There’s no doubt manufacturing is one of our most critical industry sectors. Last year, manufacturing supported one in six private-sector jobs and contributed $2.08 trillion to the national economy. That’s 12.5 percent of GDP.
It’s exciting to see our region’s existing manufacturers expand and new companies locate here, bringing more opportunities to workers and families. And these are not just any opportunities.
Advanced manufacturing is creating more and more technology-driven, high-paying jobs in fields such as robotics, information technology, physics, chemistry and more. Today’s workforce and the workforce of the future must be aware of these career prospects and the training that will prepare them for success. As manufacturing grows, so does its demand for employees with technical and analytical skills. In fact, according to the Manufacturing Institute, more than 82 percent of manufacturers report a moderate or serious shortage in skilled production workers.
Across our region, people are working together to address this challenge and help students and job seekers take full advantage of these career opportunities. And as Manufacturing Day approaches, some are paying special recognition to this innovative, promising sector.
Among those recognizing Manufacturing Day are Grayson County Schools, the Grayson County Chamber of Commerce and local manufacturers, who recently wrapped up their Manufacturing Week. A long list of activities included bringing 300-plus eighth-graders into manufacturing facilities to learn more about a variety of careers, from production to engineering to business administration.
Also, Hardin County Schools’ Early College and Career Center is set to host Manufacturing, Business and Industry Day on Oct. 2. Students will be able to interact with the district’s business and industry partners and learn more about the vibrant career paths of the manufacturing sector.
Elsewhere, One Southern Indiana’s Metro Manufacturing Alliance members, along with regional partners, will come together on Oct. 3 to educate the public about the numerous opportunities available in our diverse manufacturing industry. The day begins with area manufacturers exhibiting for area students at 8:30 a.m. A press conference is set for 9 a.m. at the Perkins Technology Center at the Ivy Tech Jeffersonville Campus. A tour of the center and its mobile STEM training laboratory will follow the press conference.
Additionally, as part of the Southern Indiana regional activities, students, parents, educators and the public are invited to take advantage of tours and open houses hosted by a number of area manufacturers including Owings Patterns in Sellersburg, Amatrol, Key Electronics, Flow Aero, BriovaRx and Transformation Network in Jeffersonville, S&J Precision and ERL, Inc., in New Albany, Diverse Woodworking in Corydon and Knight School of Welding in Louisville.
Our hats are off not only to the businesses and talented employees of this vital industry sector, but also to the community partners who agree the great things happening in manufacturing are worth celebrating and sharing.