Solid 2019 Results – GLTAAC Clients Better Positioned for the Challenging Months Ahead

2019 feels like a very long time ago.  And it was.  Those were the pre-COVID days.  We are now living in very uncertain times.  But before thinking about what the future holds, it is sometimes important to look back…

The Great Lakes TAAC collects performance data from the companies it works with every year as part of our internal evaluation process and program improvement efforts. Our survey about 2019 performance included 75 manufacturers located throughout Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. The results were solid, as GLTAAC’s established clients and recent program grads (“GLTAAC firms”) posted stronger sales growth than the manufacturing sector as a whole.


Manufacturing Recession

It’s important to remember that 2019 was tough for manufacturers.  We had a recession, after all.  Manufacturing output fell by 1.3% for the full year, and the sector experienced negative growth for 3 out of 4 quarters.

GLTAAC Sales Up – 3.7% vs. 0.6%

Last year, GLTAAC’s established clients and recent program grads (GLTAAC firms) grew sales by an average of 3.7%.  In contrast, the entire manufacturing sector increased sales by less than 1%.

According to the Census Bureau’s M3 report*, total shipments (or sales) by U.S. manufacturers rose by just 0.6% in 2019.   So, 3.7% may not be great compared to previous years – GLTAAC firms averaged 10.5% growth in 2018 – but given the economic conditions last year, that was pretty good.

(Additional performance metrics for GLTAAC firms in 2019 are provided below.)

Positioned for the Future

Thanks to their 2019 results, GLTAAC firms are better positioned than most small manufacturers for the ongoing restart.  Indeed, less than 10% of our clients went through a full shutdown at any time in the last 2 months, and some made significant pivots to take advantage of the one hot market we’ve got – PPE (for example, Indiana’s Mursix Corp. and Michigan’s Freeman Manufacturing)

Like everybody else, we don’t know how significantly COVID will depress the economy through the rest of this year, but GLTAAC will be working closely with its clients to help them make whatever changes are necessary to weather the storm, rebuild sales, and improve their margins.


GLTAAC – More 2019 Results

  • High Firm Survival – GLTAAC has a 100% 5-year client survival rate (all of the companies assisted since 1/1/2015 are still in business).
  • Better Bottom-line Performance – two-thirds of GLTAAC firms were profitable in 2019 (just 44% were profitable when starting the program).
  • Improved Competitiveness – 58% improved their productivity last year, while 77% reported that they are more competitive now than they were before working with GLTAAC.
  • Job Growth – despite the difficult hiring environment, one-third of firms were able to grow their workforces last year.
  • Longterm Impact – GLTAAC firms have increased sales by an average of 46% since starting the program, and grown jobs by an average of 23%.
  • High Customer Satisfaction – GLTAAC averaged a 9.6 out of 10 rating from its clients in 2019; implementation projects averaged 9.2.


    See our Success Stories page for examples of how GLTAAC assistance and TAAF matching funds help manufacturers.



* Download the M3 Report here (see Table 1 “Value of Manufacturers’ Shipments for Industry Groups”)