Curt Doherty

    • Member Type(s): Expert
    • Title:Chief Executive Officer
    • Organization:CNC Machines
    • Area of Expertise:Manufacturing, Machinery,, Business

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    Companies Need To Start Investing More In Manufacturing – We Need More Science Workers

    Friday, May 3, 2019, 9:41 AM [General]
    0 (0 Ratings)

    Manufacturing in North America is at one of the most crucial junctures since the late-1970s, given the increasing tariffs on China, and massive advancements in manufacturing technology, the United States is witnessing what could, at last, be a resurgence in manufacturing.

    Despite what we’ve convinced ourselves over the past 3 to 4 decades, that manufacturing is ‘..a declining sport’, or that services is the only segment that matters for the US economy, no other sectors possess the type of multiplier effect that you can see with manufacturing, where a $1 worth of goods produced adds nearly $1.60 in output from other sectors. Manufacturing also provides the highest wages for blue-collar workers, almost twice as high as most service industries.

    Resurgence In US Manufacturing

    The share of manufacturing to the total output in the US economy is far out of proportion to its share of employment, which clearly points to the fact that this resurgence is due to the increased productivity per worker, brought about by better training and advanced technologies.

    Innovations such as big data, industrial internet of things, cloud computing and artificial intelligence will only make this transition quicker, but right now, the United States isn’t in the best position to take advantage of this, mainly due to the lack of interest in manufacturing among millennials, and the unavailability of professional training. If we don’t focus on retraining and motivating youngsters in this sunrise sector, we might end up losing out on this resurgence to countries such as India, Indonesia or Thailand.

    Currently, there are nearly 600,000 manufacturing jobs unfilled, and this number is poised to rise up to 2 million by 2025.

    Changing Perceptions

    America has always had the most skilled workforces in the world, and it's surprising that we’re currently unable to fill quality jobs when people are willing to work at half the pay for retailers like Target & Walmart, and fast food restaurants.

    The issue lies with the long-held negative public perceptions of manufacturing that evoke images of dark, dirty and dangerous work environments, which is far from what the advanced factory floors of today have to offer.

    In order to change such perceptions, manufacturers and industry have to invest in developing structured training programs, that provide hands-on experience and continuous professional development to school-leavers and graduates. This is something that’s worked quite well for German family-owned companies, where apprenticeships are just as popular as going to college after high-school.

    Grants & Scholarships

    There are numerous ways to bridge this skill gap, and there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution, the industry along with the government must implement an array of different programs and invest in numerous structured training initiatives that can make the most of employee productivity.

    Numerous manufacturers in the US have already started taking action, As we also did for our company CNC Machines,  earlier this year we gave a $2,000 competitive scholarship for students enrolled in CNC machinist, CNC operations, engineering or manufacturing certificate or degree programs.

    There are firms like Optimax, that has created the Finger Lakes Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise (FAME) to help manufacturers collaborate with local colleges and workforce development programs to create awareness of employment opportunities in the industry and to build a pipeline of qualified technicians. FAME helps with the crucial job of changing the perceptions of this industry and building interest among youngsters.

    This is basically a 3 year program, where apprentices are paired with experienced mentors, along with hands-on & classroom training, during which they apply their knowledge on increasingly complex jobs, and after completion of the same they’re placed in one of the company’s self-managed production cells, where they work independently to oversee raw materials being transformed into finished products worth tens of thousands of dollars.

    It’s high-time for manufacturers to realize that investing in re-skilling and training their employees is no longer just an employment perk, but a necessity to stay-put in this competitive environment. As reshoring continues to gain momentum, the firms that plan ahead are the ones that can capture this momentum in its entirety.

    There are numerous new scholarships, grants, training programs and apprenticeships popping-up each day, but giving these corporate and government initiatives the right funding and structure will decide the role they plan in our larger economy over the next few years. Tracking, optimizing and scaling of such initiatives must go according to plan to ensure we make the most of this resurgence.

