Manufacturing sector’s economic contributions celebrated while reports caution uneven regional and racial benefits

As Manufacturing Day continues to be recognized throughout the month of October, the Census Bureau issued a press release highlighting the key economic contributions of the manufacturing sector. The release highlighted the increases in the value of shipments and employment in the manufacturing sector from 2017 to 2018, as well as the sector’s nearly 60 percent share of U.S. exports. But a recent report from Policy Matters Ohio and The Century Foundation set a more cautionary note. Analyzing data over a much longer period and focused on four states in the Great Lakes region, the report finds that manufacturing jobs had not yet recovered to pre-Great Recession levels even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, and that the wage advantage of manufacturing has continued to erode compared to other sectors in the region.

$16 trillion economic cost of racial discrimination for last 20 years; manufacturing organizations focusing on workforce equity

Against the backdrop of a recent report from Citigroup Global Perspectives & Solutions that tags the cost of failing to address the racial gaps between Blacks and whites in the U.S. economy over the last 20 years at $16 trillion, the Industry and Inclusion initiative — a joint effort by the Urban Manufacturing Alliance and the Century Foundation — is working towards making Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) the centerpiece of workforce development strategy. Highlighting best practices for supporting people of color in accessing and building wealth through opportunities in manufacturing, the initiative offers a framework for all workforce development organizations to accelerate their efforts in closing racial equity gaps.

Manufacturing Day goes virtual

Every year, manufacturers from around the nation gather on the first Friday in October to open their shop doors to students, prospective employees, teachers, and community leaders. Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) is meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers and showcases the many career opportunities that exist in today’s modern manufacturing space. Last year, more than 325,000 people participated in MFG Day and over 3,000 events were held nationwide. However, MFG Day 2020 is shaping up to be a bit different than years past.

Manufacturers guided in hiring cybersecurity workforce

As manufacturers become more reliant on automation, advanced control systems, and remote work, the threat of cyber-attacks with the potential to damage critical infrastructure and even shut down an entire plant’s operations has never been greater. In response to the general lack of preparedness by the manufacturing industry to prevent and react to cybersecurity threats, Manufacturing x Digital (MxD), an advanced manufacturing institute, has released its comprehensive hiring guide for employers, both large and small, to help fill the cybersecurity workforce gap in the manufacturing industry. The Hiring Guide: Cybersecurity in Manufacturing, which brought together more than 25 industry, academic, workforce development and government organizations, identifies 247 cybersecurity-related jobs in manufacturing.

Makerspaces highlight local efforts in manufacturing response to COVID

The innovation community has been on the front lines in responding to the current pandemic, and one area that has stepped up is the community makerspace. A new report from the Urban Manufacturing Alliance (UMA) highlights several of those efforts. As UMA points out, COVID-19 brought a renewed need for manufacturing capabilities, and makerspaces stepped into new roles. UMA’s report, Makerspaces In Action: A Community-Based Response to the Pandemic, focuses on four makerspaces that are contributing to response and recovery. As noted in the brief, those highlighted just scratch the surface of how makerspaces are responding, but the brief overview gives a glimpse into the role that the innovation space can play when it connects with the local community.

DOD designates six consortia as Defense Manufacturing Communities

Six organizations — including SSTI members Catalyst Connection and the Ohio Development Services Agency — have been designated to lead the new defense manufacturing community consortia. The Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) has announce that these organizations are now eligible to enter the next phase of development and submit their requests for technical assistance, grants, and other support services. The Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program (DMCSP) was authorized in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act as a new program offered by OEA. It is designed to make long-term investments in critical skills, facilities, research and development, and small business support in order to strengthen the national security innovation base by designating and supporting consortiums as defense manufacturing communities. Click here to view the list of designees and the fields/industries they intend to develop in their communities.

Manufacturing, innovation focus of many state career and technical education plans

The final wave of state career and technical education (CTE) plans have been approved under the new Perkins V Act, with innovation and workforce taking a front seat in the plans. Perkins V encourages states and territories to expand opportunities for every student to access educational opportunities that will put them on the path to success. Each state and territory crafted a plan to fulfill its promise of offering a robust CTE option for students following consultation with its key constituents representing education and workforce, business and industry, and parents and community partners.

New coalition aims to build workforce, improve racial equality in manufacturing

A new coalition funded by the Lumina Foundation and driven by manufacturing experts from across the country has formed to help solve the recruitment challenge and build a more racially inclusive future for manufacturing. The Urban Manufacturing Alliance teamed up with The Century Foundation to launch Industry and Inclusion 4.0. It is focused on developing partnerships with employers, educational institutions, and community groups, and deploying training models anchored by industry-recognized credentials, while focusing on how to improve chances of success for a new more diverse workforce. Work that has already started ranges from the services workforce development organizations can offer companies behind the scenes to the training they already offer to young adults in their communities.

Census Bureau releases summary statistics on U.S. manufacturing in 2018

This week’s release of the Annual Survey of Manufacturers (ASM) from the Census Bureau provides the most detailed statistics on the U.S. manufacturing sector and provides a snapshot of where the sector stood prior to the pandemic. Based on the 2018 summary statistics, the Census Bureau offers the following preliminary insights which can also be seen in the image below.

Manufacturers key to economic recovery

With the nation in the midst of a recession following 128 months of economic expansion, many are asking how we will find our way out. Turning to a long-time strength for the nation and relying on our manufacturing industry is one way. Manufacturing leaders presented some policy solutions and historical context for the outlook during a National Conference of State Legislatures webinar yesterday in conjunction with representatives of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership.


Subscribe to RSS - manufacturing