occasions, repetitions, and variations of the statement “Manufacturing is dirty” in addition to the public’s memory of the factory closures and subsequent unemployment in the late 20th century are constant rebuffs to occasional positive proclamations about manufacturing careers. Thus, our new year’s resolution should be clear: It’s time to reinforce our persistence.
has conducted annual “Perception” surveys since 2009. Over four years, the survey results indicate that overall public perception about the manufacturing industry is steadily improving. The public strongly acknowledges the importance of manufacturing for our country’s security, economic comfort, and our global position. The survey report is available online.
The bad news this New Year is the irony embedded in this good news. Despite knowing that manufacturing is an important industry for our future, the public is still pessimistic about the near future growth of American manufacturing. The respondents also choose the pursuit of manufacturing companies as a popular choice when asked what kind of industries they would prefer to bring to their own communities for economic growth and good jobs. The fact that American manufacturing is expanding and that there are great jobs in manufacturing just waiting for the skilled and educated technician should not continue to be one of America’s best kept secrets!