AMP Releases Recommendations to Revitalize Manufacturing
Last month the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP) released its “Report to the President on Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing,” comprised of 16 recommendations aimed at revitalizing American manufacturing. The most critical objective identified by the 18-member steering committee– “to strengthen [the US] innovation system for advanced manufacturing.”
At one time the US had maintained a trade surplus in advanced manufacturing, but by 2010 the surplus slid to an $81 billion deficit and is still growing. The US now trails other high-wage countries such as Germany and Japan in innovation in the manufacturing sector.
As a result, the US has lost one-third of its manufacturing workforce and there’s concern that this trend will impact the country’s domestic innovation and manufacturing capability.
To ameliorate this situation, AMP formulated 16 recommendations divided into three primary categories designated as “pillars”: enabling innovation; securing the talent pipeline; and improving the business climate. Some proposals in each category include creating a national network of manufacturing innovation institutes, launching national manufacturing fellowships and internships, and enacting tax reform to give domestic manufacturers an “equal playing field.”
Collectively, the recommendations attempt to revamp manufacturing’s image to attract more 18-24 year olds to the field, who currently rank manufacturing as “dead last among industries in which they would choose to start their careers,” according to the 2011 Deloitte and Manufacturing Institute sponsored report on the public’s view of manufacturing.
If accomplished then manufacturing companies can begin the process of filling approximately 5 percent of the current unfilled jobs due to a lack of qualified candidates. Nevertheless, a new national curriculum will have to be developed to ensure these new potential candidates will have the proper training to fill these positions.
President Barack Obama created AMP in June 2011, per the suggestion of President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). AMP collectively combines the efforts of industry, government, and academia to identify and invest in the country’s manufacturing innovation. Susan Hockfield, president emerita of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Andrew Liveris, president, chairman and chief executive officer of The Dow Chemical Co., co-chair AMP.
Check back soon for more information about AMP’s recommendations, specifically on education and workforce development.