RDA Happenings September 2014
Posted on September 1, 2014 – By Emporia RDA
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the leading national organization which represents the U.S. manufacturing interests. NAM has the role informing, educating and advocating for U.S. manufac-turers. As part of their educational outreach outside of their membership, the NAM, their individual members and affiliated organizations are hosting the 3rd annual National Manufacturing Day on October 3, 2014.
This National Manufacturing Day or month long of activities seeks to improve public perception of manu-facturing careers and expand understanding of its value to the U.S. economy.
According to an article entitled, “Manufacturing in America: Perceptions vs. Reality”, the annual average salary of manufacturing workers is more than $77,000. Manufacture workers have the highest job tenure in the private sector and 90% of all U.S. manufacturing workers have medical benefits.
In Kansas according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average private sector job pays $41,817 and in manufacturing the average wage is $52,141.
The article “Manufacturing in America: Perception vs. Reality” two issues arise, a disconnect that manufac-turing has high paying employment opportunities but people aren’t seeking employment in the sector. The next issue is manufacturers are dependent upon a skilled workforce and can’t find the skilled workers. The current workforce lacks the technical skills, such as a one-year certificate or two-year degree from a tech-nical college. The message loud and clear is great employment opportunities exist for those persons who continue their education at a technical college.
Here are some interesting facts:
70% of Americans are supportive of a strong economy and national defense believe manufacturing is the most important industry.
77% fear the U.S. manufacturing move or expand to other nations.
The reality is that only 1/3 of parents encourage their children to seek manufacturing employment.
Only 17% of people view manufacturing as their top career choice.
The skilled worker shortage is attributed to the “baby boomer” generation that will be leaving the work-force over the next 15 years. The future of U.S. manufacturing relies on a skilled, talented workforce.
The RDA in conjunction with the Emporia Chamber of Commerce Manufacturing Council, Flint Hills Technical College and several local businesses will participate in National Manufacturing Day. The activities this year will be limited but it will be an ongoing effort through the year and coming years.
We are facing some exciting challenges with our primary goals to retain, grow and recruit new primary businesses and jobs in our region. The challenge will be to have an adequate skilled workforce to replace those existing employment opportunities in our region.