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RTMA Newsletter - january 2017 Edition

   RTMA President's Message: 

Being Competitive in the Global Marketplace

The RTMA is working to provide its members with the resources necessary to be more competitive and profitable in the global marketplace. Partnering with Saunders College of Business at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), the RTMA is offering a certificate program in SPRING 2017. 

In just 8 weeks, you can transform thinking and enhance leadership abilities among your employees. RIT Saunders College of Business Faculty will give them the tools and models they need to make a significant impact on your company.

Classes will be held on Tuesday nights from 5:00 to 8:00pm starting in March and ending in April for a total of 8 sessions.

The topics to be presented are as follows:

Michael Porter’s Five Forces – Dr. Donald Wilson, Ph. D.
Analyze your industry to understand the overall profit pool it represents. Discuss Porter’s Five Forces and apply them to your particular company and industry to understand the strengths and challenges facing your company.

Dr. Shal Khazanchi, Ph. D.
Whether dealing with compensation, benefits, sales, or succession, negotiation is the most vital skill in business. Learn through the use of a simulation and guided discussion.

Marketing Manufacturing in the 21st Century
Dr. Neil Hair, Ph. D.
There is no business without Marketing. How do you ensure that your company is maximizing its potential by reaching markets in new ways?

Data Analytics and Modeling
Dr. Vic Perotti, Ph. D. & Dr. Yan Yu, Ph. D.
A jet engine gives one terabyte of data, and companies are just now learning how to analyze and use this information to have a dramatic impact on the bottom line. Learn how these tools and approaches can have a strong effect on your company.

Strategic Thinking
Robert Boehner, JD
How do you look at your business? Change your perspective and see your business through the eyes of a trained consultant and expert in thinking not tactically, but strategically.

Supply Chain Management
Dr. Sean Hansen, Ph. D.
This one decision affects labor, inventory, compensation, and just about everything to do with your business. How to ensure you get demand forecasting right.

New Product Commercialization
Maurice Holmes
Topics covered include identifying the market opportunity for new products, defining the product strategy, understanding customer requirements, developing and updating the product business plan, marketing's role in the product development process, developing the marketing plan for launching new products, and managing the product life cycle.

The Innovator’s Dilemma
Robert Boehner, JD
Explore the future of your business and industry as you learn about disruptive innovation and how companies can and should deal with innovation. 

We will be reaching out to you directly in several weeks, to determine your level of participation. We have negotiated a special price for our members.  It is not to be missed!


RTMA KeyNote Address:

WorkForce solutions

The RTMA has been awarded a grant by RochesterWorks! to develop a regional advanced manufacturing strategy to address key elements of workforce development.

The RTMA is partnering with Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise (F.A.M.E.) and will leverage their collective resources to achieve optimal outcomes.

The process will involve analyzing existing workforce data and collect additional needed data that will be used to make informed decisions regarding the trends in advanced manufacturing employment.

We have hired Dick Smith to work on this project and he has been designated as the “advanced manufacturing industry navigator.” In this role, he will lead regional manufacturing partnership meetings, recruit industry champions to work on this project, and engage a diverse group of manufacturers of varying sizes. This project is focused on delivering workforce solutions centered around career pathways.

An outcome of this process is to promote advanced manufacturing careers to both adults and youth in the Greater Rochester Area.

As a result of meeting with an array of advanced manufacturers, and analyzing why there is a shortage of individuals qualified for advanced manufacturing, we will be making workforce policy recommendations. Those recommendations will be made to both city and county governments, as well as, the three regional workforce development boards. Analysis, consensus building, recommendations, these are all part of this project.

The remaining element for success requires the city, county, and the three workforce investment boards to implement our workforce policy recommendations.

We will work diligently to encourage them to do so.

RTMA regular Member Highlight

With more than 100 years of experience in the print industry, Allen-Bailey Tag & Label, Inc. differentiates itself by emphasizing the service we provide to our customers. A veteran-owned company, we strive to establish and maintain a close working relationship with our customers. We meet and exceed their requirements through knowledgeable and proactive customer service, consistent quality and on time deliveries. Our quality custom tags and labels are used by leading companies in the agriculture, aquaculture, automotive, chemical, hospitality and service, fire and safety, and manufacturing industries.

