Magazine article Techniques

Manufacturing Careers, Skilled Workers and the Economy

Magazine article Techniques

Manufacturing Careers, Skilled Workers and the Economy

Article excerpt

In order to jumpstart our economy, "Made in the U.S.A." needs to be synonymous with in-demand, high-quality products sold throughout the world. Recognizing the importance of the manufacturing industry and its connection to a healthy economy, President Obama addressed Carnegie Mellon University and launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) earlier this summer.

"Today, I'm calling for all of us to come together - private sector industry, universities and the government - to spark a renaissance in American manufacturing and help our manufacturers develop the cutting-edge tools they need to compete with anyone in the world," said President Obama in June.

The AMP will invest $500 million to help improve technologies of manufacturing processes in high-tech industries for global competitiveness. Some industries of emphasis will be information technology, biotechnology and nanotechnology.

President Obama stated, "With these key investments, we can ensure that the United States remains a nation that 'invents it here and manufactures it here.'"

The administration has also secured commitments from businesses and universities to make it possible for 500,000 community college students to earn industry-accepted credentials for manufacturing jobs that companies across the country are looking to fill.

Manufacturing Industries

Through the AMP initiative, industries will benefit as new technology will be shared and customized across the manufacturing industries, allowing for increased efficiency and production. This program can potentially help companies produce efficient, alternative energy sources, invent new products at a faster pace using new technology, develop new life-saving pharmaceutical drugs, as well as build and design cities with little pollution. These industries include, but are not limited to, automation, automotive, chemical, construction, electronics, engineering, environmental, food and beverage, furniture, heavy machinery, metals, mining, oil and gas, paper, plastics, telecommunications, and textiles. In order to accommodate this technological advancement, the manufacturing sector will need a qualified, trained workforce.

Types of Careers

AMP promises the creation of jobs for mechanical engineers, scientists, computer programmers, technicians, design drafters, machinists, quality control managers, production line workers, robotic engineers, and manufacturing managers. Many of these jobs are high-paying occupations; for instance, according to GNN Money.com, mechanical and robotics engineers are in the hot-jobs list and can earn between $80,000 and $110,000 per year. Topping that, manufacturing managers can make between $110,000 to $130,000 a year (Money.cnn.com). With support from the AMP initiative - which includes government, industry and private sectors - manufacturing industries could become America's next big career boom.

Required Skills and Aptitudes

Contrary to popular stereotypes, manufacturing workers today need to be highly skilled. They need a strong background in algebra and trigonometry, as well as computer hardware and software applications. Strong communication and research skills are required as well. If a high school student decides to go on to a technical school or a community college for a one-year certificate in manufacturing, it would be wise to first take algebra, trigonometry, a basic writing course, and a basic computer course if he or she lacks any of those skills. There are opportunities for advancement for workers with a one-year certificate from a postsecondary program in engineering, management and computers - which may lead to the high-payingjobs listed above if workers receive additional education and work experience.

High-demand Fields

Information technology (IT) is in very high demand, according to GNN Money.com. IT consists of a multitude of computer-based skill sets that all businesses rely on, including manufacturing companies. …

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