The Institute for Emerging Issues followed up its 2013 Emerging Issues Forum, @Manufacturing Works, with a year of investigating the challenges and opportunities modern manufacturing has for North Carolina by co-hosting local manufacturing community forums in 15 counties. IEI released its findings from these forums this week in a report titled "North Carolina's Manufacturing Future: Community-Level Challenges, Solutions and Action."
The report focuses on three themes:
- Increasing opportunities for work-based learning programs to help close skill gaps
- Rebranding manufacturing locally as a career option
- Developing community networks to foster deeper, ongoing partnerships among educators, industry and civic leaders
These themes align with what we see in the communuties and companies we work with and are drivers for why we developed programs like the Manufacturing Makes It Real Network, Executive Peer Councils and Lean Improvement Councils and help host the National Manufacturing Day. We've heard the difficulties of finding skilled workers. We've observed connections being made between manufacturers at Network events. We've walked through state-of-the art plants and marvelled at the amazing array of products made here. Its why we publish Manufacturing Matters annually.
Manufacturing remains vital to North Carolina's future, and it has been thrilling to see the increased coverage and attention manufacturing in North Carolina has received as well as the growing number of voices speaking out about its importance.
Take a moment and read the report. What else can we do to help manufacturing thrive in NC?