As America has evolved into a society that is driven more and more by technology, many do not look to manufacturing as being a cutting- edge industry. The truth is, in fact, manufacturing is what launched people into the depths of space, made television a possibility, revolutionized the peace-keeping ability of warfare and propelled machines to incredible speeds on the local salt flats. 

The men and women who make these manufacturing feats possible are local, hard-working middle-class Americans who live in our communities. Most people in Utah don’t know that Lifetime, Blendtec, Pepsi, Boeing and ATK’s solid rocket boosters are made right here in our own backyard. These large names throughout the state are known by their logo, but they should be known by their people. If they were, people would better relate to industry and help the supply of manpower that will ensure our continued skilled workforce necessary to keep Utah as an industry leader. 

With the state’s diverse industry, the Utah Manufacturers Association (UMA) has been around for nearly 110 years, promoting locally made products. From ATK’s solid rocket boosters that recently launched NASA’s Orion into the atmosphere, to Coca-Cola crafting delectable and refreshing beverages, the state makes products that transform not only Utah, but also the nation. 

As part of UMA’s mission, we work to better promote locally made products. To that end, we have launched our “Made In Utah” initiative. The initiative’s objective is to promote the purchasing of locally made products, educate the community about the economic impact manufacturing has in the state and bring a more personal connection to the industry.

In recent years, there has been a large push throughout the nation to support local economies and small businesses by promoting the purchase of locally manufactured products. One such effort in our state is “Utah’s Own,” an initiative by the Utah Department of Agriculture to distinguish local food products from those made elsewhere. In regards to manufacturing, the UMA noticed there was no mechanism in place to inform the purchaser or general public of those products that are actually made in Utah. By displaying a “Made In Utah” logo in a business storefront and partnering with big-box stores to display this logo in their aisles for locally manufactured products, we believe this will bring the necessary attention needed to impress upon the purchasers to pick the locally produced products. 

Part of the effort to bring the needed attention to products and companies in Utah, the UMA has chosen to celebrate and promote “Made In Utah” week. This year’s celebration is scheduled for the week of Sept. 9 and will be held at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City. “Taste of Utah.” a promotion of Utah food products, will take place during the Utah State Fair on Sept. 10-11. Part of the promotion will be prize drawing for many Utah products.

The “Made in Utah” week will begin with the annual Manufacturing Summit that highlights the best practices of Utah companies. 

Manufacturing in Utah

Manufacturing is a key component of a modern society, enabling people to produce the goods and products they need to eat, live, entertain and protect themselves. 

Manufacturing is the key to our quality of life. 

The business of making things with utility and adding value to raw materials is the essence of manufacturing. In fact, if you look around you, nearly everything is manufactured. The general public doesn’t completely understand the importance of manufacturing. 

Manufacturing is one of Utah’s basic industries and one that creates tremendous value in the economy. It is a creator of new wealth. The three industries that create new wealth are agriculture, mining and manufacturing. All other industries create added value from an existing product and/ or provide services. 

Utah’s manufacturing industry is very diverse, covering nearly every imaginable area from aerospace and medical, microchip production, defense, composites and food to basic metal manufacturing. This is certainly not an exhaustive list; however, it gives us an idea of the broad nature of this critical industry. 

Among the things that manufacturing does for our communities are:

• Grows the economy.

• Invents the future. manufacturers are responsible for more than 70 percent of all private sector research and development, which ultimately benefits other manufacturing and non-manufacturing activities.

• Competes internationally. The United States is the world’s largest exporter; 61 percent of all U.S. exports are manufactured goods, double the level of 10 years ago.

• Pays the taxes. Manufacturing has been an important contributor to economic growth and tax receipts at all levels of government, contributing one-third of all corporate taxes collected by state and local governments.

• Yet, U.S. manufacturers are challenged as never before. They are on the front lines of the most intense global competition in history where it is virtually impossible to raise prices. 

• Plays a significant role in our economy, accounting for 11.7 percent of United States gross domestic product. At the state level, manufacturers make equally significant contributions — 13.3 percent of the gross state product (GSP) in Utah. Manufacturers employ nearly 10 percent of the workforce. Total GSP from manufacturing is in excess of $20 billion annually. In addition, the industry employs approximately 115,000 workers and creates an additional 300,000 related jobs in the state. The industry boasts an average monthly wage of $3,962 — 28 percent higher than the average state wage. 

• Comprises the largest payroll in the state. The largest concentration of manufacturers, in descending order, operate in Salt Lake, Utah, Weber, Davis, Cache and Box Elder counties. In fact, Box Elder County boasts 41 percent of its employment is in manufacturing. 

• While the top 100 companies produce nearly half of the manufacturing output in Utah, the majority of manufacturers are small or medium- sized firms.

• Typically, larger economic multipliers are associated with manufacturing than most other industries because of the variety of allied businesses providing raw materials, services and other manufactured inputs to the manufacturing process. In fact, for every $1 in manufactured goods there is generated an additional $1.37 worth of additional economic activity — more than any other economic sector.

The Utah Manufacturing Association likes to promote its members with the slogan “What Utah makes, makes Utah.”

Todd R. Bingham is the president and CEO of the Utah Manufacturers Association. Previously, he was the president and CEO of the Utah Mining Association.

Read more: The Enterprise - MADE IN UTAH 

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