There are some days that are special and stand out even on the 2016 State of Manufacturing Tour, which has been an exciting, rewarding, educational and enlightening experience. Meeting with manufacturers, students and community leaders, talking about issues that matter and how to ensure manufacturers continued success is among the highlights, but today outside of Chicago, Illinois, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons met with the future of manufacturing.
Timmons was joined by Illinois Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) President and CEO Greg Baise, Siemens Foundation CEO David Etzwiler and the Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Jennifer McNelly to meet students and faculty at Palatine High School and Harper College. Both schools offer programs that not only encourage future jobs in manufacturing, but also show students how manufacturing careers can be life changing.
At the event, Timmons delivered his 2016 State of Manufacturing address and focused on key issues impacting workforce and the perception of manufacturing.
Highlights on Developing America’s Workforce:
“Over the next decade, the United States will need to fill 3.4 million manufacturing jobs. But 2 million of those jobs are likely to remain empty because there’s a shortage of trained workers. It’s what we call the ‘skills gap,’ and it affects all of us…through lost innovation, lower productivity and suppressed economic activity. The problem is especially disheartening given how hard it’s been lately for even college graduates to find good jobs…even though manufacturers have plenty to offer. The average manufacturing worker earns over $79,000 annually…$15,000 more than the national average for other industries. These wages can provide a good life for a family while saving for education and retirement. Why, then, are only 37 percent of parents encouraging their kids to pursue manufacturing careers? And why do only 18 percent of students view manufacturing as a top career choice? Because many people don’t understand modern manufacturing. Images of gritty factory floors of a century ago still hold sway. Manufacturers need to replace those images with visions of what manufacturing is today.”
Highlights on Changing the Perception of Manufacturing:
“Want to feed the world? Manufacturing is transforming agricultural technologies to provide plentiful, nutritious food for a growing population. Want clean energy and a sustainable economy? Well, that’s manufacturing, too—and it will require creativity and innovation. Want to save lives and treat debilitating diseases? Manufacturing includes pharmaceuticals. Want to invent the next revolutionary smart device? That’s manufacturing. More students—and their families, teachers and mentors—need to realize the opportunities that exist in manufacturing.” To read the whole speech, don’t forget to check out the President’s blog.
While at Palatine High School and Harper College, Timmons and the team met with students who have a passion for manufacturing.
Leading into today’s event and highlighting the key workforce issues, Timmons and Baise had an op-ed run in a popular Chicago area political blog.
Joint Op-Ed in ReBoot Illinois: U.S., Illinois Manufacturing Depends on Educated Workforce for 21st Century
By Jay Timmons and Greg Baise
No matter what issues the presidential candidates raise in their speeches, this election is about one thing: What will be the future of the United States?
If we want a future that produces better opportunities and raising standards of living, then we need to strengthen our global economic leadership. To do that, we will have to marshal all the human talent available to us.
Unfortunately, there are barriers preventing us from producing a workforce worthy of our people and our potential. To read the full op-ed, check it out here.
Leading up to the event, Timmons was on Chicago’s WIND AM 560 – The Answer with Dan Proft. Listen to the show here. Timmons also appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” with Rick Santelli live from the Chicago Board of Trade.
Social Media Wrap Day 5
We came to Chicago excited for what the Windy City has to offer. Check out the highlights from our social media and don’t forget to follow @shopfloorNAM on Twitter and Shopfloor on Facebook for the latest updates from the road.
Want to keep in touch with the NAM as we continue on the 2016 State of Manufacturing Tour? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter @shopfloorNAM and online at www.nam.org/stateofmfg and share your tweets and pics with #stateofmfg and #weareMFG.