|Jacob Fattal, Publisher |
As always, manufacturing is a hot topic in Washington, especially following a hotly-contested presidential election. First, it's important to recognize that the U.S. economy has moved massively away from manufacturing to become largely service-oriented. According to the International Trade Administration, almost 80 percent of private U.S. jobs are in the service sector today. Over the last decades, as large numbers of manufacturing jobs moved overseas, the holes left in working class employment have changed the lives of many. Fortunately, a renewed political interest in manufacturing has come in the form of government initiatives, and not just as promises heard on the campaign trail.
One recent example is Manufacturing USA (www.manufacturingusa.com), a collaboration of private companies, academia and state departments focused on creating a unified vision for manufacturing in the U.S., as well as sharing resources and knowledge to advance technology. A rebranding of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) launched in 2014, the organization is a comforting illustration of private and federal cooperation. The network currently consists of nine institutes, with six more planned to join by the end of 2017. In line with with the current trend of onshoring, Manufacturing USA seeks to increase the country's manufacturing presence by combining the expertise of materials, electronics, photonics, and semiconductor manufacturers with research, design and development institutes.
We certainly have large challenges facing the manufacturing industry today. The rise of automation, the cost of labor, the offshoring of production, and a need to develop new skills to handle rapidly changing technology are at the forefront. These are issues that need to be considered as America moves into its next season with a new leader in the White House.
At U.S.Tech we are committed to supporting the growth of manufacturing in the United States, and to encouraging global collaboration in the industry. Coming up, we will be traveling to The ASSEMBLY Show in Rosemont, Illinois, which will be an exciting look at manufacturing innovation here at home, and to electronica in Munich, the massive show that represents much of the worldwide electronic components industry. Changes in technology affect us all, regardless of national borders, and we are committed to fostering the industry worldwide.