Political Advocacy

Manufacturers: Faster Job Growth Requires Action on Nominees

Pro-Manufacturing Economic Reforms Require Fully Functioning Government

- See more at:

Manufacturers: Faster Job Growth Requires Action on Nominees

Washington, D.C., January 6, 2017 – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons issued the following statement on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ December employment data:

“Despite an increase in manufacturing employment in December, the sector lost 45,000 workers in 2016. That is unacceptable. To really accelerate job growth and fully reach our economic potential, manufacturers are looking to the incoming Trump administration to take bold actions, beginning on day one. To spur job creation right here in the United States, we want to see smart reforms on regulations, taxes, health care, energy and more. But to achieve that, we need a fully functioning government, so we are calling on the Senate to act swiftly on the president-elect’s Cabinet nominees. Unnecessary delays mean lost opportunities for manufacturers and the men and women who make things in America.

“Manufacturers and the NAM appreciate the incoming administration’s willingness to listen to our concerns and seek our insights. If leaders on both sides of the aisle can come together, we can revitalize modern manufacturing in America—and lift our economy and country to new heights.”

-NAM-  See more at:

- See more at:


U.S. Expected to Launch WTO Complaint Against China Over Aluminum - Complaint accuses Chinese of funneling artificially cheap loans from state-run banks to producers

By Scott Patterson and William Mauldin

The Obama administration is expected to launch a complaint with the World Trade Organization accusing China of funneling artificially cheap loans from state-run banks to Chinese aluminum producers.Updated Jan. 12, 2017 6:20 a.m. ET

The Obama administration is expected to launch a formal complaint Thursday against the Chinese government with the World Trade Organization over subsidies it says Beijing provides to the country’s vast aluminum industry, according to people familiar with the matter.

The complaint would represent an escalation of trade disputes between countries with the world’s two largest economies almost a week before Donald Trump assumes the U.S. presidency. Mr. Trump suggested again Wednesday in a news conference that trade relations with Beijing would be a top priority, saying the U.S. trade imbalance with China was too large.

The complaint accuses China of funneling artificially cheap loans from state-run banks to Chinese aluminum producers, helping the companies upgrade their facilities and expand production, the people said. China also subsidizes aluminum production by providing producers with cut-rate coal and electricity, the complaint says, according to people familiar with it.

The office of U.S. Trade Representative Mike Froman, which is filing the case with the WTO, declined to comment. A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“When China drives down aluminum costs by cheating, Ohio workers and manufacturers pay the price,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio). “Thousands have lost jobs because of unfairly subsidized aluminum from China that has flooded the market and led to overcapacity, and it’s past time we get tough on these violations before more American workers suffer.”

Chinese aluminum imports have come under the spotlight in the past year as U.S. authorities probed allegations that China Zhongwang Holdings Inc., a big Chinese aluminum producer, evaded trade sanctions imposed on the company in 2010. The Commerce Department late last year determined certain China Zhongwang exports to the U.S. had been designed to skirt the sanctions. China Zhongwang says it no longer sells the products in the U.S.

The Wall Street Journal reported in October that the Department of Homeland Security has launched a probe into whether U.S. companies linked to China Zhongwang’s founder and chairman, Liu Zhongtian, illegally avoided punitive import tariffs on aluminum. The Journal’s articles traced Mr. Liu’s connections to a large stockpile of aluminum in Mexico that represented 6% of global inventories and has since been shipped to Vietnam.

China Zhongwang has denied wrongdoing.

U.S. producers say a boom in Chinese production has depressed prices world-wide and harmed their ability to compete. By the end of 2016, only five aluminum smelters were operating in the U.S., down from 23 in 2000. Alcoa Corp., the largest American aluminum maker, last year split in two, isolating its profitable parts-making units from its troubled raw-aluminum operations.

