With 69% of North American manufacturers recently indicating they’re “likely” or even “extremely likely” to reshore their supply chains in response to the impacts of COVID-19 and tariffs, Thomas Insights brought longtime reshoring advocate Barry Zekelman, executive chairman and CEO of Zekelman Industries, onto this week’s episode of the Thomas Industry Update Podcast.
Alongside Thomas President and CEO Tony Uphoff, Zekelman told listeners about his rise through the ranks of industry — at just 19 years old, Zekelman took over his father’s steel business and transformed it into one of North America’s largest steel pipe and tube makers — plus his passion for reshoring manufacturing to North America, and how he plans to combat the skills shortage that could grow as operations come back from overseas.
“I’ve seen what manufacturing operations have done in communities,” Zekelman explained. “You’ve got a skillset that earns a higher wage and a higher quality of living, and what it provides to a community is purpose. The cost of not having that is astronomical.”