Accelerate innovation, Engler tells summit
Speaking at a National Summit on Competitiveness at the Commerce Department, NAM president John Engler told the group the U.S. must continue to encourage education and innovation to remain competitive in a global manufacturing economy. “It is vividly clear that America's economy must accelerate innovation and the development and utilization of technology if it is to compete successfully in the 21st century,” Engler told the group.
More than 55 corporate CEOs, university presidents and scientists from across the country participated in the day-long summit during which they pressed cabinet secretaries and members of Congress for more research and development funding; a greater emphasis on science, math and engineering education; and immigration reform for highly educated, high-skill foreign nationals as means to keeping the U.S. economy globally competitive.
Referencing the 2005 Skills Gap Report recently released by the NAM, the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte Consulting, Engler said, "Increasingly, U.S. companies are unable to find the skills and talent they need while some developing nations now turn out more engineers than we do each year. China and India are racing to climb the technology ladder," he added. "We must recognize that we're in that race, too, and we have to run smarter if we are to maintain our high standard of living and our global leadership."
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Annual Salary Survey
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey