Manufacturing Success In 6 Steps

Yes, Virginia, American manufacturing can save the day but only if our nation effectively closes six gaps -- education, gender, policy, training, perception and growth. That's what one manufacturing company head honcho contends in an blog.

It surely boggles that mind that in this era of extreme unemployment that there are 600,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs that have gone unfilled because employers can’t seem to locate workers with strong enough skills.

From the White House to academia to business, observers have hailed advanced manufacturing as the key to reviving not only our nation’s manufacturers but also the economy as a whole if we can just resolve persistent inequities, notes Drew Greenblatt, president of Marlin Steel, a producer of steel wire baskets and other products, on

1. Education. Advanced manufacturing utilizes highly complex technology that requires employees with technological capabilities. In 2009, our high school grads ranked 31 in math and 23 in science whereas China’s ranked first in both categories.

“We desperately need our schools to generate graduates who know how to read a blueprint, who can calculate tangents, diameters and radii so they can confirm the quality of the steel wire baskets we produce,” he observes.

2. Gender. Women aren’t proportionately represented in the manufacturing industry. But there’s hope on the horizon. The Manufacturing Institute with Deloitte, the University of Phoenix and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers launched its STEP Ahead program to feminize the sector.

3. Policy. The White House has emphasized the importance of reviving American manufacturing but concrete efforts to put that grand idea into actions “remain mired in the halls of Washington,” Greenblatt observes.

For discussion of the final three gaps, take a look at the blog at