Government offices and various trade organizations have identified small- and medium-size manufacturers as the key focus in providing help to compete in a global market, John Engler asserted on Monday.
Engler, the president of the National Association of Manufacturers (www.nam.org), also announced key results from the organization’s annual survey, among which:
* 53% would increase capital spending in 2005
* 64% said primary spending would be on modernizing and increasing efficiency
* 65% currently export to other countries, and one third of which expect exports to grow in 2005
(For detailed results of the survey, click here.)
The survey also reports that one-third of manufacturers have unfilled openings because they could not find qualified workers. Among those companies that have planned significant hiring in 2005, 40 percent said they’re looking for skilled workers for production jobs.
Engler and John A. Luke, Jr., NAM’s chairman, urged educators to create new career tracks to young people who are interested in a manufacturing career, citing the NAM’s joint effort with the Manufacturing Institute—the Dream It. Do It. program (www.dreamit-doit.com).
Employers must also reeducate their workers, Engler and Luke added. “You can find robots doing repetitive tasks and they can do them very well,” Engler said. “But it takes a technically trained person to control and fix the robots.”