July 16

Brookings Institute Event

I recently attended The John White, Jr. Forum on Public Policy, Regional Manufacturing Hubs: A Path to Innovation hosted by The Brookings Institute.  It was a half day conference that focused on the impact of regional manufacturing hubs and other policy initiatives directed at growing the industrial economic base in the United States.

Many topics were discussed including innovation, research and development, public/private partnerships and education.  This review will focus primarily on the elements related to workforce development and education.

Jason Miller, Special Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy said that the “country as a whole is more focused on manufacturing than it has been in a long time,” and that is certainly true. Manufacturing is one of the few areas that has strong bipartisan policy support. It seems that everyone understands that it is a critical sector of the economy and requires our collective attention to ensure that it continues to grow and recover.

A perfect storm of elements are coalescing to set the course for a strong recovery of manufacturing in the U.S., if we take advantage of it. According to Miller, over half of manufacturers recently surveyed are considering bringing production back from China. According to the U.S. Commerce Department and the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, the U.S. continues to be a top choice for foreign direct investment which leads to job creation.

One key element of a U.S. industrial resurgence is workforce development.  Mike Russo, GlobalFoundries, explained that when manufacturing jobs were outsourced, the supply chain was often left decimated. He stressed that workforce is part of that supply chain. One key to the success of regional manufacturing hubs is the engagement between employers and educators. This administration has implemented many policies which encourage the use of industry credentials and technical education.

MSSC is on the forefront of the workforce development side of the manufacturing rebound ensuring that we have a pipeline of certified industrial athletes who can perform the complex production jobs of the future.

You can watch the webcast of the Policy Forum right here.

-Rebekah Hutton, Vice President Strategic Initiatives (MSSC)

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