How to make the "manufacturing revolution" actually happen?

Posted by LDonia on 02/21/2013

While the United States seems collectively ready to embrace a manufacturing renaissance, and all the onshoring and automation that comes with it, many questions remain unanswered.

Is such a revolution even a possibility?

What will it take make it a reality?

Both Manufacturing.net and Marketwatch have addressed these questions this week.

Jeffry Bartash, writing for Marketwatch, says U.S. lawmakers need to take the lead on policies that could bring jobs back:

Business leaders, private-sector consultants and most economists say the U.S. has to slash the corporate tax rate. The official rate is 35 percent -- the highest in the industrial world – and the U.S. is no better than middle-of-the-pack even after deductions and other tax breaks are factored in...

Industry insiders also say that Washington needs to get smarter on regulations while improving the math and science skills of American students so they can fill open manufacturing slots. Companies frequently complain they cannot find enough skilled workers.

Still, as Joel Hans points out at Manufacturing.net, producing goods in the United States can be done cost-effectively, especially when a company's inventory is located nearby (not overseas).  For example, customization of a product is much easier when a company can be secure in its protection of intellectual property.

Hans writes:

While many manufacturers say they’re having difficulty in finding the skilled labor to fill positions on high-tech, automated production lines, (Simon) Grant is confident that an automation push will end up creating more high-paying, reliable jobs for our current stock of manufacturing workers, and those of future generations. And all manufacturers who automate today will be creating employees with the skills to ensure work far into the future — and that’s good for the economy.

Read more.

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