Manufacturing is Important to Monroe County!

Please find below a letter containing editorial comments related to an article posted in the Monroe News on March 30, 2017, entitled “Guardian Rezoning for Plant Expansion Challenged by Local Resident.”

The value of Manufacturing operations to a community is often overlooked when companies seek to expand their operations. Such is the case with the potential expansion of Guardian Industries Corp. as they consider adding a “jumbo coating” process at their Carleton plant in Ash Township. This new asset, should it land at the Carleton plant, will be the largest and only one of its kind in North America.

On March 30, 2017, the Monroe News published an article related to the filing of a Letter of Intent to oppose the recent rezoning of the property where the new building housing the “jumbo coater” and additional warehousing space will be located. The property, which is adjacent to Guardian’s existing operations, was unanimously approved for rezoning by Ash Township’s Planning Commission, Monroe County’s Planning Commission and the Ash Township Board of Trustees.

While attending these meetings, it cautioned me to wonder if our citizens placed value on the manufacturing operations that call Monroe County home. I would like to point out the following information that was extracted from a study conducted by Joel Popkin and Company entitled “Securing America’s Future, the Case for a Strong Manufacturing Base.”

Manufacturing’s innovation process provides enormous benefits for the entire U.S. economy: 

  • Grows the Economy – Manufacturing growth spawns more additional economic activity and jobs than any other economic sector. Every $1 of final demand for manufactured goods generate an additional $0.67 in other manufactured products and $0.76 in products and services from nonmanufacturing sectors.
  • Invents the Future – Manufacturers are responsible for almost two-thirds of all private sector R&D – $127 billion in 2002. Spillovers from this R&D benefit other manufacturing and nonmanufacturing firms. R&D spillovers are enhanced by geographic proximity.
  • Generates Productivity Increases – Manufacturing productivity gains are historically higher than those of any other economic sector – over the past two decades, manufacturing averaged twice the annual productivity gains of the rest of the private sector. These gains enable Americans to do more with less, increase our ability to compete, and facilitate higher wages for all employees.
  • Provides More Rewarding Employment – Manufacturing salaries and benefits average $54,000, higher than the average for the total private sector. Two factors in particular attract workers to manufacturing: higher pay and benefits, and opportunities for advanced education and training.
  • Pays the Taxes – Manufacturing has been an important contributor to regional economic growth and tax receipts at all levels of government. During the 1990s, manufacturing corporations paid 30-34 percent of all corporate taxes collected by state and local governments, Social Security and payroll taxes, excise taxes, import and tariff duties, environmental taxes and license taxes.

I would add to the list, based on my experience leading Monroe County’s economic development efforts, that manufacturing businesses are wonderful neighbors. In many cases, they provide grants and stipends to local schools, supporting non-profits and local municipalities, and provide human capital to sit on boards and social service organizations.

If you are an Ash Township resident and were a registered voter in the 2014’s gubernatorial election, you may be asked to sign a petition requiring the Township to hold a vote to determine if rezoning of the Guardian property is supported by the majority of voters in the Township. I ask that you not only consider the value that manufacturing brings to your community, the county and the region but also the cost to the Township to hold a special vote on this matter.

Respectfully submitted,



Tim C. Lake
President & CEO