Chinese aluminum production has surged in recent years, accounting for 55% of global output in 2015, up from 24% a decade ago, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The U.S. accounted for 2.7% of global production in 2015, according to the USGS.

The allegations in the WTO company could heighten tensions between the U.S. and China. Mr. Trump in December announced the creation of a new National Trade Council inside the White House to facilitate industrial policy and tapped as its leader a fierce skeptic of China’s trade policies, Peter Navarro, a University of California, Irvine, professor.

During the presidential campaign, Mr. Navarro worked with New York financier Wilbur Ross Jr., Mr. Trump’s pick for commerce secretary who has lobbied for a more aggressive posture toward U.S. trade partners.

Mr. Trump’s pick for trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, has made a career arguing for trade barriers when partner countries break the rules. Mr. Lighthizer could put greater emphasis on import tariffs, especially in the metals sector, and even at the risk of retaliation from China or running afoul of the WTO, trade lawyers say.

The complaint by the Obama administration, following a review by the WTO, could ultimately result in higher U.S. tariffs on Chinese exports of aluminum and other products.

The trade-enforcement action would be the 16th filed by President Barack Obama against China with the WTO. Other complaints include allegations that export duties for copper and other commodities to make the minerals cheaper in China than outside the country and promote domestic manufacturing.

The administration’s complaint is based in part on more than a year’s worth of research by a team of U.S. industry-funded investigators who collected reams of data and information inside China, people familiar with the investigation said.

In October, eight U.S. senators asked Mr. Froman to take action against China over what they said were unfair subsidies to the Chinese aluminum industry. The senators, including Sens. Brown, Rob Portman (R., Ohio), Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.), asked Mr. Froman to take action against China at the WTO “before U.S. manufacturers and their workers incur further irreparable harm.” Other signatories include Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Jeff Merkley (D., Ore.) and Ron Wyden (D., Ore.).


Sen. Mike Lee Wants To Stop Trump on Trade

January 12, 2017

senator_mike_lee.pngDon't expect lawmakers to quietly accept President-elect Donald Trump's plan to use Congressional granted authorities to hike tariffs against offending countries, which could potentially spark trade wars. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) is already leading an effort to find ways to rein in some of the executive power Trump would have on trade.

"We are not looking at repealing existing statutes, but putting brakes on the system," Daniel Bunn, an aide to Lee, said at a lunch event Wednesday at the free market-oriented Cato Institute. Lee was a vocal critic of Trump during the campaign and voted for independent candidate Evan McMullin.

Trump has vowed to invoke any number of trade authorities Congress has granted the executive branch, including the ability to take "emergency" actions to unilaterally raise tariffs and withdraw from trade agreements. In a press conference Wednesday, Trump reiterated his threat to place a "border tax" on U.S. companies that move production overseas and ship goods back into the U.S. for sale. The New York billionaire has already claimed to have pressured Carrier, Ford and other companies to reverse decisions that would have sent jobs elsewhere.

The Constitution gives Congress the power to "regulate commerce with foreign nations," but the legislative branch has delegated much of that authority to the president over the past century. Lawmakers could especially focus on pulling back Trump's trade powers if he takes actions that target specific companies, Bunn said.

"Are we turning the clock back?" he asked. "How far do we turn the clock back? What does that look like? These are all questions we are considering."

Manufacturers: Faster Job Growth Requires Action on Nominees

Pro-Manufacturing Economic Reforms Require Fully Functioning Government

- See more at:

Economic report

Top Economists Grapple With Public Disdain for Initiatives They Championed Josh Zumbrun  Jan. 8, 2017 6:05 p.m. ET

CHICAGO—The nation’s leading economists are suffering an identity crisis as many of the institutions they helped build and causes they advanced have come in for public scorn and rejection at the ballot box.

The angst was on display this weekend at the annual conference of the American Economic Association, the profession’s largest gathering. The conference is a showcase for agenda-setting research, a giant job fair for the nation’s most promising young economists and, this year, the site of endless discussion about how to rebuild trust in the discipline.

