Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Strategies for Growing Manufacturing at the Grassroots

If you can't get a national manufacturing policy going, you can at least get a grassroots one going. 

The International Economic Development Council's year-in-the-making report on manufacturing is now published and promises a grassroots approach to growing manufacturing jobs in the United States.  See the 11-page executive summary or download the full, 201-page report at http://www.iedconline.org/?p=EDRP_Publications. on the IEDC website (Warning:  may be members only).

Full disclosure: I am a member of the EDRP wing of IEDC that gave input on this report so I do have a bias.

The report's purpose is to arm economic development professionals with some talking points and case studies for manufacturing growth.    It does that and more.

The bottom line message is this:  You won't see the phrase "national manufacturing policy" one time in this national report from a national group.  This report is really a grassroots reference guide to getting manufacturing going in the U.S. one community at a time.

Even beyond the bottom line, there's a lot to like in this report.  If you're like me, you'll like these tidbits:

Page 26: Under  "Key U.S. Advantages" header is a list of reasons the U.S. future for manufacturing is so great.

Page 27:  The report mentions Joel Kotkin and cites demographics as a reason behind manufacturing strengths in the U.S.

Page 35:  The map on rail capacity in 2035 in the U.S. is a huge wake-up call for why infrastructure investment is so critical in a national manufacturing policy.

Page 66: C-TEC's 79|Seventy Manufacturing Certification Program gets mention in an inset box under the Workforce Development header.

Page 140:  C-TEC's program gets a full case study-level recognition.  Now, it truly can call itself a national-model program.

Page 170:  Though I'm a skeptic, there is a list of Federal resources to help economic development agencies go after helping their local manufacturers.

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