Mike Galiazzo RMI

From the desk of Mike Galiazzo, president of RMI:

IndustryWeek published the introductory remarks I made at the October 7, 2014 Baltimore Manufacturing Forum, when I introduced Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. IndustryWeek titled the piece in their October 27, 2014 online edition, “A Challenge to Manufacturers to Aim Higher.” It is about manufacturing, contributions to social well being and the conversations we need to have to define our future as an industry and a nation.

Here is an excerpt:

On Manufacturing Day, I went to Acadia Windows and Doors in Eastern Baltimore County.

Acadia, a 78-person company, was one of four companies invited by the National Governor’s Association to address members because of Acadia’s success employing people with disabilities. (The other three were Fortune 500 companies.)

Acadia is an employee-centric company. Their company philosophy is “Never settle.”

This view is evident in the people they hire.

 Jessica Markle, a remarkable woman, is 100% blind and developmentally disabled. Jessica works on the factory floor in a job that no one would ever think could be done by someone without sight.

 At Acadia, they challenged their assumptions, they drew on ideas from employees and they came up with new ways of thinking and working.

 They went beyond conventional thinking. They did not stick with the standard views of the moment. They never settled.

 They went from asking, “How can we possibly hire someone blind to do this job?” and asked, “How does someone blind do this job?”

 They changed the conversation based on a bigger belief.

 So today, let’s change the conversation.

 Let’s not talk about what we need to do to fix manufacturing. Let’s talk about why manufacturing is important to our society.

 Let’s not discuss incremental change, building on what was. Let’s not throw around catch phases, most of which lack a depth of understanding of what we need to do to get to where we need to be.

 Yes, let’s change the conversation. …

Read the entire piece on IndustryWeek.