Obama Announces New Initiatives to Strengthen U.S. Manufacturing

solar-panelsThis year on October 2nd, President Barack Obama declared October 3, 2014 to be the official manufacturing day, issuing a presidential proclamation inspired by bolstering America’s industries.

As the proclamation stated, “On National Manufacturing Day, more than 1,600 American manufacturers will open their doors and take up the important work of inspiring our young people to pursue careers in manufacturing and engineering. Today’s science, technology, engineering, and math graduates will power the next chapter of American production and innovation, and harnessing their potential is an economic imperative. When our manufacturing base is strong, our entire economy is strong. Today, we continue our work to bolster the industry at the heart of our Nation. With grit and resolve, we can create new jobs and widen the circle of opportunity for more Americans.”

Clearly, the Prez is on board with the goals of the manufacturing industry to close the skills gap and drive potential workers towards the manufacturing field– it’s important, and it’s even more important to keep the positive momentum of the field going by growing our workforce. The Office of the White House Press Secretary even stated that U.S. manufacturing is central to the foundation of our economy, and the U.S. manufacturing sector is as competitive as it has been in decades for new jobs and investment.

So, to demonstrate his commitment to speeding up manufacturing growth today, President Obama will unveil new executive actions to “strengthen U.S. advanced manufacturing, spur innovation, and continue to take steps to make the U.S a magnet for new jobs and investment.” Here are a few highlights of his plans, developed in conjunction with the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Steering Committee. We’re excited to see how these initiatives can and will impact our economy, especially to help an already strong field grow stronger!

Enabling Innovation: This arena is incredibly important to keep the United States on track with the global economy. So, one of the executive actions will include investing over $300 million in emerging manufacturing technologies, specifically composites and bio-based materials, advanced sensors for manufacturing, and digital manufacturing. This money will come from The Department of Defense, Energy, Agriculture, and NASA.

Expanding the Workforce: Remember when we talked a little bit on the blog last year about apprenticeships and how important they are in manufacturing? Looks like the Department of Labor agrees. This fall, they’ll launch a $100 million American Apprenticeships Grant Competition to spur new apprenticeship models. Companies like Dow, Alcoa, and Siemens have already launched apprenticeship pilots and kindly made “how-to” guides for employers looking to switch to an apprenticeship training strategy. There are many, many benefits to this way of learning, and they are truly an untapped resource for manufacturers.

Communicate with America’s Youth: National Manufacturing Day is a big part of this, and next year, the Department of Commerce plans to further expand the number of events and people participating in Manufacturing Day! The Department of Education is also working on campaigns to promote the value of career and technical education.

These initiatives are an awesome and hugely important sign of the government throwing its weight behind manufacturing! For a comprehensive list of all initiatives, check out this press release.

photo credit: Asian Development Bank via photopin cc