Industrial Engineering

The makings of a future

strategy

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INDUSTRIAL ENGINEER – VOLUME 43: NUMBER 03

U.S. Manufacturing grows, but need long-term strategy
The U.S. Department of Labor said that U.S. created more jobs than they lost, in 2010 which is a first since 1997. But David Brousell, editor-in-chief of Managing Automation said that it doesn’t guarantee a comeback for domestic manufacturing. The Haier Group and Honeywell will cooperate on developing and promoting energy-efficient products, according to Reuters. GE expects to sell and install at least 50 gas turbine generator sets in China, etc. which is a good news for traditional industries. In Brousell’s view, the nation as a whole must get behind such new initiatives with a combination of industry, government, communities, the right education and the right labor pool. Green technology, biotechnology, high-tech semiconductors, medicine, and medical equipment have more potential for innovation and future growth than many traditional industries. At the same time, manufacturing suffers from the lack of a leader to emphasize how manufacturing can create real, sustainable wealth.

A leader could help “rebrand” manufacturing from its popular image as a declining industry with dirty factories and workers with sweaty grime under the fingernails, an image that relates little to reality. Noting that U.S. manufacturing jobs have been declining for more than 60 years, Brousell said that such strategies could help resurrect some, but not all, of the 6 million manufacturing jobs lost since 1997.