Many academic economists have been champions of free trade and globalization, ideas under assault among rising populist movements in advanced economies around the world. The rise of President-elect Donald Trump, with his fierce rhetoric against elites, in particular, left many at this conference questioning their place in the world.

 “The economic elite did many things to undermine their credibility while people’s economic fortunes were taking a turn for the worse,” said Steven Davis, an economist at the University of Chicago. But a road map for regaining trust is elusive. “I used to think facts and analysis will ultimately carry the day but now I’m not quite sure.”

In November a group of 370 economists, including eight Nobel laureates in economics, signed a letter warning against the election of Mr. Trump.

The conference took place in the shadow of the 1,400-foot Trump International Hotel and Tower, with its giant embossed letters glistening above the Chicago River: TRUMP. Chicago’s single-digit temperatures meant anxious discussions took place among economists quite literally shivering in black or gray overcoats.

“Economics has done a poor job integrating political concerns,” said Athanasios Orphanides, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus.

Surveys from the Pew Research Center have documented dwindling support for free trade. In 2014, 60% of Democratic voters and 55% of Republican voters supported such trade agreements. In an October survey, however, support among Democrats had fallen to 56% and support among Republicans had nose-dived to 24%.

Over a billion people moved out of poverty in developing countries in the last 25 years, lifted in part by global trade and other economic prescriptions, but those same policies created winners and losers in the West. Another Pew study last year compared views of whether it was good for the U.S. to be so involved in the global economy: 86% of scholars said it was good, and just 2% bad. Among the general public, 49% thought it was bad, and just 44% good.

A separate survey from Marketplace-Edison Research, conducted in October, asked U.S. adults how much they trusted data about the economy that is reported by the federal government. A quarter of respondents said they “do not trust it at all” while another 19% said they somewhat distrust it.

That is difficult to comprehend at a conference like this, where 13,000 attendees assembled for more than 500 presentations, many of which are built around findings that heavily use that government data.

The profession sees its successes as overlooked—the U.S. is wealthier than ever. The unemployment rate is below 5%. Challenges facing those who enjoyed little economic gain in recent years are among the topics economists are trying to diagnose and the subject of dozens of papers at this year’s conference.

Presentations throughout the weekend had an exasperated tone—Princeton University economist and Nobel laureate Angus Deaton gave one titled “Where In The World Is The World Headed?” Another Nobel Laureate, Columbia University’s Edmund Phelps, delivered a presentation titled “How the Left and Right Are Failing the West.”

Mr. Phelps said that neither the economic policies of Mr. Trump nor the left “can be expected to revitalize the West since neither serves to stimulate the business innovation that is essential for rapid economic growth.”

Stanford University’s John Taylor and Columbia’s Glenn Hubbard said Mr. Trump’s plans to simplify the tax and regulatory codes could indeed boost the economy’s growth. Both economists served in the past in the White House Council of Economic Advisers, long populated by academics who present at the AEA conference every January.

This year, academics are out in the cold. During the election The Wall Street Journal contacted every former member of the CEA, including those going back to President Richard Nixon. None had been tapped as an adviser to Mr. Trump’s campaign, nor did any publicly endorse him.

The president-elect is “not particularly interested in hearing from the academic economist club,” Mr. Davis said.

That could leave him missing needed advice. Still, the profession may have brought this on itself, said Joseph Stiglitz, a Columbia professor and Nobel winner. Anger among voters was to be expected, because globalization in particular was sold in part with broken promises.

“The promise was that globalization, together with liberalization, lowering tax rates, and advances in technology, would make everyone better off,” said Mr. Stiglitz. It was economists, not the economics, that over-promised, he said.

“In many ways, economic science was more honest,” he said, referring to the fact that some would win but others could lose from free trade. “It only said that under certain conditions winners could compensate losers, not that they would.”

Education and Training

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RTMA Event Highlights:

RTMA Holiday social

On December 8th, the RTMA held its Annual Holiday Social at Brook Lea Country Club. We had over 100 members join us for an excellent dinner and celebrate the holidays. 




Thank you to our Holiday Social Sponsors! We greatly appreciate your continued support.


