The Manufacturing Institute is pleased that manufacturing and the need for a skilled workforce took center stage in the State of the Union address. President Obama emphasized that we cannot rebuild and grow our economy without manufacturing and a skilled workforce necessary to drive productivity and innovation. Bradley Henning, a journeyman machinist at Atlas Machine and Supply, Inc., in Louisville, KY, who was a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama for the State of the Union address, represents the face of needed American manufacturing talent. As a student of foundational high-school technical skills training and a graduate of the machinist apprenticeship program at Atlas, Henning is a prime example of how the right training leads to successful careers and productive companies.
“As manufacturing leads the economic recovery and job creation, the industry faces many challenges that threaten its growth,” said Jennifer McNelly, president, The Manufacturing Institute, the education and research affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. “Over 75 percent of manufacturers report that difficulty finding skilled workers is negatively impacting their ability to expand, and closing this skills gap should be a top priority of both the public and private sectors.”
The Manufacturing Institute works with manufacturers and education institutions, like community and technical colleges, to expand and enhance manufacturing education and training programs across the country. The flagship manufacturing education initiative, the NAM-Endorsed Manufacturing Skills Certification System, is helping better prepare students for the high-tech environment of manufacturing and was endorsed by President Obama in June 2011.
"Today, manufacturing provides modern, sophisticated jobs that are critical to the U.S. economy," said Alcoa Chairman and CEO Klaus Kleinfeld. "The challenge we face is finding enough men and women with the advanced math, science and technology skills needed to fill these attractive jobs. Alcoa supports public-private partnerships to promote opportunities in advanced manufacturing and to prepare the next generation to succeed in this exciting field."
With support from Alcoa Foundation, The Manufacturing Institute has been able to continue to grow manufacturing training programs in key manufacturing geographies.
The Manufacturing institute looks forward to working with the Obama Administration in the coming years to continue to emphasize manufacturing and grow high-quality manufacturing education that gets Americans back to work and provides more opportunities for tomorrow’s young talent.