This week marks Maryland's 4th Annual Economic Development Week. The commemoration was launched on Sunday by the Maryland Economic Development Association (MEDA) in Rocky Gap where it held its Conference & Showcase. The two-day event focused on Advancing Manufacturing in Maryland. In addition to featuring some of Made in Maryland's products, two keynote addresses detailed the trends of "Nextshoring" and "Reshoring."
Stree Ramaswamy, a Senior Fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute gave an update on the state of manufacturing in the U.S. and Maryland. He suggested that, while the U.S. has recovered some of the manufacturing jobs lost in the past decade, Maryland has not been a beneficiary of these gains. He believes one important factor in Nextshoring and Reshoring is the health of the supplier ecosystem - large manufacturers need local suppliers if they hope to bring back manufacturing. He also argued that some possible interventions other countries have adopted could work here: Singapore's investment in R&D, Germany's focus on worker training, China's decision to bring together suppliers and consumers through an on-line portal and Canada's creation of Technology Access Centers.
Sandy, Montalbano D'Amico, a consultant with the Reshoring Initiative, spoke about the hidden costs associated with offshoring. She argued that firms need to consider the total costs incurred which include product quality, IP loss. These types of challenges, when coupled with increases in overseas labor and transportation costs have led some firms to return to the U.S.
Recognizing the importance of Additive Manufacturing to Maryland's plan to improve its manufacturing base, there was a panel discussion on 3D printing: Highlighting Innovation. Jan Baum of 3D MD was the moderator. Panelists Jeremy Wyckoff of Volvo Group Trucks, John Dankoof Danko Arlington Foundry and Guru Ram of Alio Designs talked about their use of 3D printing in their respective companies.