OpTipro receives federal honor

By ANDREA DECKERT - 1/12/2017

OptiPro Systems LLC received the 2016 Tibbetts Award for its achievements in innovation and job creation as a participant in the federal Small Business Innovation Research program.

The Ontario, Wayne County-based company was among 37 U.S. businesses to receive the award, presented during a White House ceremony on Tuesday.

Named in honor of the late Roland Tibbetts, the acknowledged father of the SBIR program, the awards recognize individuals, organizations, firms or projects that made a visible technological impact on the socioeconomic front and exemplify the best in SBIR achievements.

Through the SBIR program, OptiPro has developed new machines and processes that are commercialized and used by prime contractors and small to midsize optics manufacturers, and exported worldwide.

“It is truly an honor to be a recipient of the 2016 Tibbetts Award,” said Mike Bechtold, OptiPro president, in a statement. “Without the SBIR program, OptiPro would not have been able to make the research and development investments necessary to grow our company and advance our technology to where it is today.

“Our continued success with the SBIR programs will help us to create the best possible advanced manufacturing solutions, especially for our important U.S.-based precision optics and ceramic producing companies.”  – Mike Bechtold, President of OptiPro Systems, LLC

“Our continued success with the SBIR programs will help us to create the best possible advanced manufacturing solutions, especially for our important U.S.-based precision optics and ceramic producing companies.” Profits earned since receiving their first SBIR grant have been re-invested in the company to increase technological improvement and commercialization of technologies, company leaders said.

OptiPro also holds a semi-annual SBIR review conference that highlights the technical advancements being made by the company, as well as other small companies participating in the SBIR program.

OptiPro ranked 12th on the most recent Rochester Business Journal list of optics and imaging firms. The company has more than 80 employees.


Image result for Save the date RTMA Upcoming EVents


february monthly meeting- WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22ND


Location: RIT CIMS Building, Louise Slaughter Bldg. #78

Address: 111 Lomb Memorial Drive Rochester, NY 14623 (Directions)



F.A.M.E. Annual - February 16th


Monroe Community College
R. Thomas Flynn Campus Center
Monroe A & B
Parking: Lot M

FAME at 10: Driving Growth. Inspiring Students. Reaching Parents. Connecting Stakeholders.


The Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturers’ Enterprise is pleased to present Mr. Jeremy Bout of Edge Factor at its annual industry/education event on February 16, 2017 at Monroe Community College!

This year’s FAME Keynote speaker is a mixed brew of caffeine, ideas that defy convention, and passion that drives creativity. After spending 12 years using technology to bring ideas to life in the manufacturing industry, Jeremy Bout leads the Edge Factor team in producing inspiring films and accompanying interactive resources to inspire the next generation of makers. As a critically acclaimed filmmaker, public speaker and entrepreneur, Jeremy  continues to turn ideas into reality to equip leaders to impact their communities. Edge Factor productions merge Hollywood visuals with cinematic storytelling, to highlight innovation, teach career pathways and manufacturing, and make science, technology, engineering, art and math relevant in today’s world. With stories and interactive resources, Edge Factor challenges perceptions and spotlights the amazing people and technology, that are changing lives and pushing back the edge of what’s possible.

Event Agenda:

4:00pm MCC Welcome, Dr. Anne Kress, President — MCC

4:05pm FLCC Update, Dr. Robert Nye, President — FLCC

4:10pm FAME Welcome/Update, Mike Mandina FAME, Chair; President, Optimax Systems Inc.

4:35pm Industry/Academic Speed Dating Expo

5:00pm Keynote Speaker, Mr. Jeremy Bout, Edge Factor

6:00pm 2017 STAR Award Presentation

6:05pm Networking/Expo Continues (thru 6:30pm)


Contact: Michele Stolberg, FAME Facilitator
Phone# 315-521-7826

Interested in supporting FAME by sponsoring this event?  CLICK HERE!

This event is being hosted by the Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturers’ Enterprise (FAME), Finger Lakes Workforce Investment Board (FLWIB), Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), Finger Lakes Community College, and Monroe Community College.


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