Input sought on plan for advanced manufacturing

The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is seeking input from all interested parties on the development of a national strategic plan for advanced manufacturing. OSTP wants to hear ideas on ways to improve government coordination and on long-term guidance for federal programs and activities in support of U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, including advanced manufacturing research and development that will create jobs, grow the economy across multiple industrial sectors, strengthen national security, and improve healthcare.

Recent Research: Customized services are cost-effective economic development tools

Financial incentives for company recruitment and retention still dominate state and local economic development expenditures, but recent research estimates that extension programs and customized job training can accomplish development goals in a more cost-effective manner. Despite this, customized services get, on average, five cents of public investment for every dollar that traditional financial incentive strategies receive.

Achieving an equitable innovation economy

A range of equity-based strategies to support scale-up programming for small-scale manufacturers are among the findings of a recent report from the Urban Manufacturing Alliance (UMA). In Making, Scaling and Inclusion, UMA found that the economic development field is hungry for strategies that remove employment barriers and build the talent of low-income and economically disadvantaged communities to drive economic growth in their cities and the report offers guidance for building equitable innovation economies.

Coming decade to reshape manufacturing

Forces weighing on the manufacturing industry, including globalization and technology, do not indicate its decline, says a recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute. Instead, the coming decade will reshape manufacturing as demand grows, technology produces gains and companies find new growth in parts of the value chain. To be able to be able to compete in the future, U.S. manufacturing needs to scale up efforts on multiple fronts, the report maintains.

TechShop closing reverberates in maker space

When TechShop unexpectedly closed its 10 locations around the country on Nov. 15, announcing its intention to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, it not only surprised many who were affiliated with the maker space, but raised questions surrounding the larger maker space community. Dan Woods, CEO of TechShop, cited financial reasons for the closing. They had earlier announced the closing of the Pittsburgh shop, but had opened a new shop in Brooklyn, New York, just weeks before the sudden closure.

New programs in NY, WI make manufacturing productivity a priority

Overall growth in manufacturing should accelerate this year and grow even more in 2018, according to recent projections from the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI). As a way to support manufacturers — especially small and medium sized ones — two states recently announced programs to boost their productivity.

Manufacturing Day addresses misperceptions, opens doors

First observed in 2011, Manufacturing (MFG) Day started as a grassroots movement intended to draw the public’s attention to manufacturing and its career opportunities and has become an annual celebration meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Since 2012, both public and industry participation in MFG Day activities have grown, as has its overall scope and goals. This year, an effort is being made to reach out to millennials, many of whom have an outdated image of manufacturing, to connect with a younger workforce vital to filling the openings in an increasingly digital manufacturing industry. 

Future digital workforce needs outlined

Recognizing the growing need for a skilled workforce in the increasingly digital manufacturing sector, a new report from the public-private effort of DMDII and ManpowerGroup aims to capture the changing technology and business interactions, and the job roles that are having an impact on the sector. The year-long body of work attempts to answer, among other questions, how workforce roles and job structures flex to accelerate the succession of a transforming global economy.

Making the case for manufacturing

In a recent report from The Century Foundation, assumptions about the value of a renewed commitment to manufacturing are examined and its importance to the nation’s economic future are reviewed. In Why Manufacturing Jobs Are Worth Saving, the authors review the current status of manufacturing activity, dive into regional data on the role of manufacturing in the economic recovery of communities, and take a look at the quality of the jobs and workforce challenges facing the industry. 

State policies help revitalize U.S. manufacturing sector

More can be done at the state level to encourage growth in U.S. manufacturing, according to a recent presentation by Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF). In the presentation, held earlier this month at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) summer meeting, Atkinson suggested that there is a role for state policymakers to address each of the four T’s related to sound manufacturing policy: trade, tax, technology, and talent.


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