
Have a look at the recent webinar: There Has Never Been a Better Time to Consider the Long Game. Orginally presented on 5/28, the session is loaded with practical tips for smaller manufacturers, as well as a look at what’s coming next for exports and foreign investment.
Hosted by GLTAAC, the webinar includes:
- GLTAAC’s Scott Phillips overview of the TAAF program (GLTAAC & TAAF Overview starts here).
- Tips for how to manage PPP loan forgiveness from Kate Matz at William Vaughan, plus advice about how to make the most of any extra time you might have today (Beyond PPP starts here).
- The outlook for foreign direct investment and export support resources in the NW Ohio region from Paul Zito, of RGP Northwest Ohio (The Future of International Business Development starts here).
May 11, 2020: GLTAAC presents TAAF program on GLBMA webinar
GLTAAC Project Manager, Scott Phillips, presented in a recent webinar for the Great Lakes Bay Manufacturers Association. Scott’s webinar segment gives a great 6-minute overview of the TAAF program. Have a listen here.
May 9, 2020: Michigan GLTAAC client, Freeman Manufacturing, pivots to create PPE
GLTAAC client Freeman Manufacturing (Sturgis, MI) has made consumer medical supplies for over 100 years. Recently, when they saw regional hospitals in need of Personal Protective Equipment, they decided to be part of the solution by re-tooling to add isolation gowns to their suite of products. Read more about Freeman’s efforts – and their receipt of a Retooling Grant from the State of Michigan – in the Sturgis Journal article: “Freeman Manufacturing receives grant for critical supplies.”
May 7, 2020: Product Launch project helps Indiana client diversify
When this Indiana GLTAAC client wanted to spread the word about a new service capability, they knew a marketing toolkit would give the launch greater impact – and they also knew they needed help from outside expertise. They turned to GLTAAC for $27K of matching funds for the project and chose a trusted marketing services supplier to create the components of the kit. Now completed, the effort produced social media, a new web page, advertising, and a video blog series that demonstrates the manufacturer’s new capabilities.
May 5, 2020: Ohio client completes projects to improve their Sales process
Realizing that their sales process was holding them back, this GLTAAC client used TAAF matching funds to assess and re-vamp their sales procedures. Working with a consultant of their choice, this gas industry supplier first undertook a process analysis which identified areas for improvement. This was followed by a project to improve their CRM system usage, which included the encoding of new workflows and reports, as well as ongoing training. Combined, these projects cost $23K, with TAAF funds paying 50%.
May 4, 2020: Indiana metal stamper joins effort to supply PPE
With extensive experience in prototyping and metal stamping, GLTAAC client Mursix Corporation (Yorktown, IN) knew they could help address the shortage of PPE for medical frontliners. Tapping their in-house expertise, Mursix quickly added a new item to their project line: PPE face shields. Read more about Mursix’s effort in the Star Press article: “Yorktown-based company makes quick switch to produce face shields for hospitals”
May 1, 2020: TAAF program featured in American Mold Builder article
Read about the TAAF program in this recent article from The American Mold Builder. The article describes the program’s application process and benefits. Also included is a look at how GLTAAC client Michiana Global Mold (Mishawaka, IN) is putting their TAAF matching funds to work on projects critical to their success.
Read the article here: Nationally Funded Program Offers Assistance to Mold Builders
April 8, 2020: B&E Fabric Finishers uses TAAF matching funds for New Product Development
Faced with a supply chain disruption – and the possibility of losing long time customers – B&E Fabric Finishers (Ohio) used TAAF matching funds to speed new product development efforts. Read more here.
April 7, 2020: UofM’s Economic Growth Institute helps smaller manufacturers with retooling effort
The Economic Growth Institute at the UofM is working to provide connections and collaboration for small to mid-sized manufacturers during the COVID-19 crisis. An interview with Associate Director, Steve Wilson, explores how the Institute is assisting these businesses by providing connections and helping them “…think ahead in a time when they’re firefighting.” Read the interview here. (GLTAAC is part of the Economic Growth Institute.)
April 6, 2020: Indiana job shop to begin TAAF program
With their Adjustment Plan just approved, this vehicle industry supplier will soon start spending their $75K in matching funds. Their customized plan includes improvements to support systems, a re-vamped marketing strategy, and a focus on increased efficiency.
April 3, 2020: Michigan defense supplier completes Digital Marketing project
This GLTAAC client needed help to maximize their website’s impact. The manufacturer selected a consultant with the expertise to do a thorough review of their existing site. The consultant looked at all aspects of the site, including Google Analytics, SEO rankings, and content needs. The result was a well-defined plan of next steps for website development, with the goal of improving the manufacturer’s market presence
March 23, 2020: GLTAAC staff available, working remotely
Due to the current Stay Home order in the state of Michigan, the GLTAAC staff are working remotely. We expect minimal delays in operations and will continue to be available as always. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any concerns or questions.
March 16, 2020: It’s GLTAAC Graduation Season – 7 firms complete the TAAF program
This month, GLTAAC ‘graduated’ 7 manufacturing firms from the TAAF program. During their time in TAAF, this group completed 44 projects with a total value of $534,000 (and TAAF paying for half). We are pleased to report that in aggregate, since starting TAAF, this group increased sales by 39% and employment by 9%.
But the value of GLTAAC and TAAF was best stated by one graduate:
“GLTAAC was very helpful, not just in partially funding projects, but in helping us identify areas where this assistance could be most beneficial — because they understood our business.”
March 13, 2020: Ohio metal stamping firm completes $20K website update
This Ohio GLTAAC client used TAAF co-funding for a comprehensive website re-design. The manufacturer chose the consultant who worked with them to first develop a website strategy, and then create the website and conduct training so ongoing updates can be performed by in-house employees. The GLTAAC client now has an SEO optimized, mobile-responsive website complete with videos and pages devoted to highlighting their capabilities. Total cost of the project was $20K, with TAAF funding 50%.
March 5, 2020: Plastics Business article focuses on TAAF program, Indiana GLTAAC client
In its 2020 Issue 1, Plastics Business Magazine (a MAPP publication), describes the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program, and highlights how it worked for GLTAAC client Bamar Plastics (South Bend, IN). “There are no downsides to this program,” states Heather Meixel, Bamar CEO & President.
Read the full article here: “Nationally Funded Program Offers Assistance to Manufacturers”
February 24, 2020: Michigan firm uses SPC training to tackle quality issues
This Michigan machining firm used TAAF funding to help build worker skills and also resolve recurring quality issues. They recently completed a project introducing their team to the effective use of SPC. Using a consultant who trained onsite at the firm’s facility, classroom instruction was followed by a review of actual production data. The manufacturer now has a team equipped to use a consistent approach to monitor processes, identify issues, and find solutions.
February 21, 2020: Ohio Equipment manufacturer enhances Lean Leadership
Looking to further improve efficiency, an Ohio GLTAAC client chose to use TAAF co-funding for Yellow and Green Belt training. This supplier to the healthcare market chose a trusted consultant to provide on-site training, including hands-on exercises. The $15K project (funded 50% by TAAF) enabled the firm to take another step in its Lean journey.
February 18, 2020: Indiana firm uses TAAF funds for $28K Digital Marketing effort
This consumer goods manufacturer selected two consultants to complete projects to help expand their market with a specific category of buyers. One project focused on creating a special website tailored to the firm’s target audience. The second consultant designed email blasts to the audience, sent to arrive as the buyers were making their purchasing decisions. TAAF matching funds paid for half the $28K cost of the projects.
February 16, 2020: Funding plan submitted for Michigan manufacturer
GLTAAC has submitted the TAAF funding plan for a Michigan furniture manufacturer. The plan includes a look at the firm’s market, SWOT, and how they will spend their $75K of TAAF matching funds. After the plan is approved, the manufacturer will start off with ERP upgrades and organizational development projects. Additional projects will support a new product launch and help implement Lean concepts, with an eye on improving quality and lowering costs. Read more about GLTAAC’s Adjustment Plan development process here.
