E3

Are you hungry? I think Missouri is.

By Jim Callier

I grew up in Missouri, and Missouri was always known as the “Show Me State”. You know, show me the money, show me the goods, etc. Well, times may be a changing. This time I see Missouri stepping out front and not waiting for the “show”.

You may be wondering; what’s up with this title about Missouri being hungry? No, it’s got nothing to do with sports teams, even though they did better this past year. It has to do with food. “How is that you say?” Let me tell you and I’ll keep it brief.

First, food manufacturing is the #1 economic sector in Missouri, employing nearly 40,000 workers, according to the 2012 “Missouri Economic Indicator Brief: Manufacturing Industries” (compiled by the Missouri Economic and Research and Information Center). Food also represents the #3 export from Missouri with sales more than $1.5 billion in 2012.

Now, let me tell you more about why I say “Missouri is hungry”. On February 19, 2014, I attended a meeting in Columbia, Missouri, hosted by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. At this meeting, representatives from at least 11 different federal, state, local, and non-governmental entities agreed to the “Food Production” would be the focus for Missouri’s E3 program. Here food production has the scope from “farm to table.”

MOE3

Missouri’s E3 team deliberates the E3 opportunities in a Food Production effort.

You say, “What’s E3? And why is this important?” Just read below for a description of E3.

E3 (Economy, Energy and the Environment) is a national initiative that promoting sustainable manufacturing and economic growth throughout the United States. E3 brings together federal agencies, states and local communities for a broad discussion on how to connect respective programs to deliver responsive, coordinated manufacturing solutions The E3 Framework facilitates collaboration among groups with common interests and a common agenda. Because the E3 initiative brings together interests on people, planet and profits it is at the core a collaborative SUSTAINBILITY effort.

E3 is a federal technical assistance framework helping communities, manufacturers and manufacturing supply chains adapt and thrive in today’s economy. EPA, five other federal agencies and their state/local partners pooled their resources to support communities across the country reduce pollution and energy use while increasing profits and creating new job opportunities. See http://www2.epa.gov/e3 for more information on the national program.

I’m excited about this. The profit margin in food production is thin. With the support of E3, the food production sector should not only be economically sustainable, but also be able to grow. Both rural and metropolitan areas in Missouri should benefit.

Stay tuned and follow this blog for updates on E3 in Missouri. Thanks, and have a nice day.

Jim Callier is Chief of the Resource Conservation and Pollution Prevention Section at EPA in Kansas City and has thirty years of experience working at EPA, primarily in Region 7. Jim has both working and management experience in many of EPA’s programs including hazardous and solid waste, brownfields, and pollution prevention. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri at Rolla with a B.S. Degree in Geological Engineering and is a Registered Professional Geologist in the State of Missouri.

 

 

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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America’s got (Manufacturing) Talent

Did you know that we help small-to-medium sized local businesses to be more sustainable? EPA works with five other federal agencies through a special partnership called E3: Economy, Energy and the Environment to connect these companies and their communities to technical experts.

Did you know that the Small Business Administration (SBA) has a network of Women’s Business Centers throughout the United States to help women start and grow small businesses?

Did you know that the Census Bureau has extensive county-level economic and demographic data and is making that data available to communities to help them assess their regional business environments?

You’ll find these resources in a new playbook recently created by a federal team of experts under the President’s Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP).  The IMCP Playbook pulls together existing federal planning grant and technical assistance resources and best practices in economic development.

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Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations.

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Creating a Different Perspective on Hiring a Veteran

By Tom Murray

I work with other federal and local partners in implementing an initiative called “E3: Economy, Energy and the Environment.”  Sponsored by six federal agencies and numerous state and local partners, E3 is a young and growing nationwide effort helping American manufacturers thrive both economically and sustainably.

We just launched a new page on the E3 website This launch is not, in itself, a newsworthy event.  But its topic is — the hiring of veterans and their spouses.  So why is the E3 initiative launching this page?  Well, we think we can help by looking at the issue a little differently, from a supply and demand angle.

I believe that one of the reasons veterans are not being hired at an acceptable rate is that we have been focused so intently on pushing the idea of hiring veterans that we have not concentrated enough on creating a hiring “pull” for these veterans from the manufacturing side.  Through efforts like E3 I think we can help create that “pull”.

Through E3, if we work with manufacturers to reduce the dollars they spend on managing waste, such as wasted energy, time, motion and materials, we will open up more opportunities for them to spend those dollars on plant expansions, new technologies and new hires.   We have several case studies that show this to be true.  By adding this Veterans Page to the E3 website we want to make it easier for these manufacturers to find the skilled workers they need within their local veteran communities.

