Despite COVID Hurdles, Cluster Remains Optimistic for Future!

To better understand the challenges that our North Country Transportation Equipment & Aerospace Cluster has been, and anticipates facing, as a result of COVID-19, the North American Center of Excellence for Transportation Equipment (NAmTrans) issued a COVID-19 Needs Assessment Survey.

The survey was first issued on June 17th, 2020, and responses were collected through July 30th, 2020. The survey was issued to 52 companies and 18 companies responded for a 35% response rate.

The results of the survey are being used to help NAmTrans better deliver resources and programming to assist the cluster, were incorporated into our Strategic Plan & Implementation Strategy, and are being used to communicate the overall needs of the cluster to our federal/state elected officials.

A brief breakdown of the results can be found below.

COVID-19 Needs Assessment Survey Results 

  • 83% of respondents were deemed essential prior to Phase I
  • 100% of respondents have resumed production activities as of June 15th

Total Manufacturing Capacity

  • 56% of respondents are at 100%
  • 28% are between 75-99%
  • 16% are below that

Experiencing Supply Chain Disruptions

  • 55% responded yes; 45% responded no
  • Examples given include: Delays from overseas suppliers, a slowdown in production at Canadian parent plants, obtaining and high-cost of PPE, shipping has slowed down, and inability to visit supplies in-person

Main Challenges

  • Examples given include supply chain disruptions, production capacity, financial issues/cash flow, and staff recall/hiring. A future transportation bill to fund transit authority projects was also cited.

Ways to Assist

  • Examples given include: ensuring needs are being communicated to elected officials, general company awareness/promotion, procurement assistance training (including government contracts), and networking/B2B related events.

Outlook for Future

  • 56% have a favorable outlook (either slightly favorable or highly favorable) and 44% indicated a neutral outlook. No companies responded that they had a slightly negative or very negative outlook for the future.

To read the full report, click here.