January 28, 2020: Indiana manufacturer completes 3 TAAF projects ($37K value)
Employee training, market research, and leadership development – this Indiana machine maker recently completed TAAF co-funded projects that tackled each of these areas. The overall effort served to strengthen their market position, and to develop a readiness to embrace challenges in a competitive environment. Combined, the projects cost was $37K – with the TAAF program paying for half.
January 27, 2020: Website development is first TAAF project for Ohio foundry
A new GLTAAC client is off to a great start in their road to recovery. GLTAAC had worked with the Ohio foundry to develop their Adjustment Plan, which lays out a schedule to first focus on marketing projects to increase their top line. The firm has now begun a website development project, accompanied by a project to create video content for the site. The combined efforts represent a $34K pricetag, with the TAAF program paying 50%.
January 24, 2020: New Ohio client is ready to begin spending TAAF funds
An Ohio instrumentation manufacturer has just been approved to begin spending their TAAF matching funds. Their Adjustment Plan was accepted in December and they are excited to start their first TAAF project. The firm will focus on new product development and is currently selecting a consultant to provide expert assistance. GLTAAC project managers coordinate client projects, and can also assist if needed to identify and select the right outside expertise. Read more about the Projects We Fund here.
January 22, 2020: Updated exhibit design supports new product line for Michigan manufacturer
Looking to promote a new service, this Michigan machine builder needed help to support a project launch. They wanted to exhibit at several trade shows attended by their target market, but needed an updated booth designed to emphasize their new capabilities. Working with a consultant of their choice, the manufacturer used TAAF co-funding to update their exhibit “look” with the right message – and in time for a key show.
December 9, 2019: Ohio Manufacturer Starts Leveraging $75K of TAAF Co-Funding
Rexarc International (located in West Alexandria) is the leading U.S. manufacturer of acetylene plants and related equipment. They recently qualified for the TAAF program, with help from GLTAAC, after losing sales to low-cost foreign producers from India and elsewhere. Rexarc has just started implementing business improvement projects through the program, with TAAF paying for half the cost.
“We are excited to be working with GLTAAC. The $75,000 of project co-funding they provide is going to help us make improvements we’ve been wanting to make, but were just outside our reach as a small business. We are thankful to our local contacts at the University of Dayton’s Fastlane, for making us aware of the opportunity and connecting us with GLTAAC.” Rob Moyer, Rexarc CEO
December 8, 2019: Michigan firm uses TAAF funds for NDT Certification
With the goal of expanding skills and services, this machine shop wanted to bring NDT testing in-house. They selected a consultant who trained and certified their employees in three different methods of NDT testing. TAAF funding picked up 50% of the cost for the project, which resulted in certification and increased worker skills.
December 6, 2019: Ohio firm uses TAAF matching funds for new product development, market diversification
When asked by a key customer to develop a new product, this Ohio GLTAAC client rose to the challenge. The automotive supplier chose to work with a consultant who not only introduced their staff to product design principles, but also provided simulation engineering for the new product. The opportunity gives the manufacturer a chance to re-gain business previously lost to imports – and would allow their customer to re-shore production for the part.
December 5, 2019: Indiana furniture manufacturer submits TAAF Adjustment Plan
After their sales were hit hard by Chinese imports, this kitchen cabinet maker turned to GLTAAC for help. Working with the family-owned business, the GLTAAC team took a look at their market, performed a SWOT analysis, and developed a TAAF Adjustment Plan, which details how the firm will use $75,000 of matching funds to re-gain their competitive edge. After their plan is approved, the company will focus on increasing brand awareness, improving support for their dealers, and worker training.
November 11, 2019: Skills Training helps Ohio manufacturer improve quality
For their first TAAF project, this Ohio foundry chose to build worker skills via software training. The GLTAAC client selected an outside consultant to conduct the class which focused on enhancing engineering capabilities. With the training complete, the firm’s engineering staff now has additional expertise for their continuous quality improvement efforts.
November 8, 2019: TAAF project supports Certification effort for Indiana automotive supplier
As they moved toward IATF 16949-2016 certification, this GLTAAC client wanted to address internal training. Working throught the TAAF program, the firm undertook a project to assess their needs and then implement training to meet certification deadlines. With the project now complete, the manufacturer has achieved certification, and has a plan for continued employee education.
November 7, 2019: GLTAAC takeaways from OESA/Harbour Results 2019 Auto Tooling Update
GLTAAC attended OESA and Harbour Results’ 2019 Automotive Tooling Update last week. Good event. Troy Nix (from AMBA) was enthusiastic and uplifting in the morning (as usual). However, in the afternoon, the forecast provided by Laurie Harbour (Harbour Results) was sobering.
While she doesn’t expect a full-blown recession next year, Harbour forecasts a total NA spend of only $6.8 billion in 2020 (down from $8.7 billion in 2019). Furthermore, LH anticipates the market will stay at just $6-8 billion for next several years due to cyclic factors and structural changes in the auto industry. These include major cost-containment initiatives by the OEMs (needed to facilitate significant investment in EV and AV development), as well as growing import competition from China (intensifying already severe price pressure on tooling).
As a result, Ms. Harbour believes 50-75 shops are likely to go out of business in the next 5-7 years, with smaller shops in the greatest peril. For more info, American Machinist published a good summary of Harbour’s forecast here.
November 6, 2019 – Recruiting project successful for Michigan GLTAAC client
Filling a key Executive Team position was a priority for this Michigan manufacturer. They chose to use TAAF matching funds to hire an outside recruiter to find just the right person. The recruiter located multiple candidates, resulting in a successful hire. After a short time on the job, the new team member has already produced results for this GLTAAC client.
October 15, 2019 – Ohio metal fabrication firm uses TAAF funding for Skills Training and Certification
This Ohio GLTAAC client used TAAF co-funding to help them comply with a key customer’s certification requirement. Working with a consultant who was familiar with their company and their market, the firm was able to improve worker skills and achieve compliance. They now see an opportunity not only to increase sales with their key client, but also to expand to others that have similar certification needs.
October 14, 2019 – Michigan Tool & Die firm starts TAAF program
When their sales were hit hard by import competition, this Michigan automotive supplier turned to the TAAF program for help. After working with the team at GLTAAC to complete their Adjustment Plan, the firm is now eligible to receive $75K in TAAF program co-funding. This new GLTAAC client will get started with a project to improve their sales process. Projects on deck include employee skills training and production efficiency initiatives. Read more about TAAF Adjustment Plans here.
October 9, 2019 – Iron Foundry starts TAAF program with ERP upgrade initiative
With an eye on improving efficiencies across their facilities, this Indiana TAAF client chose to start spending their matching funds on an ERP upgrade and training project. Their goal is to establish a common platform among the sites, not only to improve efficiencies, but also to provide data to inform management decisions. Now that they have successfully completed this first $32K project, they will use TAAF co-funding to complete the ERP system conversion.
October 8, 2019 – Ohio client uses TAAF funding to increase Market Share
Looking to expand sales for a product line, this Ohio auto parts supplier used TAAF co-funding for a market discovery project. The firm worked with a consultant of their choice who conducted in-depth interviews and surveys to develop a solid picture of the target market. Using the output from this effort, the firm now has a better understanding of the size of the market, sales trends, and their ideal buyer’s personas.
September 16, 2019 – GLTAAC client hires Sales director via TAAF co-funded Recruiting Project
When it was time to hire a new leader for their sales team, TAAF funding helped this manufacturer find the right person. After choosing a recruiting firm that understood the needs of their industry, the firm used TAAF matching funds to help pay for the effort. The recruiter located the right person for the job, and now this GLTAAC client is ready to make the most of their sales team and new sales tools (a new website and a customer newsletter plan – both projects also co-funded by TAAF).
September 12, 2019 – TAAF funds support lead generation and business development
This Indiana mold maker is using TAAF projects to expand their market share. In two coordinated projects, the firm is using outside consultants to locate and qualify new prospects, then follow up for complete business development coverage. Combined, these projects represent a $98K effort, funded 50% by TAAF.
