In conjunction with this year’s upcoming Manufacturing Day, I joined industry stakeholders at Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters on Tuesday to mark the first anniversary of its Smart Sectors initiative. Smart Sectors is a partnership program that provides a platform to collaborate with regulated sectors and develop sensible approaches that better protect the environment and public health. The great work this program is accomplishing also goes a long way to changing perceptions about manufacturing, which is critical as the sector seeks to fill the more than 500,000 open jobs that exist today and the 3 million that will need to be filled by 2025. That challenge is at the core of why manufacturers across America will be opening their doors for parents, students and teachers on Manufacturing Day to showcase what modern manufacturing is all about.
To wit, here’s something that you don’t hear every day: Manufacturers believe we should be taking concrete steps to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. And we are walking the walk: over the past decade, manufacturers have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent over the past decade while increasing our value to the economy by 19 percent.
Programs like Smart Sectors will help us do even more, and the National Association of Manufacturers is grateful to work with the EPA on this initiative and to help advance the agency’s goal of making its regulations more efficient and more effective. Indeed, the commitment to smarter, more reasonable regulation we’ve seen from the current administration is helping fuel strong job growth in manufacturing, creating family-supporting jobs that pay on average more than just about any other sector.
Everyone wants clean air and clean water. And everyone needs a good job and an economy that delivers new opportunities and a better life. Manufacturers are proving we can deliver both. We’re looking forward to another strong year of Smart Sectors and to cementing into place real, durable regulations that improve the environment while keeping manufacturers competitive. Bringing together Manufacturing Day and Smart Sectors to showcase what modern manufacturing is all about will go a long way to advancing solutions and recruiting the next generation of workers who will power our sector into the future.
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