Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom gathered these items at the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s Molders Division and Western Region joint conference, March 11-13 in Las Vegas.
AMBA leader urges political activity
The American Mold Builders Association's new president is encouraging members of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc. to be politically active.
``We want a level playing field for mold making,'' Scott Harris said. ``We don't think [steel] tariffs are the answer.''
He suggested investment tax credits for training and new equipment. ``For the most part, they don't exist now,'' said Harris, who in early March began a two-year term as AMBA president.
Roselle, Ill.-based AMBA has 430 members in 33 states. The association hopes to present its case to the U.S. International Trade Commission during hearings that start May 21. Under a congressional directive, the ITA is investigating unfair global competition in tool building. AMBA and others are surveying the industry on the subject.
Harris is president and owner of Harris Precision Mold Inc. of Tempe, Ariz. He founded the firm, which employs 25, in 1991.
SPI tightens belt, builds new revenue
Even as SPI is tightening its belt, President Donald Duncan said he is encouraged by the recent drawing for NPE 2003 exhibitor space.
``Business is starting to look better,'' he said. It's ``the best news I've heard in 18 months.''
In new financial controls, SPI will hold executive board meetings twice a year at a per-meeting expense of $10,000-$15,000, vs. the previous practice of three meetings at $50,000-$60,000 each. New revenue streams include the SPI TaxSaver Program in conjunction with the Property Tax Advisory Group Inc., e-commerce initiatives and the Plastics Learning Network.
SPI has a 2002 goal to add $1 million in membership revenue, Duncan said. SPI gained 130 members in 2001, but two large consolidations cost more money than the new members added.
Also, he said, Washington-based SPI is trying to reduce consultant expenses by about 80 percent and do more work in-house.
Calif. plastics PAC banks $60 grand
Political action committee Plastics California has ``more than $60,000 in the bank to give this year [but] not much to think about'' in terms of targeted races in the fall general election, said David Jolly, a board member of Plastics California and a San Diego-based regional manager of government affairs for Dart Container Corp.
In the current election cycle under newly created legislative districts, Plastics California has contributed to 14 candidates: seven Democrats and seven Republicans. The only loser has been Republican Richard Dickerson of Redding in the fourth Senate district.
The Sacramento, Calif.-based PAC also contributed to the California Republican Party and two successful primary candidates, Republican Tom McClintock of Thousand Oaks for state controller and Democrat Jack O'Connell of San Luis Obispo for state superintendent of schools.