On October 7th, we celebrated Manufacturing Day. Now it doesn’t garner the same attention as other days we recognize, however, it is important to celebrate this critical business community.
The recent discourse would lead you to believe that manufacturing in the US is dead. This is categorically false. Manufacturing is key to the US economy and a driver of job creation for millions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 12.3 million manufacturing workers in the U.S. These men and women help spur other parts of the economy that all Americans should support.
Anyone who walks into a factory or manufacturing plant today can see how advanced our manufacturers are. The picture of Henry Ford building the Model T is what we normally think of when we think of an automotive factory. Yet, walk into any auto manufacturer today in places like Tennessee or South Carolina and you will see individuals working alongside capital-intensive machinery producing cleaner vehicles.
Yes, many factories and industries have moved production overseas. The products we do make here in the U.S, though, are more sophisticated and advanced than those made in most places across the world. With rising labor costs in Asia and the concern of supply chain disruption there, many businesses have decided to build products here in America. Many of these are small businesses. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, of the 251,857 manufacturing businesses surveyed in 2013, all but 3,702 were considered to be small with less than 500 employees.
Manufacturing businesses are more productive and efficient today. Therefore, it is important to recognize all the good these businesses contribute to our overall economy. From job creation to making sure we have safer vehicles, we must continue building things here.