For four years I have been honored to serve on the Manufacturing Council, a group of about 25 business leaders who advise U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.
As you might expect, my experience on the Manufacturing Council has significantly increased my awareness of, and focus on, manufacturing issues. During my time on the Council we have discussed workforce issues, energy issues, innovation issues and the past two years I have served as co-chair of the Council’s Tax and Trade Committee. We have identified plenty of concerns and opportunities facing U.S manufacturers (and all U.S. companies) but I believe we still have the opportunity to make good choices in each of those areas that will significantly benefit our country.
One of the biggest issues facing U.S. companies in the years ahead is the upcoming shortage of workers resulting from a growing economy and retiring baby boomers. It is just math and some estimate that the U.S. will experience a worker shortage of several million people by 2025. This will be a significant problem for the boating industry.
Manufacturers are particularly impacted by this shortfall because of the reputation manufacturing has in the minds of many people. While we know differently, many consider manufacturing an undesirable career and manufacturing plants an objectionable place to work.
The truth is that manufacturing provides outstanding careers in safe, bright and high-tech workplaces. Many manufacturing jobs not only pay well but also provide great benefits and career growth.
If we want to avoid a significant problem in the years ahead, we need to get the word out about the attractiveness of careers in manufacturing. A great way to do that is to have companies in the boating industry join our Correct Craft companies in celebrating Manufacturing Day on Friday, October 7.
Each year our company celebrates Manufacturing Day by working with our local Manufacturers’ Association to bring high school students to our facility for a fun day of tours and information. We even provide them with lunch and a boat ride. The kids always leave excited about manufacturing and with a new career opportunity in mind.
I strongly encourage companies in our industry to join in on the fun and host a Manufacturing Day event this year at your facility. It is not only in your long term benefit but is also a great way to make a short term investment in your community. Additionally, the students bring a lot of energy and we always enjoy having them on-site. It is a fun day!
To learn more about Manufacturing Day and find resources to help you plan your event please visit http://www.mfgday.com/.
This October our company will be doing its part to help introduce young people to the benefits of a manufacturing career – I hope you will join us!
Bill Yeargin is the president and CEO of Correct Craft.