Does U.S. Manufacturing have an Image Problem?
These are curious times where at work, home and play we are surrounded by technologically advanced machines and computers. For example, our cell phones not only allow us to communicate, they also wake us from sleep, allow us to remotely control the temperature of our home, listen to music and watch videos streaming with information around the world.
We’re also a group who loves the idea of DIY, filling social media feeds with life hacks, those little tidbits of information that use simple items to make or do something ingenious. Everything from making cleaning easier to remedying a broken item is easily fixed with a brief online search with results returning a solution or advice for problems big or small.
Sides of the Same Coin
Considering this, it would be safe to say that Americans are a curious group who applaud an entrepreneurial streak and some ingenuity. As a nation we admire those who can create something from nothing, and many of us look to apply a smaller version of this within our everyday lives. As a result, one might think there would be similar positive feelings for an industry like manufacturing, one that exists to find solutions.
On the contrary, it appears that the manufacturing industry has the opposite problem in the form of an image problem. From the lackluster test scores in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to six out of 10 skilled manufacturing positions remaining unfilled, many within the industry are scratching their heads as to why an industry offering competitive pay and a viable future remains sluggish.
Doing Vs. Seeing
Despite the popularity of TV shows such as the Discovery Channel’s How it’s Made program and a other manufacturing-center programming, it appears there is a disconnect between people wanting to learn about manufacturing and seeing themselves or their children doing the work. Currently only one out of three parents surveyed said they would encourage their child to pursue a job in the manufacturing field.
A national celebration for Manufacturing Day this fall hopes to start change that mindset. The Oct 2 event welcomes consumers and students to explore the world of manufacturing through field trips, virtual tours and plant visits. In its third year, the nation-wide event hopes to start a conversation about manufacturing that will introduce the creative and problem-solving nature of manufacturing to the general public.
Practicing what we preach
Perhaps by better understanding just how many products rely on manufacturing know-how, consumers will be on the look-out for the manufacturing version of the life hack. CDMC is proud to provide the finishing service for a number of manufacturing items through the application of reliable and consistent deburring processes.