September 10, 2019 – Lean Cell Improvement Training produces results for Michigan manufacturer
A Michigan GLTAAC client has completed a Lean Cell Improvement project, funded 50% by TAAF. The company selected a consultant who worked directly with cell coaches and teams in both simulated and actual environments. This was a successful project, with the firm anticipating a 15% improvement in line productivity during the year. Additionally, the effort yielded well-trained teams that are committed to continuous improvement efforts.
August 20, 2019 – Indiana firm uses TAAF co-funding to support new product launch
A key objective in this manufacturer’s TAAF Adjustment Plan was to increase sales via the introduction of new products and services. To maximize impact, this Indiana machine builder is using TAAF matching funds to pay for half of a $54K Product Launch effort. Working with an outside consultant of their choice, the project will deliver Product Launch support assets, including social media content, videos, and an SEO campaign. Read more about the kinds of projects TAAF can co-fund here.
August 16, 2019 – TAAF matching funds facilitate ERP system transition
This Michigan 5-axis machine shop was ready to switch from their old ERP system to a newer, more flexible one that better met their needs. They chose a consultant who not only implemented the transition, but also created new standard operating procedures, and trained the firm’s employees. The project’s $31K cost was 50% paid by TAAF funds.
August 12, 2019 – Michigan fabrication firm completes Leadership Development project
Working with an outside consultant, this project helped to clarify the manufacturer’s strategic goals, and then help their Leadership Team master the skills to best support those goals. The project included quarterly planning and in-person team sessions over a 12-month period. TAAF funding paid for half the $40K cost.
August 8, 2019 – Ohio firm works with their MEP to develop online website portal
This Ohio steel component manufacturer just completed a website portal development effort which streamlines the quote request process for their clients and prospects. The firm used TAAF co-funding for the project, and selected their regional MEP as the consultant. They tackled the issue with two projects: first, development of requirements, and then, the actual implementation of the portal. The result is a straightforward ordering portal with an interface designed for the needs of the customer. The combined cost of the projects was $53K, with TAAF picking up half the bill.
July 11, 2019 – Market Discovery project leading to increased Sales for Michigan client
A GLTAAC client just completed an extensive Market Discovery and rebranding project via the TAAF program. The project yielded improved awareness of their brand in their target market, allowing this manufacturer to increase sales forecasts (and they are currently meeting those forecasts). This automotive supplier used $22K of TAAF matching funds for the year-long effort.
July 8, 2019 – GLTAAC client uses matching funds for recruiting & employee engagement
An Ohio equipment manufacturer is using TAAF matching funds to take their Human Resource department to the next level. They recently selected an outside provider to help them improve skills in recruiting, onboarding, and employee engagement. TAAF is paying for 50% of this $24K project.
July 3, 2019 – Indiana firm completes 2 Leadership Development projects
Working with a regional university, this GLTAAC client used TAAF matching funds to support their leadership training initiative. One project addressed management challenges and decision-making. Another served to enhance leadership skills for members of their engineering and technical staff. Both projects were identified in the machine builder’s TAAF Adjustment Plan (AP). Read about the AP process here.
July 1, 2019 – Ohio electronics firm begins employee training project
A GLTAAC client in the Dayton region is using TAAF money for Six Sigma training. The project will result in both Yellow and Green Belts for key employees as part of the firm’s quality and cost-containment efforts.
June 10, 2019 – MetalForming Magazine highlights GLTAAC Indiana client and TAAF program
This month’s MetalForming Magazine highlights TAAF in two ways:
- Joe Jancsurak’s editorial title says it well: “Hurt by Foreign Competition? Help’s Available” (read it here)
- See how the TAAF program worked for GLTAAC client Mursix Corp (Indiana). “Mursix executives want others to know about and perhaps benefit from what they learned: Help is available through the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAAF) program…” Read the full article here.
June 9, 2019 – Michigan automotive supplier completes quality project
This GLTAAC client is finalizing an internal audit of its quality management system in preparation of ISO and IATF certification audits. The client selected the supplier to work on this project,and the TAAF program paid for half of the $21K cost.
June 8, 2019 – Ohio foundry reaches TAAF program milestone
A mid-sized Ohio manufacturer is advancing through the TAAF process. Their petition was recently approved, which means there were determined to be eligible to move on in the program (more about the eligibility here.) The next step will be work with the GLTAAC team to develop their Adjustment Plan, which will chart the best way for them spend their TAAF funding as they recover from import competition.
June 5, 2019 – Indiana GLTAAC client begins 2 internet marketing projects
As they move to diversify, this Indiana food industry equipment manufacturer is using TAAF matching funds to reach new markets. The firm recently started two related internet marketing projects. The first focuses on creation of website content, with the second concentrated on delivering email blasts to their target audience. Combined, the projects total $29K, with the TAAF program picking up 50%.
June 4, 2019 – Michigan GLTAAC client approved to start TAAF Adjustment Plan
A Michigan furniture manufacturer recently completed the first phase of the TAAF process. With their petition certified, they will now move on to creating a recovery plan, which acts as a roadmap for how they will spend $75,000 in TAAF matching funds. See more about the Adjustment Plan here
May 10, 2019 – New Ohio GLTAAC client begins marketing and recruiting projects
What’s the best way to get the most from TAAF matching funds? Start spending right away. This new GLTAAC client, a metal stamping firm in Ohio, was ready to go as soon as they were accepted into the TAAF program. They immediately began 3 projects: two focused on marketing (including a new website) and one dedicated to recruiting. Their TAAF matching funds will pay for half of the $50K cost for these three critical efforts.
May 7, 2019 – Michigan machine builder approved for TAAF matching funds
With their TAAF Adjustment Plan (AP) approved, this new GLTAAC client will soon start spending their funding. Initial projects will include ERP training for staff and a professional development program for their leadership team – with 50% of the cost paid by the TAAF program. Click here to learn more about the TAAF Adjustment Plan.
May 2, 2019 – Indiana furniture manufacturer to begin TAAF program
One of GLTAAC’s newest clients, this smaller Indiana manufacturer is now approved for TAAF matching funds. Because TAAF assistance is customized to meet the needs of the firm, this client will focus their TAAF project spending on building market awareness via an improved website and trade show presence. To learn more about the kinds of projects the TAAF project co-funds, click here.
April 15, 2019 – New from GLTAAC – Import Exposure Status for the region
Want to stay up-to-date on the level of foreign competition confronting manufacturers? Over the years, the Great Lakes TAAC has continuously tracked and analyzed U.S. imports and their potential impact on manufacturers in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. Now, we’re sharing the GLTAAC Import Exposure Status on our website. Learn more in GLTAAC Director, Scott Jacobs’ blog post, then see this month’s Import Exposure Status.
April 12, 2019 – Ohio firm uses TAAF funding to achieve ISO 9001:2015 Certification
A steel products manufacturer used their TAAF matching funds to achieve ISO 9001:2015 Certification critical to their industry. The effort proceeded in separate projects, first addressing training and pre-certification preparation, then the audit and resulting certification. The two projects involved separate outside consultants (selected by the GLTAAC client) and represent a $42K expenditure, with TAAF paying 50%.
April 8, 2019 – Indiana machine builder begins TAAF program with staff development project
A new GLTAAC client’s TAAF Adjustment Plan was just approved this spring. The plan acts as a roadmap, outlining how the firm will use $75K of TAAF co-funding as they recover from import impact. This Indiana manufacturer was quick to get started with a leadership development project, and will next tackle marketing and worker training efforts.
April 1, 2019 – Michigan furniture manufacturer applies for TAAF program
After several years of declining sales due to import competition, this Michigan firm recently worked with GLTAAC to submit an application to the TAAF program. This is first step in TAAF process, which leads to receiving up to $75K of matching funds for critical business improvement projects. Read more about the TAAF process here.
March 21, 2019 – Indiana GLTAAC client uses TAAF funds to improve sales
The TAAF program co-funds many types of projects (see list here), including efforts to support marketing. For example, a GLTAAC client in Indiana just started a Sales Development project, with 50% of the $42K project to be paid by their TAAF funding. This manufacturer selected the consultant for the project, which includes market discovery and implementation of sales processes required to penetrate those markets. See a list of projects the TAAF program co-funds here.
