Manufacturing in the United States is being transformed by new technology that has made our workers the most productive in the world. The pace of change is constant and presents significant challenges. Even in today’s struggling economy, 600,000 manufacturing jobs are unfilled because employers can’t find people with the right skills.
Jennifer McNelly, president of The Manufacturing Institute, was a featured speaker on how to close the skills gap and train a 21st century workforce at the Washington Post Live’s “America’s New Manufacturing” event today sponsored by NAM member company Siemens.
McNelly joined an array of top experts who are actively engaged in the transformation of manufacturing in America including Siemens Corporation President and CEO Eric Spiegel; Former Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy Ron Bloom; Mayor Anthony Foxx of Charlotte, NC; Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg; and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.
McNelly spoke about the Manufacturing Institute’s leading initiatives to help close the skills gap, including its Manufacturing Skills Certification System of industry-based, portable and stackable credentials that validates the skills of incoming workers. She also spoke about the great work the Institute is doing with GE, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Alcoa and other partners to train returning military veterans for jobs in advanced manufacturing.
All the speakers agreed that with the right policies in place, this next era of manufacturing is an opportunity to secure America’s economic future.