The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program is the foremost public-private partnership in the U.S. MEP is tightly focused on sustaining and growing vibrant economies through innovative manufacturing. So those of us in leadership roles within the MEP are pleased to hear words coming from Washington that re-affirm our belief that innovation in manufacturing can be a cornerstone to the economic recovery strategy. In the 21st century, manufacturing will rely on engineers, technicians and creative leadership—brains not brawn—to elevate the status of U.S. know-how and ingenuity. We at MAGNET, which is the MEP organization for Northern Ohio, are encouraged by President Obama’s remarks during his address to the joint session of Congress on Sept. 8, 2011. The President emphasized the importance of manufacturing and, in particular, the importance of establishing on-the-job training and tuition incentives for students to study engineering. In the President’s words: "Already, we’ve mobilized business leaders to train 10,000 American engineers a year, by providing company internships and training. Other businesses are covering tuition for workers who learn new skills at community colleges. And we’re going to make sure the next generation of manufacturing takes root not in China or Europe, but right here, in the United States
The House Appropriations Committee’s FY2012 budget appropriations bill passed out of committee on July 13 shows strong support for reviving manufacturing and helping small manufacturers and entrepreneurs gain access to loans to spur innovation. The Committee has increased funding for programs focused on innovation, and "reshoring"—a new verb for bringing manufacturing back home. The vote to fund programs like the National Innovation Marketplace, the new Innovative Manufacturing Loans, and the Repatriation Initiative are an acknowledgement that many manufacturing jobs which migrated overseas were not all low-skilled, dead-end mindless jobs. Many of the lost jobs require advanced training and skills in operating and maintaining very complex machinery. We need those jobs to come back to the U.S. so the creativity and ingenuity doesn’t disappear along with the technical know-how. Small manufacturers are especially aware that ideas for new products and process improvement often go hand-in-hand with production where processes are tested and innovation is born. Innovation and know-how depend on understanding how things work and making them work better, faster, safer, and with less energy consumption. That can happen in a research laboratory or in the neighbor’s garage, but my experience says a lot more of it happens in places where making
"Manufacturing is not merely about giving people jobs. The next generation of technological innovations is intimately tied to production processes." In an article published in the MIT Technology Review on July 1, Suzanne Berger, a professor of political science at MIT who co-chairs the Institute’s Production in the Innovation Economy project, makes the case that future technology innovation will not follow the pattern established over the last three decades by the information technology sector. "The experiences of successful firms over the past 30 years make it plausible to think that manufacturing can be outsourced and offshored without any damage to the engines of innovation. Once it was possible to codify the different stages of the journey from conception to final product and to break design apart from production, major new industries could arise around enterprises like Apple, Qualcomm, and Cisco. … [However,] There is a close connection between R&D and manufacturing in many of the emerging sectors (wind and solar, biotech, new materials, batteries and others) because modularization may just not work as well for these technologies as it has for IT. R&D engineers may have to stay close to manufacturing to develop new strategies for making processes more efficient."
Pittsburgh, June 24, 2011—Today, at Carnegie Mellon University, President Obama launched the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), a national effort bringing together industry, universities, and the federal government to invest in the emerging technologies that will create high quality manufacturing jobs and enhance our global competitiveness. Investing in technologies, such as information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology, will support the creation of good jobs by helping U.S. manufacturers reduce costs, improve quality, and accelerate product development. The President’s plan, which leverages existing programs and proposals, will invest more than $500 million to jumpstart this effort. "Today, I’m calling for all of us to come together- private sector industry, universities, and the government- to spark a renaissance in American manufacturing and help our manufacturers develop the cutting-edge tools they need to compete with anyone in the world," said President Obama. "With these key investments, we can ensure that the United States remains a nation that ‘invents it here and manufactures it here’ and creates high-quality, good paying jobs for American workers." (Read more…) Related documents: White House Press Release: President Obama Launches Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, June 24, 2011 Full text of the President’s June 24, 2011 remarks in Pittsburgh Archived video of the President’s
According to Ball State University’s annual Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card, Ohio is one of only two states to earn both an "A" grade in manufacturing and logistics. Indiana also earned an "A" grade in both industries. The manufacturing rating is based on total income earned by manufacturing employees in a given state, the wage premium received by manufacturing employees relative to those of other states and the per capita share of manufacturing employment. The logistics rating is based on the share of total logistics industry income as a share of total state income and the employment per capita. In announcing the report’s results, the Ohio Business Development Coalition interviewed MAGNET’s President and CEO, Dan Berry, who said: "As globalization, technology and innovation reshape our economy, some of the greatest opportunities for economic growth in Ohio lie in manufacturing," said Daniel Berry, president and CEO of the Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network, a Cleveland-based economic development group aimed at helping manufacturers in Ohio become more competitive and grow. "We are looking for opportunities to build on the strengths of our industrial heritage that’s highlighted in the Ball State University report by connecting these capabilities with future manufacturing needs in technology-driven
Here’s an important development for dozens of manufacturers in Northern Ohio who are competing on the global stage: Final vote sets duties on Chinese steel pipe, Warren Tribune-Chronicle, February 9, 2011 Washington—U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, D-Niles, called Monday’s vote by the United States International Trade Commission to place anti-dumping and countervailing duties on the Chinese pipe "a win for our manufacturers," adding the Obama Administration is "holding China accountable" for unfair trade practices. The ruling benefits TMK IPSCO, V&M Star, Wheatland Tube and other area manufacturers. Check out all this week’s news briefs about manufacturing in Northern Ohio on MAGNET’s Northern Ohio Manufacturing News page.