March 19, 2019 – TAAF co-funds Lean training for GLTAAC client staff at regional Community College
A GLTAAC Michigan client is now receiving Lean Manufacturing training for employees – 50% funded by the TAAF program. A regional community college will conduct the training, with the goal of creating a team equipped to manage and implement Lean.
March 13, 2019 – Dayton area manufacturer submits TAAF application
This gas equipment producer recently submitted their TAAF application. The GLTAAC team works closely with clients to complete and submit program applications – at no charge to the firm. The next step for this Ohio manufacturer will be the creation of a recovery plan (written by GLTAAC in close collaboration with the client). The plan will outline how the firm plans to spend $75,000 of TAAF matching funds. More about the TAAF process here.
February 24, 2019 – GLTAAC client uses matching funds to recruit Veterans
Although they have been in the TAAF program for less than a year, this Michigan fabrication firm recently got started on their fourth TAAF co-funded project. The manufacturer will now begin working with a consultant to recruit military Veterans. This effort follows their previous TAAF projects, which included market discovery, sales development, and leadership coaching.
February 12, 2019 – TAAF funds pay 50% of targeted email campaign for Indiana GLTAAC client
A GLTAAC client in Indiana recently completed a targeted email campaign project, 50% funded by the TAAF program.The consumer goods manufacturer worked with an outside consultant to reach 18,000 key decision makers in their market. After seeing great results from this initial effort, the manufacturer will do a follow-up campaign with the same consultant, which will also use TAAF matching funds.
February 2, 2019 – Automotive components supplier submits TAAF application
When this Ohio manufacturer’s sales had been hit by import competition from China, they were glad to learn about the TAAF program. In December, GLTAAC worked with the firm to submit their TAAF petition – the initial step in qualifying for program co-funding. The manufacturer is now on track to receive $75,000 in matching funds for projects to help improve their global competitiveness. See a list of the kinds of projects TAAF co-funds here.
January 7, 2019 – A Mixed Picture, For Now, About Manufacturing’s Strength
On consecutive days last week, economic indicators were released painting a mixed picture about manufacturing’s economic strength. On Jan. 3, the Institute for Supply Management released its monthly manufacturing index. It had a noticeable drop, to 54.1% in December from 59.3% the month before. That meant manufacturing was still expanding, but at a slower rate. Anything above 50% is positive territory. The next day, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly jobs report. That showed a gain of 32,000 manufacturing jobs for December and 284,000 for 2018. That was part of an overall increase of 312,000 non-farm jobs, hailed as good economic news. Read the entire article here.
January 4, 2019 – Manufacturers under Trump had best year for jobs since ’97
Under President Trump, U.S. manufacturers posted their best year in two decades, the government reported Friday. The manufacturing industry created a net 284,000 jobs in 2018, its best performance since 1997. The Labor Department said manufacturers added 32,000 jobs in December. Most of those new jobs were in durable goods such as fabricated metals and electronics. Read the entire article here.
December 15, 2018 – New Website lets Michigan manufacturer emphasize its strengths
With their website past its ‘expiration’ date, this GLTAAC client was eager to update their image so it matched their capabilities. The precision machining company used TAAF co-funding to help pay a design firm to completely update their website. They now have a site that clearly states their ability to deliver high-quality machining services, on time and competitively priced – with easy access for visitors to quickly request a quote. See a list of the kinds of projects TAAF co-funds here
December 10, 2018 – Manufacturing Imports Still on Record Pace for 2018
Despite all the talk of a trade war, manufacturing imports are higher than ever. Through October, imports of manufactured goods are up 10% for 2018 year-to-date. This is after hitting an all-time high in full-year 2017, of just over $2 trillion. It is now a certainty that manufacturing imports in 2018 will break 2017’s record.
Furthermore, manufacturing imports from every one of the 25 largest source countries are up (see chart here that includes the top 10). For more information, see Scott Jacobs’ blog entry: Good Times for Small Manufacturers – But Dangerous Too
December 1, 2018 – GLTAAC Director, Scott Jacobs quoted on CNN Business
Scott Jacobs, GLTAAC Director, was quoted in a CNN Business article which examines whether today’s trade policies are causing in increase in US jobs. Read the entire article here.
November 30, 2018 – GLTAAC helps Northeast Indiana manufacturer “achieve a new level of business excellence”
TAAF was a great program for this Northeast Indiana machining and fabrication firm, which graduated from the program in December 2018. TAAF co-funding helped them tackle critical projects such as ISO Certification, machine training, and ERP training. According to the firm, “Great Lakes TAAC helped us achieve a new level of business excellence and therefore competitiveness.”
October 30, 2018 – Effect of Tariffs Not Yet Apparent in Trade Numbers
Somewhat surprisingly, we have yet to see the current, impending, or threatened future tariffs significantly impact overall U.S. trade numbers. The Census Bureau recently released their advanced trade info for September, and both imports and exports of goods increased for the month – https://www.census.gov/econ/indicators/advance_report.pdf.
This will not last. Unless something significant changes, tariffs by the U.S. and its major trading partners will soon start to eat into our import and export volumes. The Great Lakes TAAC believes this will probably start being reflected in the official numbers by December or January. Of course, some manufacturers – especially smaller ones – are already getting squeezed by higher material costs brought on by tariffs. But overall, it seems trade is still humming.
GLTAAC will post manufacturing specific import info when it comes out.
September 10, 2018 – Michigan manufacturer benefits from 2 programs at the UofM’s Economic Growth Institute
Over the past few years, this Michigan machine builder lost significant sales as a result of decreased defense spending at home and and rising foreign competition from abroad. The firm turned to the University of Michigan’s Economic Growth Institute for help, and received assistance from two Institute programs: DMAP and GLTAAC (the Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program and the Great Lakes Trade Adjustment Assistance Center).
The company started with DMAP, completing 2 major marketing projects through the program. Then in August, they were approved to receive planning assistance and matching funds through the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program. GLTAAC is now working with the firm to develop their Adjustment Plan, which outlines their recovery strategy, including how they will spend $75,000 in TAAF co-funding for critical business improvement projects.
The Economic Growth Institute is pleased to do its part in creating positive economic impact by helping small- and medium- sized firms such as this Michigan manufacturer. Read more about the Institute
September 6, 2018 – GLTAAC at UofM’s Economic Growth Institute awarded $1.1 million
GLTAAC has been awarded $1.1 million to continue helping import-impacted manufacturers in Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. The award comes from the U.S. Department of Commerce through its Economic Development Administration, as part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program (TAAF).
Initially selected as a TAAF center in 1983, GLTAAC has assisted hundreds of companies over the past 35 years. GLTAAC is part of the University of Michigan’s Economic Growth Institute, which is dedicated to fostering innovation and creating positive economic impact by assisting small and medium-sized enterprises. Read more about the Economic Growth Institute here.
July 19, 2018 – Automation to improve competitiveness of small medical supplies manufacturer
Despite a long history of high quality, this Michigan GLTAAC client was being swamped by low-cost Chinese imports. To protect their corner of the market, the company knew they needed to cut costs in one of their core product lines. This meant adding a custom automation system to some of their highly specialized, but aging, production equipment. The firm recently began a $40K project to do just that — with the TAAF program paying 50% of the cost. This project is one of several significant improvement initiatives identified in the company’s TAAF Adjustment Plan.
June 14, 2018 – Central Ohio manufacturer completes $25K ERP upgrade project via TAAF program
This Ohio steel parts manufacturer had been making due with an older, unsupported ERP system. After completing several other projects via TAAF, they selected a consultant to implement an ERP upgrade and train employees on its use. The six-month project was completed recently, with GLTAAC splitting the bill with the firm on this $25K effort.
June 12, 2018 – Indiana machine builder submits TAAF application
GLTAAC has submitted a TAAF program application for an Indiana machine builder. The firm had seen sales and employment dip because of steady import competition. When approved for the program, the manufacturer will receive a customized Adjustment Plan, which outlines the most impactful ways for them to spend their $75,000 in TAAF co-funding.
