KAM’s Year in Review: Looking to 2021KAM
Dear KAM Member,
What a year. Full of challenges and growth, I think I speak for us all when I say that 2020 dramatically changed the world as we know it.
The Kentucky Association of Manufacturers (KAM) began the year with many new initiatives and events. In January we were excited to host our yearly “Manufacturing Day at the Capitol” with a special visit from the Be Pro Be Proud Mobile Workshop hailing from Arkansas.
In February, we hosted our first-ever Manufacturing Week at the Capitol featuring three different industries: the chemical industry, the auto industry, and the aerospace/aviation industry. Aerospace Day was hosted in partnership with the Kentucky Aviation Association (KAA), and we’re grateful for their help in coordinating our pioneer event.
When COVID-19 became a very real threat to Kentuckians in March and industries began shutting down, KAM worked to quickly elevate Kentucky manufacturers’ voices in the Commonwealth, including:
- Requested Gov. Beshear to designate manufacturers as essential-critical businesses under CISA guidelines and were successful in that endeavor
- Worked with the administration to establish realistic guidelines for the manufacturing-specific “Healthy at Work” guidelines
- Joined a large Kentucky coalition calling for state and national support for liability protections for businesses pertaining to COVID-19
- Presented a manufacturing-specific COVID-19 update to the Interim Joint Committee on Tourism, Small Business and Information Technology in July
- Selected “COVID-19 Response Partners” to offer a one-stop shop for PPE, health screenings, and COVID-19 testing for manufacturers
- Joined a coalition in presenting on the importance of strong infrastructure in the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation
- Presented a “State of Kentucky Manufacturing Update” to the Interim Joint Committee on Economic Development and Workforce Investment
Although COVID-19 reshaped our remaining initiatives for the year, we were able to adapt and continue with many of our programs in a virtual setting:
- Our regional Linking Agriculture for Networking & Development (LAND) Forums, hosted in partnership with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, were all successfully moved to a virtual setting and saw great success connecting manufacturing and agriculture across the state
- The 2020 Kentucky Manufacturing Wage & Benefits Survey data was collected and released this month; this is our second year of the revamped survey and we are already looking forward to 2021’s data collection
- We celebrated October as Manufacturing Month across Kentucky with virtual events and social media networking and support from various partners, including the Cabinet for Economic Development, Northern Kentucky Tri-Ed, and more
- We partnered with the Kentucky Community and Technical College (KCTCS) to recognize students in manufacturing with our first annual Rising Star awards
As we look forward to 2021, we have also laid out our Public Policy Agenda for the Kentucky General Assembly’s 2021 Session. This year’s session will certainly be an unusual one as the General Assembly crafts a single-year budget for FY22, but KAM will continue to advocate for manufacturers’ interests throughout the session.
Last but certainly not least, the long journey to a COVID-19 vaccine seems to be coming to a swift end. The safety and wellbeing of our manufacturing employees is critical to ensure the integrity of the supply chain and a recovering economy. We are closely monitoring the vaccines and their side effects, and we’re here to help answer questions you may have about how the vaccine will affect you and your company.
Thank you for supporting KAM during this unpredictable time in history. We’re proud of our accomplishments in 2020 and we’re looking forward to continuing our fight for Kentucky manufacturers in 2021.