Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers today kicked off the fifth-annual NAM State of Manufacturing Tour in Colorado—a state that is home to an array of modern manufacturers. Today’s events in Colorado were the first in the two-week, eight-state tour during which the NAM will highlight the opportunities available in modern manufacturing, the urgent need to fill high-tech, high-paying jobs in the industry and the many ways manufacturers are harnessing new technology to improve lives.
We’re at the next frontier of manufacturing in the United States. We’re leading in technological advances, such as artificial intelligence, robotics and augmented reality, that will actually spur job creation, will boost wages and will help us lift everyone up and leave no one behind, said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.
We should not fear the future. Powered by tax reform and regulatory certainty, manufacturing in America is rising higher. Modern manufacturing is vital to the Colorado economy, and we’re driving innovation in agriculture, aerospace, bioscience, beermaking and so much more. We’re stronger than ever, and that means we need to hire more innovators and creators than ever. With 428,000 jobs open today and 4.6 million to fill over the next decade, manufacturers across America are saying: ‘creators wanted.’
Timmons began the NAM State of Manufacturing Tour 2019 at Ball Aerospace in Westminster, where he visited the company’s Aerospace Manufacturing Complex and engaged in a townhall discussion with more than 100 Ball Aerospace employees, scholars and students. During the townhall, Timmons, Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee and Ball Aerospace executives discussed ways to inspire more students to pursue careers in modern manufacturing.
Manufacturing is one of the most diverse, productive industries in Colorado, said Scott Morrison, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Ball Corporation. Using AI, new technologies and robotics, the industry is becoming even more exciting for young innovators. As an industry, we need to make sure people are aware of the direction manufacturing is heading—toward high-tech, skills-oriented jobs—and encourage them to pursue the rewarding jobs that we offer.
Following Ball Aerospace, Timmons traveled to Fort Collins to continue the tour at Anheuser-Busch for a visit to the brewery and an inside look at their canned water program, which provides U.S. communities affected by natural disasters with safe drinking water. Timmons also moderated a panel discussion with Colorado business leaders who highlighted the many ways manufacturers consistently rise to the occasion to meet the challenges facing their communities and their country.
Lee also visited students and administrators from the Innovation Center at St. Vrain Valley Schools in Longmont. John Steckel, director of the Innovation Center, led Lee on a tour where she visited students in aeronautics, robotics, computer science, technology and STEM classes.
We’ve called Fort Collins home for more than 30 years, and we are honored to be able to give back to the communities where we live and work, said Gene Bocis, General Manager of the Anheuser-Busch Fort Collins brewery. “As a leading American manufacturer and brewer, our emergency drinking water program is one way in which we can do our part to help those in times of need.
For the past five years, the annual NAM State of Manufacturing Tour has focused the nation’s attention on the industry that is the backbone of the American economy, highlighting the more than 12.8 million men and women who are building our future and solving tomorrow’s challenges today. The tour has traveled the country, bringing policy discussions and conversations about the future of work in the manufacturing industry to shop floors, schools, economic clubs, television studios, the White House and more. This year’s tour will spotlight the industry’s next frontier, while also focusing on manufacturing’s well-paying careers, the industry’s diverse workforce and the policy solutions that are essential for manufacturing’s continued growth.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) 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 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters 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 Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.