June 8, 2018 – New Ohio GLTAAC client begins Process Improvement project
After their recent acceptance into the TAAF program, an Ohio steel services supplier is off to a great start. They immediately began a Lean Manufacturing project with their regional MEP, designed to reduce the cost and turnaround time for product testing. The firm’s next TAAF projects will focus on market diversification, improving their quoting process, and creating an effective framework for business planning. (TAAF provides matching funds for a wide variety of critical business improvement projects – read more here.)
June 6, 2018: Michigan firm gets started with $25K project via TAAF
With their TAAF Adjustment Plan in place, this Michigan fabrication firm was quick to get started spending their program matching funds. Their first project is focused on discovering market diversification opportunities. The firm selected the consultant for the market discovery project and GLTAAC will pay half the cost.
May 14, 2018 – GLTAAC helps Michigan firm begin TAAF process
A supplier to the medical market, this Michigan manufacturer got in touch with GLTAAC when their sales were hit hard by import competition. GLTAAC worked with the firm to develop and submit their TAAF petition, which is the starting point to qualify for TAAF program assistance. (More about the TAAF process here.)
May 12, 2018 – Metal stamping firm on path to receive $75,000 in TAAF matching funds
GLTAAC has submitted an application (called a ‘petition’) on behalf of this Ohio manufacturer. The firm is facing steep competition from Asian imports, causing a drop in both sales and employment. After the application is approved, GLTAAC will work with the manufacturer to create their Adjustment Plan, defining their roadmap to recovery and how TAAF matching funds will help.
May 1, 2018 – GLTAAC says farewell to Senior Project Manager, John Antos
After 11 years with GLTAAC, John Antos has retired. John has been a valued member of the team, helping over 100 companies get the most from their TAAF assistance. We thank John for his commitment to GLTAAC’s clients, and also for being a truly collaborative colleague. The entire GLTAAC team wishes him a very Happy Retirement.
April 17, 2018 – GLTAAC welcomes Project Manager: Scott Phillips
Scott Phillips is now part of the GLTAAC team, serving as Senior Project Manager. Scott looks forward to applying his expertise in manufacturing and business development to help GLTAAC clients. Click here to learn more about Scott.
April 2, 2018 – GLTAAC welcomes Paul Crossley to the team
Joining as Senior Project Manager, Paul Crossly brings with him extensive experience in manufacturing and supply chain management. Paul has already begun to provide expert service to GLTAAC clients. Read more about Paul here.
April 1, 2018 – Indiana manufacturer submits TAAF program application
This iron foundry was experiencing a drop in sales due to steep import competition. GLTAAC worked with the firm to create their TAAF Petition, which is the first step in the process to receive up to $75,000 of TAAF matching funds. Read more about the TAAF process here.
March 5, 2018 – TAAF co-funding yields outstanding results for Indiana firm
“I just wanted to let you know how thankful I am for GLTAAC’s support.” — After completing the first 2 TAAF projects in their Adjustment Plan, this Indiana GLTAAC client reports outstanding results. The manufacturer’s initial projects focused on leadership development, which helped them refine individual skills, develop a unified vision, and then establish quantifiable performance metrics. The firm is now ready to continue using their TAAF funding for sales development.
Feb 26, 2018 – Indiana GLTAAC client pursues major online marketing campaign
An Indiana consumer products company is using TAAF matching funds to continue an in-depth digital marketing effort. The client chose to use a marketing agency which they had previously used for a re-branding campaign. The project is valued at $45K, with TAAF funds paying for half.
Feb 22, 2018 – Ohio forging company submits TAAF funding plan
This month, GLTAAC submitted an Adjustment Plan for this Ohio oil industry supplier. GLTAAC worked with the firm to identify the best ways to spend their $75,000 in TAAF assistance, with an initial focus on Lean Manufacturing initiatives.
Feb 20, 2018 – First phase of website development completed for Michigan firm
Looking to expand their customer base, this Michigan transportation components supplier’s first TAAF project resulted in a brand new website. Now that their site reflects the value they provide to their market, the firm’s next TAAF project will build on that presence with a Lead Generation project to develop new prospects and increase sales.
January 12, 2018 – GLTAAC co-funds ISO 9001:2015 transition for Michigan electronics manufacturer
This Michigan GLTAAC client has begun using TAAF matching funds to update their certification to ISO 9001:2015. The firm’s GLTAAC Adjustment Plan had specified this effort as one of the critical projects in their recovery from import competition. The manufacturer selected the consultant, who will help them achieve compliance with ISO 9001:2015 requirements.
January 9, 2018 – Indiana automotive supplier off to a great start in TAAF program
After they were approved for TAAF funding last fall, this manufacturer was eager to start implementing the projects outlined in their Adjustment Plan. They are currently tackling four projects worth over $102K, with TAAF funding picking up half of the bill. These projects address qualify certification, Lean manufacturing, professional development, and key personnel recruiting.
January 5, 2018 – Ohio foundry starts TAAF process
When their sales were hit hard by import competition, this Ohio manufacturer turned to GLTAAC and the TAAF program for assistance. GLTAAC recently submitted the firm’s TAAF application, which is the first step in receiving planning and funding assistance via the TAAF program. GLTAAC looks forward to helping this newest client get back on track in 2018.
December 21, 2017 – Ohio manufacturer submits TAAF application
With their TAAF petition now submitted, this Ohio iron foundry is on the path to receive $75,000 in TAAF matching funds — plus a customized action plan which charts the course for their recovery. The firm has been experiencing severe import competition, and will use the funding assistance to help them invest in their future.
December 19, 2017 – Training to be first project for Michigan GLTAAC client
This Michigan machining firm will start spending their TAAF co-funding to improve their employee skill set. The project will train operators on the use of a newly-acquired machine. The project will help the manufacturer achieve the goals in their TAAF Adjustment Plan.
December 7, 2017 – Site visit completed to new Michigan client
GLTAAC staff completed their visit to an Upper Peninsula manufacturer today – one of our newest clients. The onsite meetings help GLTAAC understand the firm’s goals and needs, which will guide the use of their $75,000 in TAAF matching funds.
November 17, 2017 – Recovery plan process beginning for Ohio manufacturer
After completing the application phase of the TAAF process, a large steel component manufacturer is moving on to initiate their Adjustment Plan. GLTAAC staff are onsite today at the firm’s Ohio facility, working closely with management to begin developing the plan. The AP serves as the firm’s ‘roadmap to recovery,’ including an analysis of their entire business, and will identify how the how the firm will spend their $75,000 in TAAF matching funds.
November 14, 2017 – Indiana firm begins TAAF program with sales rep search
With their Adjustment Plan recently approved, this Indiana injection mold manufacturer has already started to spend their TAAF funding with a sales rep recruitment project. The firm will use an outside recruiting firm to locate a new sales team member to meet the specific needs of their market.
November 8, 2017 – Michigan defense supplier continues TAAF program with Internet Marketing project
This Michigan GLTAAC client has already undertaken several initiatives in their Adjustment Plan, including quality certification and market research projects. Now they are using TAAF matching funds to expand their client base via a comprehensive Internet Marketing Campaign. The firm will work with an outside consultant to update their website, establish a social media presence, and improve their SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
November 7, 2017 – Lean Manufacturing training initiative next project for Indiana GLTAAC client
A GLTAAC client will begin a long-term Lean Manufacturing training initiative, 50% co-funded by TAAF. The Indiana metrology firm will initially focus on one department, with the goal of finding cost savings while improving quality. Read about the kinds of projects GLTAAC co-funds here.
October 11, 2017 – Indiana Specialty Components supplier approved to use TAAF matching funds
This month, an Indiana precision assemblies manufacturer became the newest GLTAAC client. The firm will immediately begin to spend their $75,000 in TAAF matching funds on the initiatives identified in their Adjustment Plan: market diversification, leadership development, Lean training and quality certifications.
October 6, 2017 – Michigan firm takes first step in TAAF program
GLTAAC has submitted an application (called a ‘petition’) to the TAAF program for a metal fabrication company. Import competition had hurt both sales and employment for this Michigan manufacturer, which led them to pursue TAAF assistance. After their application is approved, they will move on to the planning phase of the program (more about TAAF phases here).
