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Market trends and business perspectives

Americans positive about future of manufacturing but wouldn’t want to work in it

Americans are optimistic about the future of manufacturing despite saying they wouldn’t want to work in the sector. 

The US manufacturing industry suffers from an important image problem that undermines its competitiveness, says a new opinion survey by Deloitte and the National Association of Manufacturers.

Only 50 per cent of Americans think manufacturing jobs are interesting and less than 30 per cent are likely to encourage their children to pursue a career. 

Yet, Americans hold overwhelmingly optimistic views for the future of manufacturing:

76 per cent of respondents believe the US needs a more strategic approach to develop manufacturing.

71 per cent think the industry needs more stable funding.

As President Trump vows to revitalize the industry, how can executives uplift perceptions and attract talent?

Here are some pointers:

  • Highlight priorities that matter: Manufacturing holds the highest average wages ($81,289) across all private sector industries and has one of the lowest turnover rates (2.3 per cent).
  • Tap into pro-manufacturing demographic groups like females, Gen X and American parents to change perceptions.
  • Dispel false perceptions through marketing and public initiatives such as Manufacturing Day.
  • Invest in and foster high-interest programs such as internships, apprenticeships and certification programs, as they’re the types of programs American workers find most attractive.

Some could say Americans have an outdated perception of manufacturing. It’s up to the industry to prove them otherwise.