‘Backbone’ industry is misunderstood

Barb ClearyManufacturing Day, celebrated on the first Friday of October each year, is designed to address common misperceptions about a key industry that is “the backbone of America,” according to The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). The NIST website offers data to substantiate a positive image of manufacturing and correct some of these misperceptions. Some facts cited by NIST:

  • Manufacturing is diverse. The wide range of companies and their products reflected on NIST’s interactive, infographic map shows a bit of the breadth the industry provides.
  • Manufacturing supports 17.4 Million U.S. Jobs
  • Manufacturing career opportunities include engineers, designers, machinists, computer programmers and much more.
  • Manufacturing workers have annual average salaries of $77,000.
  • 90 percent of manufacturing workers have medical benefits.

The industry needs skilled workers, but manufacturers have jobs they can’t fill. So while 70 percent of Americans see manufacturing as “the most important industry for a strong economy and national defense,” only 30 percent of parents encourage their kids to enter manufacturing jobs.

The celebration on October 3 is supported by a variety of industry leaders, as well as the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association. For more information: http://www.mfgday.com/; to participate in a plant tour or other event: http://www.mfgday.com/events

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