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Resurgence of U.S. Manufacturing: Are You a Leader or a Follower?

February 26, 2015

President Obama is focused on manufacturing and how it can help promote competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Taxes may have been the big news story from the 2015 State of the Union Address. But another message in the President’s speech was geared toward manufacturers. He called for better training of workers, stronger trade deals and enhanced research to promote competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Through several executive orders, the President has already promised to spend more than $500 million to help manufacturers secure the talent pipeline, enable innovation and improve the small business climate. Is your company positioned to benefit from the latest round of federal funding?

Talent

After a decade of decline, domestic manufacturing is in its best stretch of job growth since the 1990s. To leverage this momentum, $100 million has been allocated to the American Apprenticeship Grants competition to share best practices in training and recruiting. This program aims to spur the development of career pathways in advanced manufacturing and build the supply of skilled workers. The U.S. Department of Commerce also plans to expand its National Manufacturing Day celebration in October to encourage young Americans and returning veterans to pursue manufacturing careers.

Innovation

The federal government has budgeted more than $300 million to spend on innovations in advanced materials. On Jan. 9, 2015, the President revealed the location of the newest manufacturing hub in Clinton, Tenn. This technology “test bed” will focus on developing lighter, stronger and more cost-effective metal alloys. To date, four other hubs have been established across the country to share knowledge and resources among manufacturing companies, universities, community colleges, research institutions, and local and federal governments.

Small Business Climate

Another White House initiative focuses on the heart of America, its small and midsize manufacturers. The Commerce Department will spend $130 million over the next five years to launch the Manufacturing Extension Partnership. This competition will specifically encourage smaller manufacturers to adopt new technologies and develop new products.

Opportunities

It’s an exciting time to be a manufacturer. The economy is steadier, interest rates are near historic lows and energy costs are down. On top of that, the federal government is investing in education and technology that can help your company grow.

If you’re not participating in these federal initiatives, you may be missing opportunities to increase your company’s value. Contact us to learn more about the White House’s programs and discuss other best practices in the manufacturing area.

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