Manufacturing is a vibrant and growing sector of the American economy, representing 11.7 percent of our nation’s GDP. It is also at the forefront of innovation: 90 percent of patents cover manufacturing processes.
We stand at the precipice of greater growth and prosperity. In a recent survey, more than 90 percent of manufacturers are positive about their own company’s outlook. A new wave of innovation will usher in new opportunities and greater efficiencies in manufacturing processes and operations. These trends hold the promise of new prosperity—benefiting our global competitiveness, economic growth and communities across the country.
Yet, our progress toward shared prosperity stands in jeopardy. Even as manufacturing becomes more productive, our nation’s education and workforce development systems are stuck in neutral. Best estimates are that more than 350,000 manufacturing jobs are unfilled today. Through 2025, that number is expected to total 2 million unfilled positions. We must act now to meet the demands of today and to prepare for the job needs of future generations.