Will the launch of this E3 Web page help get vets hired?  Only time will tell. But as our veterans to our country have taught us —  to realize success, all of us, myself and my other E3 colleagues at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, and the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, and Labor, as well as our state and local partners — — will need to work collaboratively to make it easier to hire veterans.

About the author: Tom Murray joined EPA way back in 1971 and has never lost the passion for pollution prevention and helping manufacturers become more sustainable.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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How Columbus Ohio Saves Money Using E3 to Reduce Waste

Several links below exit EPA Exit EPA Disclaimer

Michael-B.-Coleman – Mayor

By Mayor Michael B. Coleman

Because we want Columbus to be a green and efficient city, sustainability is a topic we take seriously. We have launched programs to encourage our residents and businesses to design smarter and reduce waste. We recently recruited manufacturers to join the movement with the help of E3. E3 stands for Economy, Energy and Environment. It is an innovative federal program designed to package federal, state and local environmental assistance programs into a one-stop shop for manufacturers seeking to reduce waste and increase profits. In 2010, six Columbus companies agreed to be part of the E3 pilot program. As a result, each received a full range of benefits including increased efficiency, profits and sustainability supporting job growth and our local economy. To gain these benefits, on-site professional audits on environmental, lean processing, waste and energy were completed to identify changes the businesses could make to avoid unnecessary costs through efficient use of resources.

Collectively, the E3 team found that more than $5 million of annual savings could be realized with a one-time capital retrofit of $5 million. This framework is versatile and can be molded to fit any community’s set of manufacturing priorities. In Columbus, E3 is helping to position our manufacturing industry, which represents approximately 20 percent of the workforce, for success and longevity.

Using the E3 framework, Columbus has more productive relationships with state and federal officials and with our manufacturing community. I encourage other city officials and business leaders to explore how they company can use the E3 framework to make progress together.

See a video on the Columbus E3 project.

Additional information on E3 is available online

About the author:  Since taking office in 2000, Mayor Michael B. Coleman has built Columbus’ reputation as one of the best cities in the nation by building stronger, safer neighborhoods and creating jobs by maintaining a high quality of life. Columbus is the 15th largest city in the nation, the largest city in Ohio and among the only growing cities in the Midwest.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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I See No Mountains

By Tom Murray

I was reading a front page article in the September 8, 2012 edition of the Baltimore Sun in which a chief economist with the National Association of Manufacturers was quoted as saying that “manufacturing has really come to a bit of a standstill at this point in time.” Others opined that the trend lines have been down for manufacturing.

Interestingly, I had just finished reading another article on manufacturing with a different slant — this one from Forbes on September 4, 2012. This article focused on the resurgence of manufacturing and posed an interesting question: “Public-Private Partnerships – Are they the ‘Secret Sauce’ to a Resurgence in American Manufacturing?” This article suggests that it may be “the more advanced energy manufacturing and additive manufacturing that might produce this resurgence and that collaborative public-private partnerships have emerged as an important component in this new era of American manufacturing.”

We could look at these opinions as a classic example of whether the glass is half empty or half full. If half empty, it is a slumping story for American manufacturing. If half full, it is an opportunity to engage in bold and persistent experimentation leading to a resurgence in manufacturing. In either case, whether we are government, academic or business, it is our shared responsibility to find solutions that work.

I am encouraged by public-private initiatives like the E3 (Economy, Energy and the Environment) framework where several federal agencies are working together and with American communities and manufacturers to fine-tune manufacturing and encourage growth along with improved environmental performance. The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program is searching outside normal channels to find solutions for an unmet technological need. Public-private partnerships have the tools and the know-how.

During my career, I have had the privilege of visiting many small to medium-sized manufacturers. I have always been impressed with their dogged determination and resilience. Today, they need expertise more than ever and we need to find the most effective ways of getting it to them.

I am reminded of the lyrics from a popular Neil Diamond tune: “Put a mountain there and I’ll tear it down. If it is too high, I’ll go around.” Or perhaps a more suitable metaphor comes from the late and great humanitarian and civil rights leader, Leon Sullivan, who was wont to say, “I see no mountains.”

Let’s get it done.

To learn more, visit www.E3.gov.

About the author: Tom Murray joined EPA way back in 1971 and has never lost the passion for pollution prevention and helping manufacturers become more sustainable.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Urban Sustainability:Role of Small Manufacturers

By Natalie Hummel

Recently, I attended an urban manufacturing tour in Philadelphia with a dedicated group from Philadelphia’s Department of Labor, Commerce and Water, University of Penn, Drexel University, Peoples Emergency Center and the Pratt Center (NY). It was an exciting opportunity to step outside my busy cubicle and experience a world where products are designed and crafted locally —which provided real meaning to the logo “Made in the U.S.A.”

