The U.S. manufacturing industry continues to expand at a robust clip along with the broader economy, which grew 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018. The unemployment rate is near record lows, and manufacturing jobs are being created at a rapid pace. Companies like Siemens are fueling that growth and are creating new opportunities for manufacturing workers in the United States.
On Friday, Siemens and its partner Chromalloy Gas Turbine Corporation celebrated the grand opening of a new $139 million manufacturing facility in Florida. The state-of-the-art joint-venture, Advanced Airfoil Components, will manufacture innovative, high-tech casting components for Siemens gas turbines and employ 350 workers.
Noting that Siemens has 60 manufacturing, digital and R&D sites across the United States, Lisa Davis, CEO Energy, Siemens AG, said today’s announcement “enhances what we see as our larger responsibility to the local communities where we have a presence: not just to create profit, but to create jobs, to spur economic growth and to support innovation.”
According to Siemens, the 210,000-square-foot facility will “hire workers for a range of skilled positions, including technical engineers, manufacturing technicians and production workers, as well as human resources, finance, procurement and logistics and operations roles.”
Florida is home to more than 300,000 manufacturing workers, and the state’s educational system is among the nation’s top producers of STEM graduates. Siemens already employs more than 5,000 manufacturing workers in Florida and announced it will work actively to recruit veterans and other highly skilled employees from the state’s manufacturing sector.
Siemens’ and Chromalloy’s investment comes at an important time for manufacturing workers in the United States. Manufacturers are more optimistic about their businesses and their futures than ever before, and pro-growth policies like tax reform and regulatory relief have unlocked a wave of big investments, new jobs and rising paychecks.
At the same time, manufacturers are in the middle of a workforce crisis: nearly 500,000 jobs are waiting to be filled because not enough Americans are entering the manufacturing workforce, and too few possess the technical skills that these jobs require.
Siemens has emerged as a leading advocate in the workforce space. The company recently expanded its manufacturing apprenticeship program to nine states. Based on the successful German model, the program recruits high school graduates to work for Siemens while receiving a free STEM-related education from a local community college.
In addition, since 2011, Siemens has hired more than 2,500 veterans, who already possess many of the technical and leadership skills manufacturers are looking for. Last year, Siemens doubled down on its commitment by setting a goal to hire at least 300 veterans annually for the next three years.
The National Association of Manufacturers continues to lead on solutions to the workforce crisis through its social impact arm, The Manufacturing Institute.
Today’s grand opening from Siemens and Chromalloy is the type of news that can continue to improve attitudes about the opportunities in the industry and jumpstart the right partnerships to upskill the next generation of workers with the talents America’s job creators need.
As Davis said about the recent engineering graduates who are excited to join the Advanced Airfoils team: “They’re seeing the opportunity to be part of an industry reinventing itself into a highly advanced industry led by high-tech workers.”
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