When you think about American manufacturing, the industry that is truly the backbone of our economy, and the reason behind all of the innovation and technology that exists today, consider these facts:
- “In 2013, manufacturers contributed $2.08 trillion to the American economy
- Manufacturers in the United States are the most productive in the world, far surpassing the worker productivity of any other major manufacturing economy
- Manufacturing supports an estimated 17.4 million jobs in the United States”
Now think about these:
- By 2030, there will be twice as many retirees as there are today, but only 18% more workers
- Almost ten years ago, 85% of manufacturers surveyed indicated a skilled labor shortage, and it’s gotten significantly worse since then
- Within the private sector, workers in manufacturing have the highest median tenure among the major industries
In summary, manufacturing is critical to our success as a country, and is an invaluable, rewarding, promising career. Yet there aren’t enough manufacturing workers to fill all of the positions available, and in the future, there will be even less supply and more demand.
It’s clear that something needs to be done. Of course this can’t be fixed overnight, but luckily, many people are taking notice and are proposing active solutions. There are many plans, such as STEM education programs throughout the country and the federal government’s regional manufacturing hubs, that can begin to close the skills gap while promoting careers in this great industry. Careers that are as promising as they are important.
What can we all do as manufacturers and individuals? Be sure to celebrate and take part in Manufacturing Day, October 3, 2014. Now in its third year, the day encourages businesses of all sizes to open their doors, showcase their work, and show the community what they make and do. It also helps get young people excited about manufacturing on the whole. As a proud American manufacturer, we plan on participating in events on that day.
All of us here at Astro Machine will be participating in Manufacturing Day. Our festivities will cover two days—October 2nd and 3rd. We will be opening up our shop for two different high schools, to whom we will give complete shop tours. The tours will include classroom instruction on past projects and customers we have worked with, as well as booths showcasing parts we have created in the past.
We find it important to participate in Manufacturing Day because it provides us with the chance to show students a serious look at the manufacturing trade. In fact, our participation is in conjunction with a local technical college (which has also been our number one resource in gaining new employees!). We are excited to be a part of this event, and we will continue our manufacturing sharing efforts throughout the year.
Change doesn’t happen overnight, and there’s a lot to be done. But if we all get involved in big and small ways, we can keep our industry moving forward and advancing with the speed and interest it deserves.