Manufacturing Institute

Women in Manufacturing’s Impact: Yesterday, Today and the Future

By | General, Manufacturing Institute | No Comments

As I think about iconic manufacturing women in history, I think about how much we have accomplished and how much potential we have to grow. Some of the greatest inventors, creators and leaders in this world are women. In 1871, Margaret Knight was awarded her first patent for a machine that cut, folded and glued flat-bottomed paper shopping bags. In 1903, Mary Anderson invented and patented the windshield wiper. In 1908, Melitta Bentz received a patent for the coffee filter system. And in 1942, Hedy Lamarr invented a remote-controlled communications system for the U.S. military during World War II. Her frequency hopping theory now serves as a basis for modern communication technology, like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. These women were preceded and followed by many more.

These women before me have forged a path for my career and success in this industry. I have always been fascinated by how things work, so I intentionally sought a career at a manufacturing company whose products transform the world. It’s helped me to understand the impact of industry beyond our national doorstep. One of the best things about my job is touring our facilities and watching raw materials become products; I am still awed by the deep science and engineering collaboration that allow Arconic’s innovations to emerge. That is the feeling I want every girl sitting in a science or math class to know—that each of them can help invent the next frontier of technology.

As chair of the 2018 STEP Ahead Awards, I recognize the significant impact present-day women have made on this industry. Over the past five years, STEP Ahead Award winners have impacted more than 300,000 individuals, from peers in the industry to school-aged children. With that alone, we know these STEP Ahead women have played a part in attracting, retaining and advancing high-quality female talent in manufacturing, laying the groundwork for future visionaries, trendsetters and go-getters.

While there is an underrepresentation of women in the industry, I firmly believe that women will continue to rise to the occasion and create greatness—just as we have for centuries. Where would we be without the Hedy Lamarr’s or the Margaret Knight’s of the world? Where would we be without these thought leaders and innovators that have changed our lives as we know it? I am proud to be a part of an industry where women have played a significant part in shaping our current livelihood and will shape the future.

Closing the Skills Gap in Manufacturing is A Serious Challenge

By | America's Business, Education and Training, Manufacturing Institute, Miscellaneous, Shopfloor Main | No Comments

Read the latest CNBC column on closing the skills gap by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker in this month’s Member Focus.

If manufacturing in the United States were its own country, it would rank as the ninth-largest economy in the world, with manufacturers contributing $2.09 trillion to the U.S. economy every year.

Every dollar spent in the manufacturing sector adds another $1.37 to the economy and each manufacturing job creates another 2.5 jobs in local goods and services.

Read more here.

Dirty Jobs No More – Manufacturing is a Career on the Cutting Edge

By | Manufacturing Day, Manufacturing Institute | No Comments

You may know him from “Dirty Jobs,” but today Mike Rowe was on Capitol Hill today testifying on anything but. Rowe hit the Hill today to speak before the House Resources Committee hearing, on “American Energy Jobs: Opportunities for Skilled Trades Workers.”

His resource center, mikeroweWORKS, launched in 2008, mirrors many of the initiatives undertaken by the NAM and the Manufacturing Institute. We’re all about challenging thing stereotypes that surround manufacturing and ensuring that our nation knows that a manufacturing job means a good paycheck, benefits, and a career on the cutting edge. The skills gap that has left hundreds of thousands of jobs unfilled is making America less competitive. The NAM and the Institute are working to get our nation’s youth the skills and certifications they need to achieve their goals. And while we do that, we’re changing people’s perception of manufacturing, a step at a time.

People like Mike Rowe, who lend their voice to this critical effort, deserve our applause and appreciation. Together, we can show the world that manufacturing in the U.S. is sleek, technology driven, and a pretty great place to make your career.

Veterans are Strengthening the Manufacturing Workforce

By | Education and Training, Manufacturing Institute | No Comments

Veterans enter the civilian workforce every day.  Unfortunately, there are more veterans than open jobs—as a roughly 8 percent unemployment rate among veterans indicates.

After bravely serving our country, veterans deserve a hero’s welcome. They also deserve a good job, and manufacturers are stepping up to make that happen. Across the country, manufacturers are looking for ways to introduce veterans to manufacturing and get them to work.

Take Hoerbiger Corporation of America. When the Florida-based manufacturer saw a need for skilled machinists, it saw veterans as a natural fit.  As the Sun-Sentinel reports,

 [E]arlier this year the company developed a training program to fill the gap and began recruiting veterans.

They tend to exhibit “maturity, discipline, tenacity and an ability to get the job done,” said David Gonzalez, the company’s human resources manager. He recruited veterans in May at the Paychecks for Patriots job fair in Dania Beach.

The result: Seven of the 12 machinists put through the program are military veterans.

To help train these individuals, Hoerbiger turned to another manufacturer and a cutting-edge educational system.