    The Manufacturing Business Boom: President Trumps Wall Could Mean More Money In Manufacturing

    Wednesday, February 6, 2019, 11:55 AM [General]
    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Justifying the 2016 Presidential campaign of boosting American manufacturers, the factory activity has reached a peak of 13 years as recorded by the Institute of Supply Management. America has seen a solid Gross Domestic Product, positive outlooks for small business owners and improved wages this year. The economy of the country is getting a good shape.

    America’s manufacturing industry is experiencing a boom in growth and optimism. Blue collar jobs are growing at the fastest ever rate in last 30 years fueling a hiring burst in small towns and rural areas. Employment in mining, construction, and manufacturing industries have grown by 3.3 percent, the best rate since 1984.

    Once upon a time....

    Blue-collar jobs which were a small part of the U.S economy once, are now growing at a rate better than those in the much bigger service section. A large number of factors came together to produce the manufacturing boom. While some of them are tied to short cycles, others are meant to endure. The most prominent drivers of the hiring boom are the need to rebuild after Harvey and Hurricanes Irma, rebound in prices of oil and the growing demands of the economy.

    The recent implementation of tax reform law has largely affected surging of optimism among U.S. manufacturers. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, over 93 percent of manufacturers show a positive outlook on their business prospects in the American economy. This is the second highest level ever recorded.

    The optimism recorded at 94.5% among small-scale manufacturers was the highest throughout the 20-year history.

    The optimism recorded at 94.5% among small-scale manufacturers was the highest throughout the 20-year history. This survey also reported a 2.9 percent increase in full-time employment over the next year as expected by manufacturers. Apart from the tax reform, Trump’s administration and the Republican policies are responsible for these gains.

    Employment is growing fast in manufacturing

    Blue-collar jobs in small towns and rural areas grew at an accelerated rate in 2017 and continued growing in 2018. In the first quarter of 2018, rural employment grew at a rate of 5.1 percent while smaller metro regions grew by 5 percent. The U.S. economy has added more than 656,000 blue-collar jobs in 2017 and the rate of growth has speeded up to a great extent. The gains in goods-producing industries are wide-ranging as suggested by the increase in machinery manufacturing, oil and gas extraction, electrical equipment manufacturing, transportation equipment making, and construction.

    Trump’s efforts to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. have created 34,000 high-quality job opportunities. These are the actual jobs currently available but the administration suggests it has successfully created 500,000 manufacturing jobs on the basis of the projections which are yet to be filled by the workers. Trump has been the clear winner from day one. He had soon started tweeting to call manufacturers back and give jobs to the state. And they listened. For had, even before Trump took office, brought back its manufacturing plants and many other entities followed.

    Trump’s efforts to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. have created 34,000 high-quality job opportunities

    Within the first five months in office, Trump has delayed and even withdrawn more than 850 newly proposed regulations. Such an initiative has given businesses of all types and sizes room to breathe so that they can grow, innovate, develop and hire new people. So when we hear that Trump has created 500,000 jobs, it is actually a reality which has come to life out of his efforts for profitable businesses to do what they should do to flourish. Such a kind of regulatory reform is greatly responsible for the manufacturing boom and the overall growth of the American economy.

    The President’s Manufacturing Boom

    President Trump’s Mexico wall is also likely to add to the manufacturing boom in America. Trump’s newly introduced immigration policies and the ‘Put America First’ program intends to protect American workers as well as industries. The wall was a part of the election campaign promised to completely stop illegal immigration to the country. Trump’s immigration policies would reduce the number of immigrants who arrived as children. He has restricted travel and work visa grants from eight countries. H-1B visa program is under review and he has proposed curbs on legal immigration as well. US economy is not ready to welcome more immigrants. Trump’s wall and immigration policies would help increase opportunities for American workers and contribute to the manufacturing boom. People working in the goods-producing industries will feel safer and will be able to work and earn better. The wall would essentially keep the manufacturing money protected and the industry booming.

    Trump’s policies and reforms have ignited a manufacturing resurgence which reverses the existing trend where the overall employment in the U.S. grew faster than that in the manufacturing sector. This encouragement and achievement are highly pleasing but regaining the lost glory is not enough. The country’s priority should be to return to the lost golden age when labor participation rates and wage growth were high. Trump’s policies and efforts can be expected to move the nation positively towards future goals for the manufacturing industry and the overall economic growth.

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