Maryland gubernatorial candidates are scheduled to appear at a forum on manufacturing Friday morning, Oct. 4 in what may be the first such gathering in the coming statewide election cycle.
Most have confirmed for the event at the Towson North Sheraton Hotel, according to Dr. Michael Galiazzo, president of the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland (RMI). The keynote speaker prior to the forum is Dr. Michael Hicks, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University in Indiana. The center gave Maryland a "D" this spring in a report that graded the states on various measures of manufacturing health. After Hicks' talk, the candidates will be asked to respond on they they would promote manufacturing in Maryland.
"My goal is to get from them some well-defined strategies that we can post on the RMI website," Galiazzo said. "We want to solicit good ideas."
RMI has been canvassing Maryland manufacturers on its website for several weeks, asking what they would do to propel manufacturing if they were governor. Their 100 or so responses will be shared with the gubernatorial candidates prior to the forum, Galiazzo said. Manufacturers can take the survey on RMI's site by clicking here.
The Maryland event ties into a larger Manufacturing Day theme around the country that day and throughout the month. The awareness campaign is being coordinated by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), the Manufacturing Institute and the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International. Industrial Strength Marketing and the Science Channel are also partners in promoting the event.