January 17, 2017 (Arlington, Va.) – Last week, about 70 leading executives from the composites industry attended the American Composites Manufacturers Association’s (ACMA) Composites Executive Forum in Washington, D.C. to gain insight into the new political landscape, emerging markets, innovations and applications that are setting the stage for growth.
Attendees heard from a wide range of perspectives from experts in economics, politics, academia and the composites industry. Day 1 of the event was keynoted by Dr. Robert Fry, Chief Economist of Robert Fry Economics LLC and a former senior economist at DuPont. During his presentation, Dr. Fry called sales and production of lightweight vehicles a “bright spot,” which bodes well for composites manufacturers looking to gain traction in the automotive market.
Day 2 of the event was keynoted by Former Reagan Administration Special Assistant Herb Meyer, who called the emergence of the global middle class and major improvements in global health two of the world’s most underreported news stories. He added that the core of business in the world is how much older the consumer base has become.
“With the Composites Executive Forum, our goal was to give leaders in our industry the tools they need to paint a picture of how global economic, political, and societal trends affects the vitality of their businesses,” said Tom Dobbins, ACMA President. “Herb Meyer and Dr. Robert Fry’s insights provided a compelling overview of the macro trends affecting not just our industry, but the entire US manufacturing environment.”
The forum also featured experts within the composites industry and the manufacturing divisions of other major organizations who outlined the work being done within industry consortia, as well as progress being made in composites recycling, workforce development, research and standards.
“Two very important issues in our industry are the development of a unified approach to composites recycling and how to attract a qualified workforce,” said Kevin Barnett, CEO of Core Molding Technologies and Treasurer of the ACMA Board of Directors. “The Composites Executive Forum was a great opportunity to understand our industry’s progress in those areas and what challenges lie ahead.”
Following the Composites Executive Forum, ACMA has a number of events lined up for 2017 that will provide the industry with access to quality education and information. For more information, please visit https://www.acmanet.org/events-calendar. The Composites Executive Forum is held every other year. Additional pictures of the event are available.