The wirtschaftsjunioren (WJ) are a nationwide association of entrepreneurs and managers from all sectors of the economy. The beginnings of the coburg junior chamber date back to 1953; it was founded in its current form in 1973 – the first chairman of the board at that time was carl-ludwig fahrenholz. 46 years later, christian friedenstab is at the helm and formulates ambitious goals – also on behalf of the new board of directors elected in february: "we want to help shape the regional economy, he said at a WJ event on monday evening. And: "we want to give the economy a voice!"
If you take the aforementioned event on monday evening as the start of these new objectives, then you can speak of a very successful start. Well over a hundred interested people crowded into the foyer of wohnbau auf der mauer and listened to the consistently exciting short presentations by various young leaders (see the individual texts at the end). After that there was "genetzwerkt – that’s what we call it today, when contacts are cultivated and exchanged in a rather informal atmosphere.
Sigmar schnabel, managing director of the coburg chamber of commerce and industry, was very complimentary about the junior economists and described them – appropriately enough for networking – as an "important network of young entrepreneurs and managers who take responsibility". Recently, the coburg junior economists have focused primarily on educational topics, which schnabel says is very important. But he is also pleased to note that the wjs also want to devote more time to business and economic issues.
The with "economic forecasts for 2019 siegmar schnabel described the event on monday evening as a "good rounding off" of the regular business surveys of the chamber of commerce and industry.
And what are these forecasts? The representatives of the individual sectors had very different views of the situation. Brigitte glos, head of the bamberg/coburg employment agency, painted a very positive picture overall. But she called for more effort in the area of digitalization. "Digitization can only be tackled with vision", she said. In this context, one of her wishes is to improve the dialog with companies in the area of further training – because: "there is still too little happening!" but here, too, a promising start was made on monday evening. At least brigitte glos was also busy "networking" later on to watch.
And so to the individual presentations:
"Good starting position"
Siegmar schnabel, managing director of the coburg chamber of commerce and industry: the coburg chamber of commerce and industry conducts business surveys three times a year. Chief executive sigmar schnabel presented the results, which came out at the beginning of 2019. According to the report, the coburg economy is currently in good shape. "The order books are well filled", schnabel reported, even though there was a "slight slowdown" in investment to be determined. The climate index at the beginning of the year was 119 – a slightly lower value than the 121 recorded in the fall, but ultimately better than the average of the past few years, which was 116. According to schnabel, a look at the individual sectors shows that mechanical engineering is "doing well" and that the upholstered furniture industry is at least "somewhat more satisfied than before" be. The services sector is on a "stable growth course", it said. For retailers, however, the situation is "very sobering" dar, so schnabel. Especially the christmas business is "not satisfactory" had been. The tourism industry is "satisfied.
"Don’t break the law
Norbert schug, member of the board of management of VR-bank coburg: according to norbert schug, clouds are gathering in germany’s economic sky. On the one hand, this has to do with the fact that the entire global economy is also weakening and that there are "huge geopolitical factors of influence" would break through. Schug cited the brexit, the unclear majority situation feared after the european elections – and the situation in the u.S. As examples. "The blond man in america is unpredictable", schug sums it up succinctly. On the other hand, schug also blames the germans themselves to a certain extent: "it’s crazy how we’re trampling down and destroying the automotive industry, our key industry," he said nevertheless, he does not see any signs of a recession "i would rather talk about a slowdown in growth." he expects stable figures for the labor market. Afterwards, brigitte glos from the employment agency could only confirm this: a further decline in the unemployment rate is expected for 2019. "Bad mood? We do not feel", said glos.
"Dare to innovate
Philipp steinberger, managing director of the wohner company: as a "strong innovator managing director philipp steinberger described the wohner company from rodental, which is active in the electrical industry. Around 50 million euros have been invested in new products and processes over the past five years. With success: twelve percent of the total turnover is achieved with innovations that have only been developed in the last three years. Since 2000, wohner has evolved from a specialist component manufacturer to a system supplier. "The electrical industry is doing well, said steinberger and noted: "the microcosm is more important to us than world and european politics." that is why there is currently no reason for uncertainty. Although there was a brief sharp drop in orders in december 2018, this has long since been overcome: "our plant is running at full capacity!" steinberger announces a "consistent growth course" for the future at the rodental site: among other things, a new high-bay warehouse is planned. The company also sees great growth potential in china and north america in particular.
"Find new talent"
Julia schultheib, angermuller bau, untersiemau: the construction industry is booming – and angermuller can’t complain about a lack of orders at the moment either. Because even more scope for public investment is expected in the near future, julia schultheib even anticipates further growth. But as pleasing as it is that the 580-strongangermuller workforce (including 440 in franconia and thuringia) has so much to do in the industrial and commercial construction sector, there are also three points that are seen with concern. First: the shortage of young talent. "There are industries that are more pleasant to work in", admitted julia schultheib, referring to the physical challenges that often go hand in hand with overtime. But, after all, "we are currently building a lot within a radius of 100 kilometers, so that the workers can go home in the evening." the second major concern has to do with the immense requirements: "the bureaucracy is now tying up a lot of personnel!" and, third concern: digitalization. "For smaller companies, this involves a huge financial outlay", fears schultheib.
"Finding IT experts"
Matthias kapp, kapp niles, coburg: according to matthias kapp, kapp can look back on the most successful fiscal year in its company history: in the fiscal year calculated from july 2017 to june 2018, sales increased by 24 percent – not least thanks to a major order from china. Despite trade disputes and discussions on emissions protection, very good figures are again expected for the current fiscal year. According to matthias kapp, digitization poses a major challenge in that it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit qualified IT and software specialists. Kapp benefits in this context from also having a plant in berlin. Because it would still be somewhat easier to find such skilled workers there than in coburg. However, kapp is also trying to counter the shortage of skilled workers by cooperating with universities. With a view to the global crises, matthias kapp stated on behalf of the machine manufacturers: "our markets react very quickly to external influences."