by Mike Galiazzo Mike Galiazzo

By Mike Galiazzo, Ph.D.

President, Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland

I traveled to Ocean City to meet with Maryland state and local officials at the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) summer conference.  The theme of the conference was Winds of Change, which couldn’t have been more timely.

I have been attending MACo for the past 30 years.  This time was unique for the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland (RMI) in that the conference theme, Winds of Change, was a perfect fit to discuss manufacturing.  Manufacturing has undergone and continues to experience, significant transformations through the “Industry 4.0 movement,” where companies are transitioning from analog to digital operations. As a result, companies aim to become more integrated with advanced technologies and new materials to compete globally.

This transformation has a tremendous impact on productivity and workforce, and Maryland has a golden opportunity to get ahead of the curve and position itself as a national leader.  I have found that many policymakers are unaware of the extent of both what this transformation entails, and what new policies and programs are required to support manufacturing growth today.

The MACo conference provided an opportunity for RMI to bring our campaign message of Maryland Manufacturing Matters to county executives, state legislators, and state agency officials. RMI’s campaign includes the distribution of short YouTube interviews from a wide variety of stakeholders to get the message out on the importance of manufacturing. For more information about this campaign and to watch the videos, visit our page dedicated to the campaign.

RMI partnered with Washington County’s Hub Labels to produce Maryland Manufacturing Matters labels for each Maryland county. John Armiger of Hub Labels joined me in distributing labels while we were at MACo. The aim was to get state and local officials and other attendees to wear their respective county labels on their lapels. The labels were a hit! They were printed on a state-of-the-art high-performance printer, one of only two in North America.

RMI sponsored two Alexander & Cleaver receptions for policymakers and other attendees at “Dry 85” and “Seacrets,” which allowed me to have valuable facetime with public officials, including Congressman Ruppersberger, Maryland Senate President Mike Miller, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr, and Howard County Executive Calvin B. Ball. The labels made our messages more fun to communicate with them.

Legislators were engaged and excited to promote their Maryland Manufacturing Matters stickers on their shirts. They proudly proclaimed their support for Maryland manufacturing in their local jurisdiction. Each county representative got a sticker like an advance team for a political campaign, but in this case, the candidate was Maryland Manufacturing.

After engaging with so many officials, it is apparent that most of them not only support manufacturing but also enjoyed promoting our industry. See photo (left to right) of Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, Mike Galiazzo and Harford County Council President, Patrick S. Vincenti, who both emphasized their strong support for manufacturing.

After engaging with so many officials, it is apparent that most of them not only support manufacturing but also enjoyed promoting our industry. See photo (left to right) of Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, Mike Galiazzo and Harford County Council President, Patrick S. Vincenti, who both emphasized their strong support for manufacturing.

When manufacturing thrives, our communities and economies flourish!