State of Manufacturing: Building the Next Generation

By February 10, 2015General

This State of Manufacturing blog is authored by Manufacturing Institute President Jennifer McNelly. To learn more about the 2015 State of Manufacturing Tour, visit

As baby boomers begin to retire and technological improvements develop daily, the need for the next generation of skilled workers has become essential for the future of the industry and U.S. economy. The Manufacturing Institute continues to lead national efforts and support local activities that are changing the public perception of manufacturing and inspiring smart, new minds.

Last year alone, our Dream It. Do It. network influenced more than 365,000 students in over half the country to consider a manufacturing career. Dream It. Do It. is also simplifying recruitment by providing local manufacturers, schools, community-based organizations and other stakeholders with an easy and effective way to promote manufacturing as a top-tier career choice. Today, there are 34 programs across the country working with 8,000 manufacturers to recruit students into manufacturing.

In an effort to amplify this message, Dream It. Do It. is strongly coordinated with Manufacturing Day, a nationwide event where manufacturers open their doors to show students what modern-day manufacturing is—and what it isn’t. In 2014, Manufacturing Day engaged more than 350,000 individuals, showcasing the exciting opportunities manufacturing offers.

Once students are interested in a manufacturing career, we need to ensure they can get a quality education in their communities. The Institute’s Skills Certification System aligns manufacturing education with industry standards to set high expectations and establish an effective and critical talent pipeline. Our friends at Spokane Community College have used such certifications, including the National Career Readiness Certificate, to train and teach their students for a successful manufacturing career. With community-based partnerships in 40 states across the country, students are coming out of manufacturing programs job-ready with the technical and soft skills needed in the current workforce.

When we all work together, manufacturing is stronger, and when manufacturing is stronger, the United States is stronger.

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