October 3, 2017 – Ohio manufacturer completes TAAF projects to help top and bottom lines
With an eye on both sales and quality improvement, this Ohio foundry just completed two of the initiatives identified in their TAAF Adjustment Plan. The first project upgraded the firm’s website to emphasize key capabilities and make it easier for prospects to request a quote. The second project provided onsite internal auditor training; an important step in the firm’s effort to achieve ISO certification. In each case, GLTAAC paid 50% of the project cost.
September 21, 2017 – Indiana firm completes TAAF recovery plan
This injection mold manufacturer has submitted their TAAF Adjustment Plan, which serves as a roadmap for the most effective ways to use TAAF co-funding to increase their global competitiveness. The firm will use their TAAF matching funds to identify new markets, provide worker skills training, and improve efficiency and quality.
September 19, 2017 – Michigan firm working with MEP on Leadership Development
This automotive supplier will use TAAF matching funds for training to help management lead employees through industry challenges. The project was identified in the firm’s Adjustment Plan, in addition to productivity improvement and marketing efforts.
September 15, 2017 – Oil & gas industry supplier submits TAAF application
Import competition, combined with a downturn in the industry, took a toll on this Ohio manufacturer’s sales. The application is the first step in the TAAF process to qualify for $75,000 in matching funds.
September 11, 2017 – Machine tool orders continue to increase
Machine tool orders are one of the strongest leading indicators for the overall manufacturing sector, and the news from AMT is good. July was the 6th straight month with a -year-over-year increase and orders are up 10% for the first 7 months of 2017. This bodes well for total manufacturing activity for the rest of this year and into early 2018. In our region (North Central – East), year-to-date orders are up 12%. Read the story on American Machinist here.
August 21, 2017 – Lead generation project brings sales for Indiana client
Looking to expand their market share, this Indiana GLTAAC client worked with an outside consultant to locate and qualify new prospects. The TAAF co-funded project generated qualified prospects, which then went on to become customers. The firm was so pleased with the results that they are continuing their relationship with the consultant – again using TAAF matching funds to broaden their customer base.
August 18, 2017 – GLTAAC helps Michigan client close skills gap
A Michigan manufacturer has completed a project which yielded six well-trained workers on its newly-acquired Swiss CNC production machine. The firm selected the consultant for the $15K project (split 50/50 between the firm and GLTAAC), which included onsite hands-on training and follow-up sessions to solidify worker skills.
August 15, 2017 – Ohio firm uses TAAF co-funding for ERP system upgrade
With their existing ERP software soon to be phased out, this metal fabrication firm will split the bill with GLTAAC on a $23K system upgrade. The project also includes employee training and development of procedures to maximize ERP system effectiveness.
July 19, 2017 – Indiana manufacturer starts TAAF planning phase
GLTAAC staff are in central Indiana today working with the management team of an Indiana stamper to begin developing their Adjustment Plan. The company’s AP will identify their path to improved competitiveness and lay out the projects they plan to undertake using their $75,000 in matching program funds. 
July 10, 2017 – Ohio GLTAAC client using MEP to improve top-line
An Ohio auto parts supplier is working with their regional MEP center to implement several key projects through the TAAF program. These focus on marketing strategy, new product development, and internet marketing, with GLTAAC paying for 50% of the project costs. 
July 5, 2017 – Michigan TAAF Program graduate regains profitability
After completing three incumbent worker training projects in just under three years, this small Michigan machine shop finished the TAAF program at the end of last month. These targeted training projects brought improved capabilities and lower costs, which helped the company win more business, grow sales, and return to profitability. 
June 22, 2017 – GLTAAC welcomes Kevin Rucinski to the team
Joining as Senior Project Manager, Kevin brings solid experience in manufacturing and management. He looks forward to working with GLTAAC clients to help improve their competitiveness. Read more about Kevin here.
June 15, 2017 – Michigan consumer products firm completes rebranding
Working aggressively with 4 different consultants via the TAAF program over the past year, this small Michigan firm successfully redefined its business (even changing its name), refocused its market position, and redesigned all of its promotional materials (including its website). The company is now ready to grow as it introduces new products and rebuilds market share over the next few years. 
June 8, 2017 – Michigan manufacturer starts TAAF with Certification project
A new GLTAAC client has started to implement their TAAF Adjustment Plan. For their first project, this precision machining firm is working with their MEP to attain ISO 9001:2015 compliance. Their next project will focus on a redesign of their website. 
May 31, 2017 – Ohio MEP to work with new GLTAAC client on their first project
A new Ohio GLTAAC client will work with an Ohio MEP for their first TAAF co-funded projects. The projects will advance the automotive supplier’s new product development process and marketing strategy. GLTAAC will ‘split the bill’ for these projects, providing 50% co-funding to the manufacturer.
May 30, 2017 – Website re-design to be first TAAF project for Ohio firm
With their Adjustment Plan now approved, this central Ohio steel parts manufacturer has begun spending their TAAF co-funding. Their first project will be a website redesign, using their preferred consultant who has a track record in helping manufacturers get the most out of their web presence. See more about the kinds of projects GLTAAC co-funds. 
May 15, 2017 – Indiana firm to begin TAAF Recovery Plan
An Indiana mold maker was recently accepted into the TAAF program. The manufacturer, whose sales had been declining due to import competition from Mexico and Asia, will now begin to work with GLTAAC to develop their recovery plan. (See more about the TAAF application and planning process here.) 
April 19, 2017 – Indiana manufacturer off to a great start in TAAF program
With their Adjustment Plan just approved, this Indiana firm wasted no time starting to spend their TAAF matching funds. The firm began a comprehensive marketing project in April, with the goal of building their brand, improving their web site, and reaching new customers. 
March 22, 2017 – Ohio firm begins TAAF program with ISO certification project
An Ohio foundry will start implementing their TAAF Adjustment Plan this month. They will begin using their TAAF program matching funds for ISO Certification. Future projects will focus on Internet marketing, enhancing productivity, and staff training.
February 27, 2017 – Training & Marketing first TAAF projects for Michigan firm
Now that their Adjustment Plan has been approved, a GLTAAC Michigan client will start spending their TAAF matching funds on an extensive website upgrade. Additionally, they’ll tackle worker skills training with the goal of enhancing productivity. 
January 10, 2017 – Indiana firm TAAF: will identify new target markets
With its Adjustment Plan recently approved, this La Porte area manufacturer is ready to start spending their TAAF matching funds. As identified in their plan, the manufacturer will begin with a marketing project to better understand existing customer needs and identify new target market segments. 
January 9, 2017 – GLTAAC Director interviewed on Michigan Radio
GLTAAC Director, Scott Jacobs, recently discussed TAAF on Michigan Radio’s “Stateside/Next Idea” program.
- Listen to this short (11 minute) interview by going directly to the recording or to the link on the interview’s web page.
December 20, 2016
Central Ohio manufacturer begins its TAAF recovery plan: A steel products manufacturer has been accepted to the TAAF program. This Ohio firm had experienced slumping sales due to competition from low-cost Asian imports. They will now begin the second TAAF phase, working with GLTAAC staff to assess their business and develop an Adjustment Plan.
December 15, 2016
Indiana manufacturer’s quality and productivity directives supported by TAAF: GLTAAC worked with an Indiana client to split the bill for two significant projects. The firm used TAAF matching funds to help pay for installation and training of new quality control equipment. Additionally, the TAAF program co-funded worker training, with the goal of reducing the firm’s reject percentage. Combined, these projects represented a total investment of over $65K. 
December 12, 2016
Michigan medical supplies manufacturer begins TAAF program: After working with GLTAAC to develop their recovery strategy, this firm’s Adjustment Plan has been approved for the implementation phase of the TAAF program. The firm will start by using their TAAF matching funds to create an internet marketing plan.
New GLTAAC client ready to begin using matching funds: Now that its Adjustment Plan has been approved, a Michigan machining manufacturer will use its TAAF matching funds to support a variety of critical business improvements. The plan, prepared by GLTAAC in collaboration with the client, identifies which strategic projects to tackle, as well as an implementation timeline. 
