Future of Manufacturing: It Takes A Region

Today’s blog brings you the opportunity to hear an interview about how NAM and the Manufacturing Institute are helping to shape a stronger and larger workforce for manufacturing now and in the the immediate future, with implications for productivity, investment and innovation.

Better Process.com interviewed Phyllis Eisen, Vice President of the Institute and Executive Director of the Center for Workforce Success. Phyllis and her team are the inspiration and brains behind Dream It. Do It., the NAM/Institute initiative that is successfully drawing more smart young people into industry for a career.

You will definitely want to listen to this broadcast if you have any interest in the future of manufacturing. Phyllis points out that smaller manufacturers–a key part of the overall manufacturing supply chain–have challenges filling jobs for skilled workers, jobs are going unfilled and companies are being retarded in their growth.

In response to that, Dream It. Do It. was born about two years ago with a pilot in Kansas City. Since then, six other regional sites are taking root, most recently in Nebraska and the 16 county area of northeast Ohio (including Cleveland). Soon to launch are North Texas and Indiana. Our experience has shown that it definitely takes a region to make these efforts succeed. That’s not only because labor markets are regional, but also because the stakeholders include local business leaders, elected officials, school leaders and economic development officials. And their interests cut across city and county lines. Communities that get all of these diverse interests focused on manufacturing and headed in the same direction are a powerful voice.

In Kansas City, we saw that after a year of Dream It. Do It., applications to the local technical college leaped by 35 percent and the local leadership attributed it to this coalition of interests. DIDI, as it is called in short, has eye-catching ads that speak to young people (ages 16-26) and an alliance that is dedicated to increasing math and science skills and training for young people whose interest in manufacturing has been sparked. Linked with a community-wide economic development focus that understands that a skilled workforce is a major attraction for any region in this decade, and there is a winning combination for growing manufacturing.

To hear the full interview, click here. Kudos to Ken at Better Process.com for making these manufacturing interviews possible.