What's driving job creation?
During the 20th century, U.S. manufacturing increased production at a relatively steady state. However, as we begin the 21st century, the United States manufacturing workforce has decreased by one-third, and investment in new production capacity has stalled. Experts point beyond the decline in manufacturing productivity to an overall loss of competitiveness in our country's industrial sector.1
Game changing investments in "Advanced Manufacturing" - efficient, productive, highly integrated, and tightly controlled processes- have the potential to fill the innovation gap between research and full "to scale" industrial production. As an end-use sector, manufacturing is the most diverse in the economy. In 2011, U.S. manufacturing was responsible for 12% of the GDP, direct employment for about 12 million people, and 70% of all business R&D performed; and close to 73% of U.S. exports of goods; production of 17% of the world's manufacturing output, and 25% of U.S. energy use.2
Direct investments in advanced manufacturing enterprise creation enable innovation spillovers across firms and industries up and down manufacturing's deep supply chains. Great ideas and promising capabilities can then become reinvestments in manufactured goods that drive the competitiveness of U.S. economy.3
AMO job skills and workforce development activities in the Technical Assistance and Research and Development (R&D) Facilities program areas support recommendations from PCAST.4 The section, "Securing the Talent Pipeline," points to public-private partnership, or collaborative community arrangements, rather than individual to individual engagement as the best organizational approach to identify professional manufacturing skills and competencies, and to provide workforce training for industrial innovation.
The Employment and Training Administration at the Department of Labor developed and maintains a dynamic building block model that reflects the knowledge and skills needed for today's Advanced Manufacturing workforce. The website lists a large number of occupations and projects the growth and job openings in these occupations from 2010 through 2020. See http://www.careeronestop.org/CompetencyModel/pyramid.aspx?HG=Y
Where Can I Find Classes or Training?
Existing manufacturing facilities can reduce cost; enhance productivity and competiveness; and promote and protect high quality manufacturing jobs by working in partnership with:
Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs) located at 24 universities. Engineering faculty and students conduct energy, waste, and productivity assessments at eligible small and mid-size industrial facilities. More than 60 percent of IAC graduates pursue energy-related careers. http://www.iacforum.org:8080/iac/metrics.jsp
Superior Energy Performance Certified Practioners (SEP CPs). A voluntary, American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited certification program for verifying globally accepted energy performance improvements and management practices. SEP third party auditors check applicants performance against requirements and verifiers assess plants operation against measurement and verification protocols. http://www.superiorenergyperformance.net/certified_practitioners.html
Better Plants In-Plant Training helps build technical skills for plant staff, and encourages peer-to-peer sharing among participants and best practices for reducing energy consumption. http://energy.gov/eere/amo/better-plants
AMO is helping to establish a network of institutes devoted to manufacturing innovation, regional infrastructure investments, and strong support for the competitiveness of U.S. business enterprises and manufacturing facilities.
The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), headquartered in Youngstown, Ohio, is devoted to accelerating the U.S. manufacturers adoption of additive manufacturing technologies creating a highly skilled workforce; promoting the open exchange of additive manufacturing information and research; and facilitating the use of efficient and flexible additive manufacturing technologies at existing firms. AMO is a co-sponsor of NAMII. https://americamakes.us and http://energy.gov/eere/amo/national-network-manufacturing-innovation
The Critical Materials Institute, in Ames, Iowa, is home to multidisciplinary teams that explore ways to address critical materials challenges, including mineral processing, manufacture, substitution, efficient use, and end-of-life recycling. AMO sponsors this Institute. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/manufacturing/innovation/facilities/critical_materials_hub.html and cmi.ameslab.gov
Oak Ridge Manufacturing Demonstration Facility focuses on improving and demonstrating new additive manufacturing and carbon fiber manufacturing technologies. AMO sponsors this facility. http://www1.eere.energy.gov/manufacturing/innovation/facilities/mdf.html and http://web.ornl.gov/sci/manufacturing/mdf/
Additional AMO-sponsored manufacturing institutes are planned in the near future.
2-year community colleges, and undergraduate and graduate education at public and private colleges and universities provide a broad offering of classes from the most basic to the most advanced levels.
Workforce and Economic Need
As Advanced Manufacturing plays a bigger role in industrial production, domestic manufacturers will increasingly rely on transformational technologies that require more sophisticated skills for new manufacturing jobs. In addition, this innovation-driven transition is occurring in the midst of a tremendous demographic shift – approximately 2.8 million manufacturing workers (roughly 25% of the workforce) are now 55 years or older. The need to replace these workers as they retire will likely add to the emerging demand for advanced manufacturing workers.
Responding to this demand will necessitate a coordinated effort across industry, academia, and federal agencies to provide education and training programs that are responsive to the skills demanded by both advanced manufacturers and their workers.
In the very near future manufacturers will need workers with strong skills in energy management. The manufacturing workforce will need to promote energy efficiency to improve plant productivity and profitability in global markets. Specifically, manufacturing companies will need engineers, energy managers, and other skilled workers to design, monitor, and operate production systems that save energy, water, and other resources while reducing carbon emissions. Technology developers will also need scientists and engineers to develop innovative, clean technologies that use new materials and processes to increase operating efficiency in new and modernized facilities.
1 Report to the President on Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing, Executive Office of the President, President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), July 2012.
4 Report to the President on Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing, Executive Office of the President, President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), July 2012.