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NGA: “Making” Our Future through Manufacturing

Nebraska Capitol BuildingStudents and teachers may ask themselves if there is any future in studying for manufacturing related fields in the United States. A report recently released by the NGA (National Governor’s Association) makes it seem that state governments, particularly, support and expect growth in U.S. manufacturing.

The report, “‘Making’ Our Future: What States Are Doing to Encourage Growth in Manufacturing through Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Investment” examines the ways that states are making an effort to focus on advanced manufacturing to supply jobs and support businesses within their borders.

The study resulted when teams from eight states, some of which border Nebraska, participated in a rigorous year-long strategic planning process, which supported advanced manufacturing.

The Result
These states — California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Pennsylvania — did the following as a result:

  • Established new programs that supported manufacturing
  • Redesigned organizations or created new ones entirely
  • Passed legislation
  • Secured funding allocations for their manufacturing priorities

Throughout the process, the NGA collaborated with and received funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program and the U.S Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration.

All signs point to state governments becoming increasingly supporting of advanced manufacturing and that the federal government is supportive, as well. Take, for example, the publication of “America’s Investment in the Future” by the National Science Foundation, an independent federal agency created by congress. A portion of this publication states, “The NSF continues to invest not only in the development of manufacturing processes and systems, but also in new approaches to education.”

The NSF’s “investment” in American manufacturing is made clear and it’s one that is substantiated by other recent reports about the dwindling of offshoring and the return of manufacturing to the U.S.

Programs such as Dream It! Do It! Nebraska and the Nebraska Advanced Manufacturing Coalition are making an effort to bring manufacturing career opportunities that exist, and will continue to expand in the future, to students looking for careers involving high achievement, creativity and STEM aptitude. These skilled positions in U.S. manufacturing will continue to require a body of workers and pay top dollar.

photo credit: jimmywayne via photopin cc

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