"Manufacturing spawns more additional economic activity and related jobs than does any other economic sector," says Joel Popkin, author of a study, "Securing America's Future: The Case for a Strong Manufacturing Base." The study was commissioned by the Council of Manufacturing Assocations (CMA), whose membership includes the Plumbing Manufacturers Institute. PMI exective director Barbara Higgens serves on the CMA board of directors.

An executive summary of the study can be found on the PMI web site at: www.pmihome.org. Highlights include:

- Every $1 of final demand for manufactured goods generates an additional $0.67 in other manufactured products and $0.76 in nonmanufactured products and services.

- Manufacturers are responsible for almost two-thirds of private sector R & D -- some $127 billion in 2002.

- Over the past two decades, manufacturing averaged twice the annual productivity gains of the rest of the private sector.

- Manufacturing salaries and benefits average $54,000, higher than average for the private sector.

- During the 1990s, manufacturers paid about a third of all corporate taxes collected by state and local governments.

The study also details serious challenges to the long-term viability of the U.S. manufacturing base, along with the innovative processes that underlie it. Ultimately, this would lead to a decline in U.S. living standards for the future, according to Popkin.

In other news, PMI will hold its 2004 spring meeting April 25 to 28 at the Doubletree Hotel, Sonoma Wine Country in California. For more information, call 847-884-9764 or visit www.pmihome.org. <<