Saturday, February 18, 2012

Just Enough Time To Mention Three Things on Manufacturing

I prepped for a radio program this morning on The Investor's Edge.  Granville Investment Group's John Rossignol invited me in to talk about manufacturing on his weekly program which airs on radio stations in Central Ohio.  I don't turn down a chance to talk about something for which I have a passion.  Of course, I accepted.

Asked by John what we should be doing to make sure the predictions of a manufacturing renaissance have a better chance of coming true.  Here's my answer:

1. Embrace Manufacturing.  Manufacturing has been undervalued and misunderstood.  The truth defies conventional wisdom.  It's everyone's job to understand its importance to our economy and it's usefulness for a career.  We need to share a specific, positive message.  Things like the STEMFest set for The Works next Sunday, February 26 are a parents' chance to expose their kids to the importance of manufacturing in a hands-on way.

2. Invest in Skills Training.  Programs like the C-TEC Manufacturing Certification Program in Licking County are the kind of programs we, as a country, need to push.  Let's match training with business needs.  Our government needs to invest.  Our businesses needs to invest and be engaged in saying what they need from workforce providers.  We, as people, need to invest in getting the right skills. 

3. Prepare for the Energy Boom.  It's already coming.  The ability to move away from energy dependence is upon us in the U.S. with booms happening in the Dakotas, Western Pennsylvania, and Montana.  It's predicted Ohio could soon be feeling the boom in a bigger way too right here in our own backyard in Licking County.  There is a very real chance to move jobs lost to overseas energy production back to the U.S.  For that to be fully realized, the manufacturing community needs to prepare itself to seize the diverse opportunities.  Being in the supply chain to and from this emerging industry represents amazing opportunity.  The March 22, 2012 Licking County Energy Summit is a great chance for that very thing.

There are more than three things to do, but I didn't have a full hour to answer the question.

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