Anytime a manufacturing plant opens or expands in the United States, it spurs development, creates jobs and has a positive spill-over effect on area businesses and communities. At the same time, it bolsters our nation’s competitive position in the global marketplace.
In post-recession America, the manufacturing sector is growing again, which bodes well for everyone involved, starting with workforce development and encompassing product design, industrial operations and facilities management. It goes an important step further, benefiting advanced manufacturing and the entire supply chain – conceiving, developing, producing, testing, fielding and shipping finished products.
Growth and Innovation
The manufacturing sector comprises 11 percent of the nation’s private-sector workforce and 12 percent of its overall economy. While manufacturing lost nearly a third of its workforce during the recession, it has increased steadily since 2010. In July alone, 16,000 direct manufacturing jobs were added in the U.S., for a total of more than 668,000 in the past four years. This marks the first period of sustained job growth since the 1990s.
- The U.S. share of exports has increased faster than that of other nations. This is also noteworthy, as trade deficits or an overreliance on imports renders the country vulnerable to factors ranging from exchange rate fluctuations to trade embargoes and natural disasters that can devastate supply chains.
- The nation’s ability to manufacture its own goods enhances the provision of related services. For instance, real estate sales tend to strengthen in areas where manufacturing business is strong. The same is true for healthcare, social services and other industries that serve members of the industrial workforce.
The U.S. as a Competitive Force
The United States today is a more competitive location for manufacturing than it has been in decades.
- According to recent market research, 54 percent of global executives are actively considering bringing manufacturing back from China to the U.S. Another study shows that our nation is the top destination in the world for job-creating foreign direct investments, for the second straight year. The U.S. scored the highest confidence level of any country since the survey was launched two decades ago.
- Low-cost energy is one driving factor. This positive development is enticing many businesses to bring work back to America. It also has significant supply chain implications.
The Importance of Workforce Development
To support this growth, the U.S. and its employers need a critical mass of both direct manufacturing and associated service jobs. This will come from collaboration between experts in industry, academia and government. Factory jobs offer economic opportunity to hard-working, middle-skilled employees, which leads to healthy upward mobility. Higher-skilled jobs such as accounting, research, technical development, engineering and testing and lab work are another critical component to American leadership.
- Foster relationships with secondary and trade schools, community colleges and universities. Emphasize STEM education. Today’s manufacturing employee needs training in fundamental math, statistics, algebra, engineering and software development. Manufacturing leaders need to create learning opportunities and future pathways for their workforce.
As you grow your manufacturing team and build your future talent pipeline, it makes strategic sense to partner with a recruitment and workforce management firm that specializes in your unique needs. To learn more, read our related posts or contact the experienced recruiters at Premium Staffing today.