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U.S. manufacturing: just good business

At Dream It Do It Nebraska, we like to focus on educational and career opportunities in technology and manufacturing for students in Nebraska and the United States. In other words, we’re motivated to help young people.

But it’s also smart to think about the health of businesses and the economy as a whole because those are the environments that we’re preparing our young people for.

A couple days ago, the MIT Technology Review published an article about the political and economic sense to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States. This new trend, known as “reshoring,” involves businesses recalculating the manufacturing equation to reduce shipping costs and control quality of their products by moving production to domestic factories.

The article interviews Harry Moser, head of the Chicago-based Reshoring Initiative, an effort to help companies compare domestic vs. foreign manufacturing costs. You can check out the entire interview by clicking on the link, but here are a few of Mosers’ talking points that we liked:

  • Political reasons only account for about 5% of reshoring — huge companies like Apple or General Electric. For the rest, it’s simply a matter of total cost.
  • Transportation equipment, die castings and foundries — production of these items is what’s coming back to the United States because the goods are too large to ship across an ocean.
  • Development of new tools — like 3D printing — is only a small part of the equation, worth about $6.6 billion. Putting those tools to use in manufacturing, however, is an industry worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

We’ve written previously about the stage being set for economic growth of U.S. manufacturing in 2013, which is great for bottom lines. But equally important is the culture shift about bringing manufacturing jobs back to America. It’s often a complex relationship between economy and culture, but the mutual trend moving forward includes the “reshoring” of manufacturing and a renewed investment in domestic production.

For today’s young people, getting on the same page with the cultural and economic environment as it moves into a new trend of domestic production can provide the advantage needed for a productive and stable career in an unstable time.

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photo credit: ladybugbkt via photopin cc

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