New Study Shows Improving, Expanding Workforce Top Challenge for Pacific Northwest Manufacturers
Today Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt and Aldrich Advisors released State of Manufacturing in the Pacific Northwest, a survey detailing insight from more than 100 executives representing long-standing Pacific Northwest manufacturers. The data shows that three-quarters of Pacific Northwest manufacturers see improving and expanding their workforce a top challenge in the coming year. Several other standout insights in the survey surround tax policy, growing pains and opportunities, technology and executive leadership transition. “We are delighted to present the results of our survey on the State of Manufacturing in the Pacific Northwest,” said Jennifer Campbell, Manufacturing, Distribution and Retail Industry Group Leader at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. “Thank you to each of the more than one hundred of you who answered our ask to learn more about how other manufacturers are tackling shared issues. We hope the manufacturing community finds the answers as valuable and inspiring as we do.” "There are over a hundred voices represented in the survey sharing what keeps them up at night, what gets them out of bed in the morning and the hope they have through it all," said Carrie Sowders, Partner at Aldrich CPAs + Advisors. “It is an honor to serve and be a part of the manufacturing community in our region.”
Workforce: A Top Challenge and Priority
Consistent with what Schwabe and Aldrich hear from their manufacturing clients, the survey revealed that workforce issues are by far the biggest concern facing the industry. Three-quarters of manufacturers said improving and expanding the workforce is their top priority in the coming year. They expressed a need for talent, predominately skilled labor, but some also highlighted a need for effective administrative staff, sales managers and executive leadership. A c-suite company executive in the wood products industry notes in the anonymous survey that, “The [biggest challenge] we are having is finding folks ... And the [number] of candidates.” Positive Outlook Despite Tax Policy Effects on Business Climate
Nearly all manufacturers are extremely positive about the future of their organizations, even more so than about the business climate in their states. When it comes to the business outlook for their organizations, more than eight in ten of those surveyed would characterize it as positive. When asked about the business climate in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon and Washington manufacturers are equally likely to provide a positive rating despite large differences in tax policy in each state.
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The full survey findings can now be downloaded at
About Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt
- Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt is a law firm that offers a new type of client experience based ‎on ‎‎a ‎‎deep industry focus. We provide full-spectrum legal services to our clients through ‎‎‎comprehensive, ‎‎proactive and industry-focused support to help them achieve their goals. We ‎‎focus on six industry ‎‎groups: Healthcare; Technology; Transportation, Ports and Maritime; Real ‎‎Estate and ‎‎Construction; Natural Resources; and Manufacturing, Distribution, and Retail. ‎With ‎more ‎‎than ‎‎‎175 attorneys, Schwabe is one of the largest Pacific Northwest ‎regional law firms, ‎with ‎‎offices in ‎‎Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Bend, Eugene, Salem, Anchorage and Mountain View, ‎‎CA.
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