November 16, 2016
GLTAAC wins EDA grant competition – will continue as TAAF center: Initially selected as a TAAF center in 1983, the U.S. Economic Development Administration recently chose GLTAAC to continue to serve import-challenged manufacturers in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio via the TAAF program. Read more here.
October 24, 2016
Three clients complete TAAF, receiving a combined $215K in co-funding: Three GLTAAC clients graduated from the TAAF program this month (one each in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio). While participating in the program, these clients completed a total of 12 business improvement projects. These firms received a combined $215K in TAAF matching funds, resulting in $430K spent to tackle crucial initiatives (and representing over 3,400 hours of outside consulting assistance). Learn more about the kinds of projects the TAAF program co-funds here.
GLTAAC client starts 7th skills training project: A metrology firm in Indiana just began a training project which will be 50% funded by the TAAF program. The training class will be conducted by an instructor from the machine manufacturer. This is the 7th in a series of hands-on training projects designed to improve the firm’s worker skills and productivity. 
October 20, 2016
Michigan firm continues re-branding effort: A GLTAAC consumer-goods client recently began two marketing projects as part of their overall growth strategy. One project will specifically address re-branding, while another will enhance a newly-created website. Both projects were identified as priorities in the firm’s TAAF Adjustment Plan.
September 23, 2016
Ohio electronics firm begins 2 projects via TAAF: This Dayton-area GLTAAC client is using TAAF co-funding for custom programming to upgrade a key component of its primary product. A second project is helping the manufacturer improve its management team’s skills via a 3-month leadership training program. Both projects were identified in the company’s Adjustment Plan, and are 50% funded by the TAAF program. 
September 19, 2016
TAAF co-funded research identifies diversification path for Michigan manufacturer: A Michigan GLTAAC client recently concluded an extensive market research project as part of their TAAF Adjustment Plan. This ‘deep dive’ examined seven new market segments in detail and ultimately selected four segments with immediate growth potential. In addition, targeted sales materials were created to kick-start the firm’s selling efforts. The TAAF program split the bill with the company for this intense market research effort. 
September 14, 2016
Ohio automotive supplier to enter TAAF program: After being hit hard by import competition from China, this family-run manufacturer turned to GLTAAC for help. GLTAAC submitted the firm’s petition (the first step in the TAAF process), which was recently approved. Now the manufacturer is working with GLTAAC in the next step of the TAAF process — development of their Adjustment Plan. 
September 1, 2016
Indiana manufacturer qualifies for TAAF program: With sales suffering from import competition, this firm turned to GLTAAC for help. The manufacturer’s TAAF petition is now approved, which moves them to the next phase of the process – creating the Adjustment Plan. Although GLTAAC does the “heavy lifting,” authoring the plan is a collaborative effort with the firm. After the Adjustment Plan is approved, TAAF co-funding will be available to help the manufacturer invest in critical projects designed to meet their specific needs.
August 29, 2016
TAAF program application successful for Michigan firm: Now that their TAAF petition (application) has been approved, GLTAAC will begin working with a Michigan manufacturer to prepare their Adjustment Plan. The plan will determine how TAAF co-funding can help the medical supplies manufacturer build on their strengths so their TAAF matching funds can make the most of market opportunities.
July 13, 2016
Precision machine shop hires MEP for sales improvement project: A Michigan GLTAAC client just kicked off a sales development initiative with the state’s MEP (the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center) using the TAAF program to pay for 50% of the cost. This is the company’s second project with MMTC supported by the program. It includes market research, sales and market planning, rep search, and sales management mentoring. This is the firm’s 4th cost-shared TAAF project overall. 
July 1, 2016
GLTAAC Director, Scott Jacobs, was recently interviewed for the “Business Today” series, which is produced by the City of Farmington Hills Economic Development Corporation (MI), and hosted by its Director, Khalfani Stevens. Watch the entire video here, or skip to Scott’s discussion of the TAAF Process.
June 20, 2016
New GLTAAC client off to a great start: This Indiana injection molding company will begin the TAAF program by using matching funds to implement an inbound marketing effort with the goal of increasing sales. This project is one of several initiatives identified their Adjustment Plan. GLTAAC collaborated with the firm to develop the plan, which will serve as a guide for business improvements over the next 3 to 5 years.
June 13, 2016
Next steps now clear for Ohio firm: A custom manufacturer used TAAF co-funding to develop a succession plan. The company is now systematically transferring leadership to the next generation of owners. 
June 6, 2016
Ohio precision machining firm completes preventive maintenance project: This client used TAAF matching funds to inspect and establish controls for their electrical system. The project uncovered – and corrected – several hazards, increasing safety for the firm and its employees. 
May 31, 2016
GLTAAC client puts emphasis on marketing: This Ohio equipment manufacturer recently began a long-term project to implement a comprehensive marketing plan. The firm’s goal is not only to expand its domestic market, but also to address global demand and increase exports. 
May 10, 2016
Indiana manufacturer begins quality system project: TAAF funds will help this firm implement a quality inspection system. The project addresses a need in the manufacturer’s Adjustment Plan to improve quality, productivity, and reduce operating costs.
April 15, 2016
TAAF to help 19th century Michigan firm compete in the 21st century- GLTAAC submitted a petition this month for a 120+ year-old Michigan manufacturer. The firm will use TAAF matching funds to build on their heritage by broadening their market and increasing productivity.
March 1, 2016
GLTAAC and Ohio client finalize recovery plan – GLTAAC has submitted an Adjustment Plan for a southwestern Ohio electronics manufacturer. The firm will use TAAF co-funding to make enterprise-wide efficiency improvements as well as to support product development and product launch efforts.
February 12, 2016
TAAF client begins in-depth market research – A Western Michigan manufacturer began an intensive market research project this month as part of their TAAF recovery plan. The company will use TAAF matching funds to identify additional markets for a new product. The research results will help the firm determine which segments have the highest potential, enabling the company to make Go/No-Go decisions for each segment and develop marketing plans for the best prospects.
January 28, 2016
Michigan manufacturer enters program – GLTAAC submitted a TAAF petition this month for a southern Michigan precision turning shop. The firm will work with GLTAAC to develop and implement an action plan using program co-funding to improve its global competitiveness.
January 15, 2016
Michiana client achieves ISO 9001 certification – after completing a 6-month documentation, prep and training project last year, this small Indiana machining firm just passed its registration audit (also done through the TAAF program). Quality certification is a key component of the company’s recovery plan, as it will expand its sales opportunities and enable it to keep major customers. 
December 10, 2015
Sales the first focus for new GLTAAC client – The newest GLTAAC client wasted no time in getting started on their recovery plan. This Michigan 5-axis machine shop was ready to go as soon as their Adjustment Plan was approved. They immediately started with a sales coaching project, and then will move on to address improvements in training, efficiency, and quality. 
December 1, 2015
New website helps GLTAAC client expand their market – A Michigan manufacturer recently had a great start in the TAAF program. Their first project used program matching funds to develop a new website. This is only the first step in their TAAF Adjustment Plan, which initially addresses new sales, and then will focus on productivity and cost management. 
October 12, 2015
TAAF client completes program with new web presence: A Michigan precision machining firm just completed a Web Marketing project co-funded by GLTAAC. This $16,000 project took the firm’s website marketability to the next level by upgrading their website and beginning campaigns in blog marketing, social media marketing, and a rhythm of regular newsletters. This client joined the program five years ago and, with this final capstone project, has profitably used all of its available program funding. 
September 17, 2015
Manufacturing Trade Deficit on Track for Worst Year Ever: Through the first 7 months of 2015, the U.S. trade deficit in manufactured goods was on pace to exceed $830 billion for the year. Manufacturing imports totaled $1,123 billion in January – July, up 1% compared to like-2014. Manufacturing exports for the same period were just $658 billion, which was down 5%.
Assuming this trend continues for August – December, manufacturing imports will reach $1.969 trillion for the full year, while exports will hit $1.136 trillion, for a trade deficit of $833 billion. The manufacturing trade deficit in 2014 was $754 billion, the highest level ever in nominal terms.
