Manufacturing Reads: A Self-Education

The Library at ChirkYou blew 150k on an education you could have gotten in $1.50 in late fees from the library.”

The above is one of the most famous lines from the classic film Good Will Hunting. The lead character, Will, is a self-made man and a math genius with a powerful memory.

For those who believe in self-education, books and libraries are one of the most powerful resources for learning about a given topic for free (or at least, for a lower price tag than it often is to attend a university). Manufacturing is an industry where education is certainly important, especially for many skilled trades.

For welders, machinists, and more, hands-on work is both vital and touted as the key to success. But what about the manufacturers who want to continue learning about their industry, but aren’t in school? Or those who are interested in switching to another sub-segment of manufacturing, and aren’t sure to where to begin? Books can be a wonderful place to start learning.

For manufacturers, students, and those considering a career in manufacturing, here are some of the books that are an education in themselves. Go at your own pace. Read a chapter a week, a month, or a day, depending on your time frame and reading abilities. Regardless, consider books as a gateway to learning about manufacturing, if not a complete education.

The US Manufacturing Renaissance: If you have an Amazon account or a Kindle, this book is completely free. You can also get the free Kindle app to read on any device you own–not a bad deal! It’s a short read, at 98 pages, and is based on research from The Boston Consulting Group’s “Made in America, Again” series.

The book deals with a historical perspective on “why the death of US manufacturing has often been predicted, but failed each time. And why the present will be no different.” It also covers how the US government can accelerate bringing jobs home, strategies for succeeding in the manufacturing renaissance, and how the United States has responded to previous threats to its manufacturing base. Especially if you’re interested in the outshoring/reshoring dichotomy, this little book is worth a read.

Journey Through Kansas, Sketches of Nebraska: At the end of July 2015, Forgotten Books reprinted this classic: Journey Through Kansas; Sketches of Nebraska: Describing the Country, Climate, Soil, Mineral, Manufacturing, and Other Resources; The Results of a Tour Made in the Autumn of 1854. It’s a thick read, because it was originally written in 1854, but it’s a fascinating glimpse into early manufacturing in the Kansas and Nebraska regions.

The Welding Business Owner’s Handbook: Ever thought about starting your own manufacturing business? This handbook is designed for skilled workers who want to start, grow, and establish a metals-related business, like a welding organization. They cover how to start a manufacturing plant without buying equipment, ideas of where to buy product manufacturing rights, and suggestions on marketing a welding business. It’s also worth a read for welders who would like to take their business to the next level.

Have a favorite book that you don’t see included on this list? Get in touch with us in the comments or on social media and let us know what you’d like to see added!

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