Our initial stop was a small family owned textile company that produced ergonomically enhanced military gear to protect the lives of our military members. Military apparel carrying grenades and high end equipment were redesigned to improve effectiveness. Our group heard how “lean manufacturing” improved operational efficiencies to eliminate or reduce waste while reducing costs.

The open conversation between management and employees enhanced productivity and team incentives and provided employees with an opportunity to enhance skills and knowledge. More importantly, the President of the company, a graduate of the University of Penn’s Wharton School of Business recognized the importance of keeping jobs in Philadelphia.

Along with many creative solutions, we highlighted E3: Economy, Energy, and the Environment, a collaborative framework by local, state, and federal partners to address manufacturing sustainability and profitability. E3 companies that have participated received technical expertise to improve processes, energy use, environmental stewardship, worker safety and competitiveness. Technical assistance through E3 can help companies make more money, retain and hire new workers, and protect public health and the environment, all at the same time.

As a result of the work that this company had done, lives will be saved, product life will be extended and operational costs will be reduced.

This is only one company and many other small and medium sized urban manufacturers are making an enormous impact promoting regional sustainability, livability, and economic competitiveness. Through collaborative programs such as E3, economic, energy and environmental improvements will benefit many.

About the author: Natalie Hummel holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and has been with the EPA for over 9 years.   Natalie joined the Agency as a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) , and completed rotational assignments at the Chesapeake Bay Program and the National Park Service working on urban stormwater and coastal estuary environmental issues.  She has extensive experience in budgeting, performance measurement, policy, and planning.   Currently, Natalie is in the Pollution Prevention Division managing E3 efforts in NY, PA, WV, VA, and MT.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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One Small Step For Man…..

By Tom Murray

Sometimes, all it takes is that first bold step. Set aside your apprehension and answer that knock at the door from your local technical assistance provider who says that there is a new game in town that will turn your business around. What’s to lose?

So thought the president of a small family-owned foundry in Milwaukee who answered that call and is now glad he did. I recently had the opportunity to tour his facility and to hear his story. He runs a small company, and, like many small companies in Wisconsin, it was just making ends meet. Then he heard about the Milwaukee E3 framework from his local Manufacturing Extension Partnership program. At first apprehensive, he took a closer look and saw that this program was different.

“Several federal and local resources will stitch together a technical assistance package and then deliver it directly to my door? You gotta be kidding me.” And, yet, he decided to give it a test run. The experience really opened his eyes to several growth opportunities and he jumped on them. When we sat down to talk about his efforts, I was surprised to see that he had laid out architectural drawings on the table showing how he intends to re-design his entire plant operation. Talk about taking full advantage of the E3 experience. “I use a lot of sand,” he says. And the new design will include a sand recycling process that will save a tidy sum of money over time as well as move me closer to a landfill free operation, he told me. The best news is that the return on investment on this new operation is less than two-years and the heat released from the operation will be channeled back to heat the facility. I can’t wait to check back with him in a year or two. As a parting note, he said he was looking to expand his operation in the city of Milwaukee.

About the author: Tom Murray joined EPA way back in 1971 and has never lost the passion for pollution prevention and helping manufacturers become more sustainable.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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E3 is Creating Job Opportunities in North Carolina

By Tom Murray

As a guy who has been trained for so long to look at sustainable manufacturing through an environmental lens, it was refreshing to hear what the “workforce side of manufacturing” was saying about a sustainability program I and representatives from five other federal agencies work on called E3: Economy, Energy and the Environment or, more simply, the E3 framework. At a panel discussion at the National Association of Workforce Board’s Forum in Washington, D.C. March 12, I learned how E3 has helped position several small manufacturing companies in North Carolina increase their work force, while improving their environmental and energy footprints.

By the way, Workforce Investment Boards or WIBS, for my environmental friends, are regional entities created to implement the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and direct federal, state and local funding to workforce development programs.

E3 brings together experts from number of federal and local community organizations — like workforce boards — to help small-to-medium sized manufactures grow and thrive within this new era of sustainability. At the conference, I was particularly impressed with some of the workforce statistics that are being reported from the North Carolina E3 effort. Companies there are starting to hire again which is great! Kudos to the Work Force Investment Boards and the fine work that continues in North Carolina.

About the author: Tom Murray joined EPA way back in 1971 and has never lost the passion for pollution prevention and helping manufacturers become more sustainable

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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