Unless things improve, 2015 will be a record in real terms, as well. The highest manufacturing trade deficit ever was in 2007. It was $810 billion that year, measured in 2015 dollars.
It should be noted that conditions are NOT likely improve. In fact, the most current data available are only through July, and in early August, China lowered its exchange rate against the dollar. This effectively made Chinese imports to the U.S. less expensive, while increasing the cost of our exports to China. This will almost certainly accelerate our trade deficit in manufactured goods. (China is responsible for about half of our entire manufacturing trade deficit.) August trade numbers are not scheduled to be released until October 6th.
GLTAAC can help manufacturers struggling against import competition – read more here about How TAAF Works.
September 8, 2015
New participant to use TAAF funds for diversification: GLTAAC submitted a petition for a plastic injection molder in western Indiana. This precision molder plans to use program funding for a website upgrade to help them diversify to reduce their dependence on the automotive industry. In addition, the GLTAAC planning process will help identify other needed uses for TAAF funding.
September 1, 2015
TAAF helping firm rebound from a drop in OEM orders: A manufacturer of high-precision, large-diameter parts for off-road heavy vehicle industries began the TAAF qualification process in August 2015. GLTAAC prepared and submitted the petition for this southwest Michigan firm. The manufacturer looks forward to the TAAF planning process, and assistance with projects, as they rebound from drastic downturns in orders from their large, OEM customers.
August 18, 2015
Healthcare electronics manufacturer: A southwest Ohio electronics manufacturer was accepted into the TAAF program this week. GLTAAC compiled and submitted their application in mid-July. The company serves the heathcare market and has been losing business to low cost Korean imports. It is scheduled to begin the TAAF planning process in September.
August 15, 2015
Indiana manufacturer in TAAF planning process: In mid-August, GLTAAC conducted an assessment visit at the site of a newly-certified northern Indiana food industry machinery manufacturer that has been hurt by imports. This visit yielded information and insights that will help GLTAAC produce an adjustment plan to guide the firm’s use of program funding.
August 12, 2015
New website project focuses on increasing sales: A Michigan manufacturer is using TAAF funds for a detailed website user experience project, including analysis of how customers use an online product configurator. TAAF is providing matching funds for the $24K project which directly supports the objectives in the client’s Adjustment Plan. 
July 6, 2015
Leadership and Coaching Grows Firm’s Capabilities – A northern Indiana manufacturer completed a one year coaching and leadership development project. Working regularly with an experienced coach and trainer, key managers completed detailed assessments, set performance goals and received guidance throughout the year. The participants improved management practices, work more closely as a team, and elevated communication across the business. 
June 22, 2015
2014 was the best year ever for TAAF program grad
After almost 6 years of working with GLTAAC, this southwest Ohio producer of capital equipment is now done with the TAAF program. The company started lean manufacturing, developed and implemented a new marketing and sales plan, upgraded their ERP system, and undertook additional worker training with GLTAAC support.
Per the President, “We have had significant growth directly related to the strategic plan and projects we did through the program. We were running at a loss when we started [the TAAF program] during the recession. But now, after more than 40 years in business, we had a record year last year.” The company posted 2014 sales of over $25 million and currently has more than 150 employees. 
June 11, 2015
Washington Post article highlights the TAAF program: Here’s how the government tries to save businesses before free trade destroys them.
June 2, 2015
Market Research and Planning – Last month, a Michigan manufacturer of cooling systems embarked on a project, co-funded by the TAAF program, to conduct market research and develop a marketing plan to help achieve growth in adjacent markets. The consultant who won this competitively bid project was MMTC (Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center), a non-profit entity. 
May 28, 2015
Improving through lean training – GLTAAC is helping a northwest Indiana firm with funding for lean manufacturing training via the Purdue University Technical Assistance Program (Purdue TAP). The program will cover a series of five key training topics as the firm begins its lean journey.
May 13, 2015
E-Commerce Upgrade – GLTAAC is helping a northern Indiana supplier to the RV industry improve its marketing reach to further bolster its improving sales. This client just started a 3-month long, $49,800 project that will be funded 50% by GLTAAC. The project will update and overhaul the firm’s multiple websites and place them on a more robust platform that can handle the firm’s increasing e-commerce sales volumes. 
May 11, 2015
New precision machine shop in Michigan enters program.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration approved the TAAF Petition of a southeast Michigan company today, certifying the firm as trade-impacted and making them eligible to move forward with the program. The company will be starting the planning phase of the program later this month.
Over the past two years, this precision machining firm has suffered a 50% drop in sales, due in large part to extremely strong competition in their market niche, especially from Japan. A major thrust of their TAAF projects will be rebuilding this lost business, as well as improving productivity and reducing variable costs.
May 1, 2015
MAC Leads with Lean Training at Edison Community College
Over the past 3 months, Manufactured Assemblies Corp. (MAC) in Dayton, OH pumped up their lean expertise by sending seven members of the management team and nine front-line employees to lean leadership training at Edison Community College. Tuition fees for the training were co-funded by the TAAF program. The MAC team wanted to go beyond the lean best practices they have learned over the years through several iterations of lean-training, six-sigma black belt and green belt training initiatives. The purpose of the program this spring was to improve and invigorate lean thinking and communication throughout the company. According to Ken Haupt, Corporate Quality Manager, “We know that being a lean enterprise is more than Kaizen events and other tools. The real value in lean is when a culture of continuous improvement is embraced and supported everywhere.”
April 2, 2015
Web success – Three months after a website overhaul that was co-funded by the TAAF program, website traffic is up 60% and sales are up 34% for an Indiana client firm that manufactures test equipment. Management attributes the traffic increase directly to the newly-designed website and the search engine optimization that was included. The firm President says, “We are encouraged with the results. The new website has already drawn inquiries from Europe and Mexico, markets we’ve had difficulty reaching in the past.” 
February 18, 2015
Quick start – In December, 2014 GLTAAC welcomed into the program a mid-Michigan manufacturer of machinery for the automotive industry. A key part of the firm’s plan to compete with imports is to develop new products. GLTAAC began co-funding the work of two outside design firms to accelerate the development of its key new product initiative. 
January 18, 2015
Marketing planning – GLTAAC is supporting a western Michigan defense/aerospace supplier in its desire to diversify. We helped the firm to competitively bid the job of performing market research and developing a marketing plan to guide diversification efforts. This $16K project, co-funded by the TAAF program, is expected to complete mid-year. 
July 9, 2014
An Ohio manufacturer used GLTAAC funds to implement lean practices, becoming more competitive and growing its workforce.
Growing in Vandalia, with Help from Michigan, from the Dayton Daily News via Bloomberg Businessweek
January 5, 2013
An Indiana investment casting firm leveraged resources from the GLTAAC program to drive innovation. LaPorte firm casts net for innovation assistance, from The Times of NW Indiana
November 14, 2012
A Government Program that Actually Helps Entrepreneurs, from Inc. Magazine
January 27, 2012
President Obama visited Michigan to discuss a new insourcing jobs initiative, offering remarks to a Michigan audience that were pertinent for GLTAAC’s three state region. In the 3 minute video clip, the President shares these important remarks: (min. 1:30) “I want congress to … start rewarding companies who are hiring here and investing here and creating good jobs here in Michigan and here in the United States of America.”
Read full press release here.
September 22, 2011
September 22, 2011
August 5, 2011
April 30, 2011
Bilstein of America, based in Hamilton, Ohio, is in the TAAF program due to trade issues related to their product – high-end shock absorbers. With GLTAAC assistance, they recently completed a lean and leadership initiative named “Transformation Eagle”. This project is an example of the type of improvements trade-impacted manufacturers are conducting with a wide-variety of different private sector consultants through the program. View Bilstein’s video, created to congratulate their own employees.
The results have been significant.
- OEE (Operational Equipment Effectiveness) in the focus area increased 42%
- “Hot Jobs” reduced by 67%
- Communication and Respect, a new metric increased from 65% to 87%
- Increased space utilization in logistics areas by 18%
- Inventory location accuracy improved from 65% to 96%
- Pick cycle time reduced by 52%
March 3, 2008
September 2, 2007