Manufacturing businesses were brought to a standstill during COVID, with many pivoting to high-demand product lines such as PPE. Those that pivoted successfully identified many enablers that helped them pivot quickly: rapid decision making, organizational flexibility, employee know-how & skills, and digital technologies as key enablers. As a result, many are looking to reshore/onshore production, change training and hiring practices, and invest in digital technologies.
An aging workforce, declining birth rates, lack of vocational education and apprenticeships, and manufacturing perceptions as a “dirty and dangerous” career have led to fewer younger workers entering the manufacturing profession. Research by Deloitte projects that over two million manufacturing positions will be unfilled in the U.S. due to a lack of skilled talent by 2028, a potential impact of $2.5 trillion on the manufacturing GDP. Further, a recent IndustryWeek survey found that only 40% of small manufacturers had invested in automation, and only 27% of them rated their R&D activities as effective. With the vast majority of manufacturers being small-mid size firms (ninety-eight percent have fewer than 500 employees, seventy-five percent have fewer than 20 employees), hiring, training, and adopting digital technologies could be a costly and challenging endeavor.
Manufacturing USA is a national network created to secure U.S. global leadership in advanced manufacturing through large-scale public-private collaboration on technology, supply chain, and workforce development. The 16 manufacturing innovation institute, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Defense, and Energy, brings together member organizations from manufacturers of all sizes, academia, and government to work on significant research and development projects relevant to industry and train people on advanced manufacturing skills.
We’ll be hosting Jonathan Wise, VP of Technology and Chief Architect at CESMII (Clean Energy, Smart Manufacturing, Innovation Institute), a Manufacturing USA institute focused on smart manufacturing. He will be sharing more about CESMII and how it can help the smart manufacturing ecosystem, from manufacturers and technology companies to startups and enterprises.