From the Editor: March 2020 ENews

Hello, everyone! I hope your March is as beautiful as ours is here in Kansas – our temperatures are in the 60s and we’re loving it!

Plastics Business magazine should be arriving on your desks, and this issue of the ENews has a preview of a story that has flown under the radar a bit.

Since 1962, the US government has funded a program called Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms. It was established to help US firms fight against the effects of global competition, and eleven TAAF centers across the US work with manufacturing companies to develop and implement projects that strengthen their organizations. This can include sales prospecting, software implementation, website upgrades – almost anything except capital improvements.

Bamar Plastics in South Bend Indiana has been working with the Great Lakes Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, which is part of the Economic Growth Institute at the University of Michigan. Bamar was able to use the matching grant funding to find new customers and outsource some of its IT functions. Click through to read the full story.

Another story preview that you can click through and read now is a summary of the State of the Plastics Industry survey from the Manufacturers Association of Plastics Processors. Fourth-quarter indicators were down for plastics processors, with slower sales numbers, lower quoting activity and shrinking profit margins. However, optimism exists as 71% of those surveyed are projecting an increase in sales throughout the rest of this year.

That’s all from me today. I hope your first quarter of business is strong, and that we’ll see each other soon at an industry conference, tradeshow or plant tour!