Hoerbiger trained the group with the help of new machine simulation software by Machining Training Solutions, a Longwood, Fla., company operated by Al Stimac, president of the Manufacturers Association of Florida. Ten to 12 workers can be trained at a time with the interactive software.

“My whole concept was to train using the methods that students are used to, such as today an iPad or a computer. The learning curve is reduced drastically,” Stimac said.

There are similar stories across the country. The National Association of Manufacturers through the Manufacturing Institute is working with a number of manufacturers are part of the Get Skills to Work program.  This initiative matches the skills veterans received in the military to skills coveted by manufacturers. If veterans need to learn new skills, the Institute and its partners can help them earn those credentials through partnerships with community colleges and other educational institutions.

Manufacturers are helping veterans transition from the military in other ways as well. In addition to its efforts to recruit veterans to its workforce, Whirlpool Corporation recently became the official appliance sponsor of Homes for Our Troops, a non-profit initiative dedicated to building homes for severely injured veterans.

It’s the least manufacturers can do for the men and women who make great sacrifices to safeguard our freedom.

Preparing Workers for America’s New Manufacturing

By | Manufacturing Institute | No Comments

Manufacturing in the United States is being transformed by new technology that has made our workers the most productive in the world. The pace of change is constant and presents significant challenges. Even in today’s struggling economy, 600,000 manufacturing  jobs  are unfilled because employers can’t find people with the right skills.

Jennifer McNelly, president of The Manufacturing Institute, was a featured speaker on how to close the skills gap and train a 21st century workforce at the Washington Post Live’s “America’s New Manufacturing” event today sponsored by NAM member company Siemens.

McNelly joined an array of top experts who are actively engaged in the transformation of manufacturing in America including Siemens Corporation President and CEO Eric Spiegel; Former Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy Ron Bloom; Mayor Anthony Foxx of Charlotte, NC; Export-Import Bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg; and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.

McNelly spoke about the Manufacturing Institute’s leading initiatives to help close the skills gap, including its Manufacturing Skills Certification System of industry-based, portable and stackable credentials that validates the skills of incoming workers. She also spoke about the great work the Institute is doing with GE, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Alcoa and other partners to train returning military veterans for jobs in advanced manufacturing.

All the speakers agreed that with the right policies in place, this next era of manufacturing is an opportunity to secure America’s economic future.

Manufacturing Institute President Weighs in on Worker Training

By | Manufacturing Institute | No Comments

Across the nation, manufacturers are unified in emphasizing the need for a strong technical workforce to meet the needs of advanced manufacturing. Today the Senate Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion held a hearing to highlight that need titled, “Promoting American Competitiveness: Filling Jobs Today and Training Workers for Tomorrow.”  We are pleased to see the subcommittee attempt to address this serious concern.

The President of the Manufacturing Institute, Jennifer McNelly, testified at the hearing, highlighting that the best way to train workers for job in an advanced technical economy is to ground that learning in industry-based credentials in coordination with secondary and post-secondary educational institutions. The testimony, which was well-received by the Committee, pointed out,”… we need a new strategy for our manufacturing workforce, grounded in industry standards, with new and renewed cooperation with industry, education, economic development, and the public workforce investment system.”

As Subcommittee Chair, Senator Klobucharstated in her opening statement, “…this is not your grandfather’s voc-tech.”  Growing our national technical workforce will keep manufacturers competitive and growing in the US.”

Washington Post Highlights Skills Gap and Manufacturing Institute Report

By | Manufacturing Institute, Studies and Reports | No Comments

In a time of high unemployment it seems unfathomable that manufacturers are struggling to fill jobs – but that is exactly what is happening across the country. Manufacturers have reported a significant disparity between the number of skilled workers they need to continue to grow their businnesses and the worker pool available to them.  An article in today’s Washington Post hightlights this unfortunate phenomenon. 

“A recent report by Deloitte for the Manufacturing Institute, based on a survey of manufacturers, found that as many as 600,000 jobs are going unfilled. By comparison, the unemployed in the United States number 12.8 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

‘High unemployment is not making it easier to fill positions, particularly in the areas of skilled production and production support.'”

The Manufacturing Institute has been focused upon solving this very problem – working to implement the “Right Skills Now” program to help individuals gain the skills and certification they need to acquire good paying, high quality manufacturing jobs.

NAM and the New Work Era Forum

By | Economy, Education and Training, Manufacturing Institute | No Comments

The NAM partnered with the Atlantic today to host the New Work Era forum at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.  The event featured Manufacturing Institute President Emily DeRocco as well as NAM members Nick Pinchuk, Chair and CEO of Snap-On Inc.; Bob Corteau, President, SAP North America; and Mike Morris, Chair and CEO of American Electric Power Company, Inc.  They joined Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, AOL co-founder Steve Case, Senator Mark Warner, and others in the day’s discussion about how to close the skills gap and create jobs in America.

You can watch the day’s events here.

