As executive director, I’m proud to announce that ARMA is undertaking several activities focused on strengthening the manufacturing community. We recently surpassed 100 members, and while our goal is 200 members in the next two years, the stability and growth in our association means we are able to focus more on the mission. This fall you’ll notice several activities:
Impact Study: ARMA has commissioned and economic impact study to assess the overall contributions of manufacturers to the economy and community. Having credible data will serve as a platform for our advocacy efforts, as well as draw attention to an economic sector that has been underappreciated. Look for results in early October.
Energy Rates: Austin Energy and the City of Austin have declined to renew a contract with some of the major energy users in Central Texas including National Instruments, Flextronics, and Applied Materials; other large users are in the process of renegotiating. Some companies are facing a 30% increase in energy cost. This has brought attention to the rate structure and prices of the city owned utility. Current estimates show that customers within Austin Energy delivery zone are paying from 25% to 35% more than the deregulated market. As a first step, ARMA will be benchmarking energy cost for users versus other metropolitan areas in Texas to get a better understanding of the competiveness of Austin Energy. As the debate moves forward, we will be engaged with City Council and State Legislators to work toward fair costs.
Manufacturing Day: ARMA is excited to participate in the US-wide event sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) on October 2. ARMA will celebrate Manufacturing Day by hosting STEM Students and city officials at five different manufacturing companies. The goal is to promote manufacturing careers to the next generations of workers, engineers, and executives. Stay tuned for more information.
As always, thank you for your participation and support. ARMA has been blessed with great members, sponsors, and a dedicated Board of Directors. I’m positive about our trajectory and look forward to seeing what we can accomplish between now and the holidays. Feel free to contact me at any time with questions or interest in getting more involved.
Austin Regional Manufacturers Association