“Be adept and adapt” has become the new mantra for many manufacturing communities. This approach is alive and well in Montgomery County Pennsylvania where a group of manufacturers and local officials recently gathered to discuss how public and private resources can help support this vital industry sector.
This meeting underscores the recognition, throughout the nation, that American manufacturing matters. Here are some of the top-line pointers that every manufacturing company can use.
- Take advantage of your local educational institutions
High schools and colleges are looking for ways to help support the industrial sector by providing the skill sets needed in the workforce. Don’t be afraid to become engaged with these educators to help find solutions to the “STEM Skills Gap” that has plagued our nation.
- Fund expansion with government resources
Using government resources is not a new concept. Large corporations do it all the time. Smaller manufacturers should also take advantage of local and state programs that are targeted to manufacturing companies. They can range from loan programs to bond funding to tax credits for employee hiring and training.
- Think globally, act locally
Larry Fanelle, Chief Supply Chain Officer at K’NEX used his experience to underscore the benefits of bringing manufacturing back home to the United States. While companies need to engage in export opportunities, they can benefit greatly from bringing production closer to home. Among the key benefits cited were:
- Shorter lead times
- Improved forecasts
- Tighter inventory control
- Faster response to consumer demands
- American-made product popularity
4. Get close to your customers
Harry Moser, President and Founder of The Reshoring Initiative, says locating closer to your customer base is a win-win. You can respond to their needs more efficiently and with better quality. And, the skilled manufacturing professionals that are required to build American products will contribute to re-building our middle class. In fact, each manufacturing job creates 2.9 jobs in other sectors.
Manufacturing is a priority for Montgomery County and the nation. And, it should be.
- Manufacturing supports 17.4 million U.S. jobs.
- In 2013, manufacturers contributed $2.08 trillion to the economy.
- The annual average salary of manufacturing workers is more than $77,000, which is approximately 17 percent more than similar workers employed in other sectors.
- For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, the sector creates $1.32 for the U.S. economy.
Need more proof on why manufacturing matters to America. Take a look at this new infographic from Deloitte’s Manufacturing Competitiveness Hub.
Sources: Manufacturing Extension Partnership/U.S. Department of Commerce; National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), Deloitte.
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