WASHINGTON, DC -- (Marketwired) -- 08/29/13 -- Governors from the nation's largest region will convene in Louisville the weekend of September 7 - 9 to talk about the job-creating manufacturing sector, and how to support its continued growth throughout the American South.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear will host his gubernatorial colleagues from the nation's largest region, industry leaders and subject matter experts for the 2013 annual meeting of the Southern Governors' Association (SGA). Beshear has served as SGA's chairman for the past year and has led the organization in an examination of the current viability and future growth of advanced manufacturing in the region. During this time, SGA commissioned the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) to conduct an economical analysis of advanced manufacturing in the American South, and a subsequent report will be released at the close of the meeting.
"As Chair of the Southern Governors' Association, I felt it important to zero in on a subject that can really move the entire South forward," said Beshear. "The South has been an epicenter of manufacturing over many, many years. We're now moving into an advanced manufacturing age, and the South can still be that epicenter. I want to make sure that we're doing everything we can to ensure that the South is the leader in advanced manufacturing for many years to come. This meeting will explore everything from taxes and regulation, energy, and workforce skills, to infrastructure, and innovation."
The meeting will open on September 7 with a private sector perspective on what governors should consider when making policy decisions aimed at maintaining and growing the region's manufacturing sector. Charles "Chip" Blankenship, President and CEO of GE Home & Business Solutions, will discuss "Understanding the Manufacturing Resurgence," and will key in on what is really driving the revival of US manufacturing, particularly throughout the American South.
Later that day, governors will explore how current energy trends and policies may affect their efforts to grow and strengthen manufacturing in the American South with panelists Karen Alderman Harbert, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber Institute for 21st Century Energy; James A. Slutz, President and Managing Director with Global Energy Strategies, LLC; and Michael A. Levi, Director, Program on Energy Security and Climate Change, Council on Foreign Relations.
Concluding the day's business sessions, governors will explore how state government can help maximize exports, connect small businesses to the supply chain of larger manufacturers and further develop the region's innovation ecosystem with panelists Suzanne Berger Co-Chair, Production in the Innovation Economy Project, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Phillip Singerman, Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Services, National Institute of Standards and Technology; and Page Siplon, Executive Director, Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics.
On September 8, governors will explore state strategies for improving career readiness, increasing interest in manufacturing careers, and developing effective partnerships between government, employers and the educational community build the talent pipeline among all age groups. Subject matter experts discussing this topic with the region's governors include Mike Price, Vice President of Administration & Secretary, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc.; Gardner Carrick, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Manufacturing Institute; Stefanie Sanford, Chief, Global Policy & Advocacy, The College Board; and Laura Greene Knapp, Director, National Center for Innovation in Career and Technical Education, RTI International.
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