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Make It Happen: The Future of Manufacturing is NOW!

MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network reported on the progress made in advancing the Make It Better Blueprint, a plan to make Northeast Ohio a leader in smart manufacturing. Since the Blueprint was launched in 2021, MAGNET has rolled up its sleeves to make the region's vision of being a global leader in smart manufacturing in the next decade a reality by helping manufacturers adopt Industry 4.0 technologies; showcasing Northeast Ohio Manufacturing Lighthouses for others to experience; supporting innovators as they create new products encouraging them through our annual Mspire pitch competition; and opening our new building to welcome thousands of students and adults for hands-on tours to learn about manufacturing careers. 
This week, we gathered local manufacturing leaders for the release of the 2024 Make It Better Report Card to discuss where our progress stands and how the industry is faring in today's global economy.

Sponsored by Bank of America and in conjunction with the Smart Manufacturing Cluster, the day included engaging discussions on many topics facing manufacturers today. Stephen Juneau, VP of US Economic Research at Bank of America, delivered the keynote address focused on the economic forecast and interest rates, and the impact that will have on SMEs. The conference breakout panels included: 

Miguel Lugo of E.C. KITZEL & SONS, INC. and Aaliyah Brown, MEM of Rockwell Automation spoke about building your talent pipeline
Matt Elliott of Bank of America spoke about sustainability
Michael Canty of Precision Alloy Services, Inc. and Mark Lamoncha of Humtown spoke about using technology and upskilling talent
Adam Ellis of Harmoni Solutions, Inc.Nicholas Bashour of Cents, Mico Perales of U.S Positronix and Chris Day of Felux spoke on the panel featuring innovative companies changing the face of manufacturing.
- Jim Smith from Flavorseal, Brian Wood from Fiber Core LLC, and Peter Broer from Lumitex spoke about growing your business through new product development
John Ribic from RIMECO PRODUCTS , Shaun Eller from Ohio Gratings, Inc. and Cary Frame from Welser Profile North America dove into leading your company’s technology transformation
Robert Bove , Todd Baumgartner , and Eric Dorenkott, CPA, MT spoke about the importance of succession planning, and how to get started
Timothy Martell from RICO Manufacturing, Inc. and Mike Lauber of TuscoMFG talked about culture, upskilling and creative HR solutions
MAGNET was proud to recognize the 2024 Manufacturer of the Year: AECO and the 2024 Entrepreneur of the Year: Octet Scientific for their great contributions to the region. 
Steve Sumner of Lincoln Electric captivated the audience with his perspective on the future of EVs and the role they will play in our regional economy over the next 15 years. To continue this important conversation, Aram Nerpouni discussed the overview of Ohio's EV workforce efforts and panelists Tony Deddeh of Battle Motors, Jim Smith of Venture Plastics, Inc., Mindaugas Rackaitis of Avery Dennison and Rich Gent from Gent Machine Company discussed the EV supply chain and how it relates to the region's manufacturers. After the panelists concluded their discussion, participants broke into small groups to continue the conversation on a more granular level. 

The day ended with a networking reception, during which participants could network and discuss the day's events. 
Thank you to all community partners, economic development specialists, manufacturing leaders and entrepreneurs who joined in these important discussions. 

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