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Alcoa CEO Views Education and Partnerships as Keys for Manufacturing Competitiveness

October 10, 2013

Last week the Columbus Metropolitan Club hosted Alcoa CEO Klaus Kleinfeld to give remarks on the state of American manufacturing. Kleinfeld made the case that "talent is global," and that the U.S. must invest heavily in workforce development and STEM education if our country wants to continue to grow the manufacturing sector and remain globally competitive. Advocating for the overhaul of the entire K-12 and higher education systems, Kleinfeld cited the need to train students in high-tech skills and connect them to community college and apprenticeship programs that can be supported by local manufacturers. He stressed that education reform should also focus on inclusion to extend opportunity in the industrial economy to women and minorities, citing Alcoa's Women in Hardhats program as an example of successful outreach.

Kleinfeld acknowledged that federal assistance is an important driver for promoting national competitiveness but stressed that public support for manufacturing is most critical at the local level. Through investments in renewable energy, infrastructure, and education, local government and nonprofit partners can foster a favorable climate for growing their local manufacturing base. Kleinfeld was recently appointed to serve on the Obama administration's "Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee 2.0", a White House effort to maintain U.S. leadership in the production and export of emerging technologies.

manufacturing, white house