NAM calls for new approach to boost skilled workforce

In a Labor Day report on the state of U.S. manufacturing, the National Association of Manufacturers called for a three-pronged approach to making American manufacturing more competitive in a global marketplace by improving education, attracting more skilled workers internationally and increasing funding for research and development.


In a Labor Day report on the state of U.S. manufacturing, the National Association of Manufacturers called for a three-pronged approach to making American manufacturing more competitive in a global marketplace by improving education, attracting more skilled workers internationally and increasing funding for research and development.

Acknowledging the uncertainty of the manufacturing job market after the loss of 3 million industry jobs in the last four year, the NAM report said, "if we are to alleviate this anxiety, keep our economy strong and successfully compete in the fiercely competitive international race to the top, we must recommit our nation to innovation and the concerted development of a more highly educated and skilled workforce."

The NAM report, Preparing American Workers for 21st Century Competition, (available for review at ), cited three steps needed to improve U.S manufacturing's position in the marketplace:

Improve secondary science and math teaching

"One reason U.S. students under perform in math and science and are less likely to pursue post-secondary education in these disciplines is that there is a large disconnect in this country between the public education system and career opportunities that exist later on in life," the report stated. "Together, our nation must initiate a campaign to educate students and teachers about the importance of science and math to individual success and to the types of careers available through excellence in these fields."

Reform visa and immigration policies

By streamlining the process for foreign-born workers with advanced degrees from U.S. universities to obtain permanent residence status, NAM believes it will retain more American-trained workers. "Current demand greatly exceeds supply," the report stated. "The United States should continue its longstanding history of welcoming talented foreign students to study at our nation's universities."

Increase federal support for basic research

"Agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institute for Standards and Technology and the Energy Department's Office of Science perform valuable research that can spur economic growth for generations," the report noted.

"Without an educated and highly skilled workforce to drive 21st century innovation, America's capacity to remain the world's most advanced economy will be jeopardized," the report concluded. "Other countries are running all out to close the innovation gap and, if we do not develop and implement a concerted national strategy to do the same, we will risk falling behind in our global economy's fiercely competitive race to the top."

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
The future of electrical safety; Four keys to RPM success; Picking the right weld fume option
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
VFDs improving motion control applications; Powering automation and IIoT wirelessly; Connecting the dots
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

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

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me