By Jane Alexander, Deputy Editor
As I’ve always said, MT’s August issue with its annual “Executive Outlook” section is my favorite one to put out each year. That’s because I get to move somewhat beyond my comfort zone of technical and technology-driven articles and pose business-related questions to some top executives of leading suppliers to our industry. As long-time readers of this magazine may recall, the theme of each year’s “Outlook” is different, and we never have trouble getting individuals to respond—even when what we’re asking might seem a tad sensitive. This year’s questions (there were two of them) could be construed as just that.
Here’s the gist of what we asked our invited participants:
“What’s holding up our long-awaited economic recovery, especially as it applies to the industrial sector, and what, in their opinion and that of their companies, can or should be done to break up the logjam?”
Just to be on the safe side, in my invitations I had thrown in a few idea generators, noting that we at MT, no doubt like many of our readers, had our own theories on the depressingly sluggish attempts at a rebound. These included, but weren’t limited to: uncertainty over regulations and public policy; fiscal austerity/sequestration and/or lack of infrastructure spending; a perceived lack of available jobs or an inadequately skilled workforce to fill many crucial jobs; or a Congress and Administration in Washington that seem incapable of focusing on these and related problems for very long, much less of working together to solve them.
As you’ll find, none of the 10 executives who graciously stepped up to the plate and responded called anybody’s baby ugly. They simply laid out their ideas using positive words and offered a number of reasonable strategies for helping get the U.S. economy back up and humming. I think you’ll enjoy reading their insight. I certainly enjoyed working with these gentlemen and their organizations to share it with you. After you’ve read their opinions, I invite you to share your own thoughts on the topic with me. Please do. MT