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A Publication of WTVP

The U.S. faces a very serious decline in its manufacturing base. Jobs in manufacturing have declined for 30 consecutive months-that’s more than 2 million jobs. The economic effects on the U.S. include joblessness, lower wages, lost revenue, etc. As production moves offshore, we also become more dependent on other regions for products and skills that are key to our power.

Reasons for the decline in manufacturing are many. Any attempt to come up with solutions must keep this in mind. For example, the global economy brings a new competitiveness to manufacturing, just as the South’s growing industrial power did to the North decades ago. Protectionism isn’t an answer.

Technology brings many improvements in productivity and reduces the labor requirements of many manufacturing processes. Restricting technology and returning to labor-intensive processes isn’t the answer.

The answer isn’t to stifle the positive aspects of the manufacturing evolution but to make sure we’re doing all we can to understand and promote the health of our manufacturing base. Let’s begin by not taking for granted that it’s always been here and can do quite well for itself. As 38 percent of Employers’ Association’s member base is in manufacturing, we must understand manufacturing is a vital national resource being challenged and even threatened in the long run.

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and our 68 EAG affiliates are working to restore the health of America’s manufacturing base. Its work has several objectives:

To learn more about this effort and become involved in protecting and promoting our manufacturing resources, visit NAM’s Web site at www.nam.org/renewal. IBI

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