Celebrating the Manufacturing Workforce of Tomorrow

Headshot of Kelly Speakes-Backman

By Kelly Speakes-Backman, Acting Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

It’s October 1, and for us here in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) that means it’s our yearly opportunity to join with manufacturers across the country to celebrate Manufacturing Day!

Organized by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)’s Manufacturing Institute, Manufacturing Day is our opportunity to give America’s next generation of innovators a look at advanced manufacturing. Today we showcase our most exciting career and workforce development programs.

One out of every 12 workers—over 12 million people—are employed in manufacturing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With such a large and diverse workforce, there is a rapidly growing range of opportunities for students of all disciplines to develop careers in next-generation manufacturing and industrial decarbonization. At DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), we are focused on equipping American manufacturers with the skills they need to boost domestic energy productivity, decarbonize their own operations, and win the race in a rapidly decarbonizing global economy.

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U.S. Department of Energy and the Future of Manufacturing
DOE YouTube

This Manufacturing Day, AMO is offering prospective job-seekers some insight into what careers in today’s advanced manufacturing sector look like. Follow along all day for insight into the world of American advanced manufacturing on EERE’s twitter account, and check out AMO’s resources to learn what your future might look like as part of America’s manufacturing workforce.

Read the full blog post here.

A Peek Inside the Manufacturing Jobs of the Future 

Millions of new manufacturing jobs will be created over the next 10 years to achieve our clean energy future and decarbonize our economy. Today’s students are tomorrow’s manufacturing workers – creating clean energy products and technologies to sustain America’s leadership in manufacturing for generations to come. There are endless career opportunities within the manufacturing field, whether you’re interested in data analytics, industrial engineering, research, or energy auditing. Take a peek inside the many manufacturing jobs of the future:

Highlighting Composites Manufacturing Education & Technology (CoMET) Facility: 

The Composites Manufacturing Education and Technology Facility (CoMET) at the National Wind Technology Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) paves the way for innovative wind turbine components and accelerated manufacturing. The facility expands NREL's composite manufacturing research capabilities by enabling researchers to design, prototype, validate, and manufacture large-scale composite structures in one location.  

Virtually step inside the CoMET Facility for a firsthand look at how a 200-foot-long blade, heavier than an elephant, and spinning over 100 miles an hour is made.  

Interested in learning more? Click here to watch a video with more information on the CoMET facility, and read this recent news story.

The CoMET facility is the result of a funding partnership involving NREL, the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI, which is funded by the U.S.  Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office).  

Picture This: American Manufacturing Today 

Curious what creators in the manufacturing industry are doing today? Check out these action shots of the manufacturers, researchers, engineers, and scientists on the front lines working to confront the climate crisis and power our economy.  

Manufacturing Day Events 

  • High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI): Hosted by DOE’s HPC4EI initiative, this virtual event includes a plenary session discussing advances in world-class Exascale computers and emerging Artificial Intelligence capabilities, along with how the program develops next-generation computational scientists to work with industry, meeting technical and business objectives while saving energy for the nation. Learn more and register to attend. 
  • Manufacturing Day at the Manufacturing Demonstrating Facility Webinar: DOE’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has continually advances manufacturing research for the U.S. This webinar will cover ORNL’s response to COVID-19 as it relates to manufacturing, have breakout sessions in large-scale metal and hybrid manufacturing, composites and polymer additive manufacturing and the digital thread, ending with a Q&A where the public can ask MDF experts any questions they may have such as what is next. Learn more and register to attend 

    This webinar is hosted by SME, a nonprofit association of professionals, educators and students committed to promoting and supporting the manufacturing industry.