Manufacturing’s Sputnik Moment- Now is the Time!

We need to change the community perception that manufacturing  is “not deserving/worthy enough” for their kids. With the majority of recent college grads un-employed, under employed, and underwater on their debts, and lucky to get part time work, careers in manufacturing for people with skills offer rewarding challenging fulltime employment that makes a difference in the lives of us all.- Speaking of Precision

This post originally appeared on MAGNET’s  Manufacturing Success blog and is reposted with permission.

Is This Our Sputnik Moment?

By Fatima Weathers, Executive Vice President, MAGNET

Fatima Weathers, Executive Vice President, MAGNET

At a recent conference I attended in Washington, D.C., panelists from industry, academia and labor gathered to discuss manufacturing’s next step.

Several panelists described the current manufacturing environment as being on the edge of a new era that is being driven by widespread and affordable access to 3-D printing and cloud computing.

Only mentioned in passing were the usual barriers to growth like unfair trade, taxes, labor costs and access to capital. Indeed, much of the discussion focused on the debate surrounding immigration laws. Many attendees and panelists agreed that access to highly skilled talent is the factor that will tip the scales for gaining the competitive edge in the U.S.

One panelist challenged manufacturers by describing the current environment as our “Sputnik Moment”—either grasp this fleeting window of opportunity to lead through innovation and talent or forever miss the moment to be the global leader in manufacturing.

What do you think? Is this our “Sputnik Moment?” What do you think is the most important factor manufacturers face right now? Respond below, or email me atfatima.weathers@magnetwork.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

You can read the original post here.

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One Response to Manufacturing’s Sputnik Moment- Now is the Time!

  1. Larry Lehning, Jr. says:

    We have the opportunity to create a “Sputnik” type of event in historical terms. However, the window is only open for a limited time. Consider that our current manufacturing model is based upon Henry Ford’s vision from the early 1900’s. While this is certainly a testament to his intellect, we can also say with certainty that a new model will evolve. Other elements of this include areas such as computing and robotics; certainly tremendous incremental improvements in our manufacturing model have occurred, however, the opportunity exists to completely revolutionize the way we look at and implement manufacturing.
    So, my point is that while technologies such as 3D printing, robotics and computing in its myriad forms are interesting and have improved our ability to manufacture, we still wait for them to transform manufacturing. This requires a new paradigm – and one that I believe must also incorporate modifying how we engage and deploy those implementing manufacturing. A true shift from “Management” to “Leadership” based upon High Functioning Teams.

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