The first full week of 2015 has been eventful for the manufacturing sector with no shortage of news — making this week’s decision for ‘Winner’ and ‘Loser’ difficult. However, after careful consideration, Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre, co-founders of Ecovative, are this week’s ‘Winner’ while Fayetteville and Dayton, Tennessee receive the ‘Loser’ title.
Winner: Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre
This week Forbes released, “30 Under 30 Reinventing Manufacturing in a Greener, Tech-Savvier World,” a collection of manufacturers under 30 who are changing the manufacturing sector. Two of the most prominent people featured by Forbes were Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre, the 29 year-old founders of Ecovative. Because of this nod from Forbes, and their truly interesting new approach to manufacturing, these two men are receiving IMPO’s winning nod of the week.
Ecovative is a company all about sustainability and cutting down on waste. They have created a system where they combine agricultural waste with fungal mycelium, a mushroom, in order to create Mushroom Materials, a product comparable in its uses to Styrofoam or plastic, except is environmentally friendly and completely biodegradable. Once finished with a piece of Mushroom Materials you can toss it in your garden and it will safely decompose with time.
For a more holistic look at what Eben Bayer and Gavin McIntyre are doing for the manufacturing industry check out the video below.
Loser: Fayetteville and Dayton, Tennessee
It was announced this week that Fayetteville and Dayton, two towns in Tennessee, would be losing nearly 2,000 manufacturing jobs over the next three years, sadly making them the loser this week.
The news came as a result of Goodman Manufacturing choosing to consolidate their operations with Daikin Industries Ltd. — a manufacturer of heating, cooling and refrigerant products — in Houston, Texas.
Goodman spokesmen Rex Anderson said, "Daikin felt it was time to pull some things together for the efficiency of manufacturing and for the value that we could add to our customers by having it in one facility."
However, for the people of Fayetteville and Dayton this move hurts. The company is currently the largest employer in Fayetteville, employing approximately 1,200 (out of 7,000) people. The smaller factory in Dayton is currently employing about 700 workers.
The Mayor of Fayetteville, Jon Law, has stated that this move will affect the town’s economy, from lost wages, property taxes and utility use. But there is a silver lining: the company has given a two-and-a-half to three year warning, which according to Law will soften the blow.
The company is also providing employees with the option to move with the company or take a severance package that includes two years of college tuition and provides assistance finding work.