The National Association of Manufacturers concluded a nationwide tour of small manufacturing companies in Baltimore on Friday.
Baltimore was the eighth city on the stop, which began Jan. 28 in Manchester, N.H. The association visited Marlin Steel Wire Products in southwest Baltimore, which was a small operation that had trouble competing with China until it invested millions in automated manufacturing robots.
Students at the Maryland Institute College of Art and in a program at Digital Harbor High School spoke about what they had learned about manufacturing and how they planned to use it in the real world.
The manufactruers association also kicked off a new campaign Friday called "Power of Small" to bring attention to the role small and medium-sized manufacturers play in the nation's economy.
"Our shop floors are no longer the factories of our parents' generation; they are state-of-the-art facilities driving an innovation revolution that will change our lives and strengthen our country," said Jay Timmons, association's president and CEO, in a statement. "We still face challenges, which is why in this election year, we must hold candidates and leaders accountable and insist they support manufacturing not just with their words but also with their policies."
The tour also brought Eric Spiegel, president and CEO of Siemens USA, the U.S. arm of the German industrial conglomerate, to Baltimore.