Here are some photos of the event (courtesy of The Atlantic/GE Gargallo Photography)

From left to right: Amanda Ripley, Contributor, The Atlantic; Emily DeRocco, President, The Manufacturing Institute; John Sexton, President, New York University; Bob Courteau, President, SAP North America; Bob Templin, President, Northern Virginia Community College; Laszlo Bock, Senior VP, People Operations, Google

From left to right: Steve Clemons, Editor in Chief, AtlanticLIVE; Byron Auguste, Director, Social Sector Office, McKinsey & Company; Mike Morris, Chair and CEO, American Electric Power Company, Inc.; Jeff Joerres, Chair, CEO and Presiden,t ManpowerGroup (SIC); Nick Pinchuk, Chair and CEO, Snap-on Incorporated; Frits van Paasschen, President and Chief Executive Officer, STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS WORLDWIDE INC.

From left to right: Amanda Ripley, Contributor, The Atlantic; Emily DeRocco, President, The Manufacturing Institute; John Sexton, President, New York University; Bob Courteau, President, SAP North America; Bob Templin, President, Northern Virginia Community College; Laszlo Bock, Senior VP, People Operations, Google

From left to right: Steve Clemons, Editor in Chief, AtlanticLIVE; Byron Auguste, Director, Social Sector Office, McKinsey & Company; Mike Morris, Chair and CEO, American Electric Power Company, Inc.; Jeff Joerres, Chair, CEO and Presiden,t ManpowerGroup (SIC); Nick Pinchuk, Chair and CEO, Snap-on Incorporated; Frits van Paasschen, President and Chief Executive Officer, STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS WORLDWIDE INC.

Nick Pinchuk, Chair and CEO, Snap-on Incorporated

From left to right: Neil Kerwin, President, American University; Mike Morris, Chairman and CEO, American Electric Power Company

President Obama Reaches Out to Manufacturers On Skills Certification

By | Education and Training, General, Manufacturing Institute | No Comments

I had the opportunity to be with President Obama today at an event at the Northern Virginia Community College where he announced a new initiative and key steps toward building an educated and skilled workforce in manufacturing.  The President particularly highlighted The Manufacturing Institute’s NAM-endorsed Skills Certification System as a national solution.  There were several NAM board members in attendance with me and it was a great event.

I did take the opportunity to talk briefly with the President and I not only thanked him for the event but also told him we needed to work together on the regulatory review process.  I expressed my concerns over many of the regulations coming out of EPA and their impact on manufacturing. The President noted that the administration wants to ensure that benefits outweigh the cost of regulations.  Our hope at the NAM is that we will see concrete action to curtail the over regulation from many agencies, especially the EPA.  It truly was a great day for manufacturing and I very much appreciate the President’s priority to this issue.

News coverage of the event:

New York Times: “Obama Talks Up Job Training”
Chronicle of Higher Education: “Obama to Unveil New Credentialing System During Visit to Community College”
Industry Week: “Industry Applauds National Attention on Manufacturing Workforce Development”
The Hill: “White House, industry expand programs to educate, train workers”
Bloomberg: “Obama Says Community College Training Can Help Fill Jobs Gap”
UPI: “Obama launches job-training partnership”

For Education, Training and Competitiveness: A Road Map

By | Education and Training, Manufacturing Institute | One Comment

From The Manufacturing Institute, “The Manufacturing Institute Releases Roadmap for Education Reform for Manufacturing“:

March 31, 2011, Washington, DC—The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute), the non-profit affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), has released a comprehensive blueprint for education reform designed to develop the 21st century talent critical to U.S. manufacturing and global competitiveness. 

The Roadmap to Education Reform for Manufacturing lays out six principles for innovative reform, including moving to competency-based education; establishing and expanding industry-education partnerships; infusing technology in education; creating excitement for manufacturing careers; applying manufacturing principles like “lean” to reduce education costs; and, expanding successful youth development programs.

“These principles can and should be readily applied in current federal and state legislative and budget deliberations,” said Emily DeRocco, president, The Manufacturing Institute.  “Building an educated and skilled workforce is one of the most significant actions we can take to ensure U.S. leadership in manufacturing.”

The full report is available here for download.

Workforce training was also a major theme of The FABRICATOR(r)’s Leadership Summit, 6th Annual Metal Matters and FMA’s 15th Annual Toll Processing Conference, held in March in Orlando. From Canadian Industrial Equipment News, “U.S. Manufacturing Can Return to Global Leadership Status, Keynoters Tell FMA Annual Conferences“:

“Major deficits in our education system hamper U.S. competitiveness on the world stage,” DeRocco said. “Our global competitors continue to surpass our education system in producing a high-volume, high-quality technical workforce.”

DeRocco issued a call to action that stressed, “Manufacturers can’t wait for the education system to reform itself.” Instead, she said, the sector must take the lead and expand industry-education partnerships to infuse technology in curricula, apply manufacturing principles in educational institutions and produce industry-based skills certifications