manufacturing

RFP for Policy Academy on strengthening your state’s manufacturers

NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership program is seeking participants for its second Policy Academy cohort designed to leverage manufacturing growth in your state. Funded by NIST MEP and organized by SSTI and the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC), the Policy Academy will provide participants with an opportunity to collaborate with other states to identify best practices, partnerships, and policies that will strengthen their manufacturers. The process is customized to build on existing strategies, leverage available resources, and spur creative new ideas about how to address major challenges and build on current opportunities. On May 8, the organizers held an informational conference call to discuss the Policy Academy, which may be accessed here. The downloadable RFP includes application guidelines. The deadline to submit a proposal is June 7, 2019. 

Useful Stats: Employment in high-tech and manufacturing by state, 2013-2017

Many regional economic development strategies emphasize employment in manufacturing or high-tech, as these industries tend to provide well-paying jobs. Through an analysis of American Community Survey five-year data for 2013-2017, SSTI assessed state-level employment concentration within these sectors.

Manufacturers' outlook strong; demand for skilled workers grows

In the first quarter Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for 2019, manufacturers continue to report a positive outlook for their own company and marked nine consecutive quarters of record optimism. However, their top concern remains the inability to attract and retain a quality workforce (71.3 percent cited the inability to attract skilled workers as their top challenge). The National Association of Manufacturers issued a report last month detailing the job openings in manufacturing, with the report’s author, Chad Moutray, calling the skills gap challenge “a full-blown workforce crisis.” In A Hiring Engine: A Breakdown of the Job Openings in Manufacturing, Moutray analyzes the employment trends in manufacturing, gives a sector-by-sector breakdown of recent job openings, identifies states where manufacturing jobs are located, and identifies the in-demand skills needed to fill them.

DOE announces $70 M for cybersecurity institute for energy efficient manufacturing

This week, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $70 million for a Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute to develop technologies that will advance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, energy efficiency, and innovation. This institute will focus on early-stage research for advancing cybersecurity in energy efficient manufacturing.

Family-owned manufacturers lacking succession plans; negative economic impact forecast

One of the most important economic development issues facing communities across the country, especially those reliant on family-owned manufacturing firms, may sometimes fly under the radar: succession planning. A robust study from the Great Cities Institute at the University of Illinois-Chicago combines qualitative (literature review, survey, and interviews) and quantitative analyses (economic impact report) to shed light on this issue, with a focus on the Chicago metropolitan area.

DOE announces intent to issue funding opportunity for cybersecurity institute for energy efficient manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced their intent to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) establishing a new Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute. The institute will develop technologies that will advance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, energy efficiency and innovation. This will be the sixth institute established by DOE and will focus on understanding the evolving cybersecurity threats to greater energy efficiency in manufacturing industries, developing new cybersecurity technologies and methods, and sharing information and expertise to the broader community of U.S. manufacturers. 

How can the US address the manufacturing skills gap?

With a potential economic impact of $2.5 trillion over the next decade, a new report from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute projects that the manufacturing skills gap may leave more than 2 million positions unfilled from 2018 to 2028. In the 2018 Skills Gap in Manufacturing Study, the authors find that the talent shortage is accentuated by two factors: a prolonged economic expansion that has increased the number of job openings in manufacturing and projected growth in baby boomer retirement. Although these two factors are expected to lead to more than 4.6 million manufacturing jobs over the next decade, the authors’ research finds that fewer than half of these jobs are likely to be filled. In addition to making the case that this skills shortage poses risks to the broader economy, the authors also put forward strategic approaches to influence a more positive employment future over the long-term.

US manufacturing showing signs of slowing

The New York state manufacturing report released this morning by the Federal Research Bank of New York is one of the brighter spots among the manufacturing surveys provided by the Fed banks each month.  Manufacturers in the Empire State remain fairly optimistic in the six-month outlook as new orders continued to grow, business conditions improved, and employment levels increased.

Recent Research: Close look at manufacturing helps shape policy and practice

Last week, SSTI highlighted the recently released issue of the Economic Development Quarterly where three pieces stand out for their relevance to practitioners and policymakers. This article takes a look at how academic research can inform three common strategies for strengthening the manufacturing sector and encouraging regional economic development: targeting industry clusters, leveraging manufacturing extension services, and promoting workforce development.

DOE launches manufacturing innovator challenge

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced two new manufacturing prizes as part of the Manufacturing Innovator Challenge, an effort to crowdsource solutions for next generation manufacturing, to increase energy productivity and strengthen America's industrial base. Both prizes focus on additive manufacturing: Additive Manufacturing for Disaster Response and Solid State Lighting Manufacturing. Participants will be asked to share designs that represent an innovation in each respective application of additive manufacturing. 

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