How Policymakers Can Support the Manufacturing Workforce
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Manufacturers across the country need a strong workforce to enhance the industry’s competitiveness and lead it into a bright future. The NAM is working with policymakers and manufacturers alike to help make that future possible.
The challenge: The need for qualified candidates in manufacturing roles is growing fast. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of available manufacturing jobs has nearly doubled.
- According to a recent study by The Manufacturing Institute—the workforce development and education partner of the NAM—and Deloitte, retirements and a persistent skills gap could cause more than 2.1 million U.S. manufacturing jobs to go unfilled by 2030.
Our priorities: The NAM is advocating policies that will help people of all backgrounds find incredible jobs in modern manufacturing.
- That means ensuring every student graduates from high school with the preparation they need to take the next step; reducing barriers to postsecondary education and skills development; creating pathways to good jobs and lifelong learning; creating partnerships between post-secondary institutions and employers; and supporting a range of high-quality education and training models.
Our solutions: To achieve these objectives, the NAM has offered a series of commonsense solutions, including the following:
- Expanding the Pell Grant program to include short-term education models and skills training
- Investing in apprenticeship and earn-and-learn programs
- Promoting attainment of industry-based credentials as a way to complete community and technical colleges
- Increasing the amount of tax-exempt educational assistance employers can provide
- Prioritizing employer leadership in federal discretionary grant competitions
- Reforming federal work study programs to highlight career-focused skills
What we’re saying: “Manufacturers are training and educating new generations of talented, ambitious young people,” said NAM Executive Vice President Erin Streeter in her keynote address at the 2022 Manufacturers’ Awards Banquet for the Southwest Virginia Alliance for Manufacturing. “All of this is ultimately about imparting learners with the skills and values needed to succeed in modern manufacturing.”
Our programs: The MI is focused on a range of initiatives to help build the manufacturing workforce. People interested in a manufacturing career should consider the FAME program, originally founded by Toyota, which offers participants training and certification. The MI also offers programs focused specifically on students, veterans and women.
Learn more: Find out more about the NAM’s policy recommendations for building a strong and effective workforce in “Competing to Win”—a blueprint for policies that support manufacturing in America.
Manufacturers Unveil Competitiveness Agenda Ahead of Midterm Elections
“Competing to Win” offers a path for bringing the country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose
Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the midterm elections, the National Association of Manufacturers released its policy roadmap, “Competing to Win,” a comprehensive blueprint featuring immediate solutions for bolstering manufacturers’ competitiveness. It is also a roadmap for policymakers on the laws and regulations needed to strengthen the manufacturing industry in the months and years ahead.
With the country facing rising prices, snarled supply chains and geopolitical turmoil, manufacturers are outlining an actionable competitiveness agenda that Americans across the political spectrum can support. “Competing to Win” includes the policies manufacturers in America will need in place to continue driving the country forward.
“‘Competing to Win’ offers a path for bringing our country together around policies, shared values and a unified purpose,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The NAM is putting forward a plan filled with ideas that policymakers could pursue immediately, including solutions to urgent problems, such as energy security, immigration reform, supply chain disruptions, the ongoing workforce shortage and more. Manufacturers have shown incredible resilience through difficult times, employing more workers now than before the pandemic, but continued resilience is not guaranteed without the policies that are critical to the state of manufacturing in America.”
The NAM and its members will leverage “Competing to Win” to shape policy debates ahead of the midterm elections, in the remainder of the 117th Congress and at the start of the 118th Congress—including in direct engagement with lawmakers, for grassroots activity, across traditional and digital media and through events in key states and districts as we did following the initial rollout of the roadmap in 2016.
The document focuses on 12 areas of action, and all policies are rooted in the values that have made America exceptional and keep manufacturing strong: free enterprise, competitiveness, individual liberty and equal opportunity.
Learn more about how manufacturers are leading and about the industry’s competitiveness agenda at nam.org/competing-to-win.
The National Association of Manufacturers is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12.8 million men and women, contributes $2.77 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and accounts for 58% of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the NAM or to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org