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Education and Workforce

map of the U.S. with icons for workforce credentials
Author
Credential Engine

The credential landscape is vast—perhaps larger than many imagined—and it continues to grow. In response to business, worker, and student demands for modern career preparation options, education and training providers have been creating opportunities, many on-line, many shorter in duration than traditional programs, and often less expensive. The goal of this report is to increase awareness.

Author
Credential Engine

The credential landscape is vast—perhaps larger than many imagined—and it continues to grow. In response to business, worker, and student demands for modern career preparation options, education and training providers have been creating opportunities, many on-line, many shorter in duration than traditional programs, and often less expensive. The goal of this report is to increase awareness.

Author
Heartland Forward

The COVID-19 pandemic has had overwhelming impacts on our economy, not to mention the impact on lives and personal wellness. The critical lack of medical equipment to treat and protect those affected highlights the over-reliance of United States manufacturing sector on overseas production. The offshoring issue extends beyond current pandemic concerns, however, reaching far larger and more permanent concerns over industrial supply chains, worker training and even national security.

Author
Robert D. Atkinson, Caleb Foote

The State New Economy Index uses 25 indicators to measure the extent to which state economies are knowledge-based, globalized, entrepreneurial, IT-driven, and innovation-oriented.

Author
Ball State University

The Manufacturing Scorecard shows how each state ranks among its peers in several categories that are of particular interest to site selection experts for the manufacturing and logistics industries.

Author
Megan Andrew, Timothy Marler, Jesse Lastunen, Hannah Acheson-Field, Steven W. Popper

There is much information and misinformation about the future of work as it relates to robots and jobs in manufacturing. The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute (ARM) engaged the RAND Corporation to review and assimilate publicly available information on this topic with a goal of coalescing data and trends. This research should inform ARM's membership, others in the robotics industry, and the wider policymaking community in their approaches to managing workforce issues.

Author
World Economic Forum

The COVID-19 global crisis continues to disrupt manufacturing and global supply chains with severe consequences for society, businesses, consumers and the global economy. This has raised new and unprecedented questions on the level of resilience of global value chains and the overall approach to manufacturing. The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with Kearney, brought together C-level executives from different industry sectors to identify best responses to the current COVID-19 crisis.

Author
IU Manufacturing Policy Initiative, Hudson Institute

The IU Manufacturing Policy Initiative, in partnership with the Hudson Institute, organized a spring 2020 conference, to bring together leading thinkers to identify concerning trends and discuss policies that will enable domestic manufacturing to remain internationally competitive. The conference was postponed due to the emerging pandemic. Four academic papers from noted experts were commissioned for this conference. Taken together, these four papers describe weaknesses in U.S. manufacturing cap

Author
Anna Waldman-Brown

This paper explores how small factory owners in Ohio conceptualize automation. Due to the risk of replacing entire production processes and the still-relevant capabilities of old equipment, the firms interviewed for this study primarily automated in order to complement rather than replace existing technologies.

Author
Peter Q. Blair, Tomas G. Castagnino, Erica L. Groshen, Papia Debroy, Byron Auguste, Shad Ahmed, Fernando Garcia Diaz, Cristian Bonavida

The demand for a skilled workforce is increasing even faster than the supply of workers with college degrees – the result: rising wage inequality by education levels, and firms facing a skills gap. While it is often assumed that increasing the number of college graduates is required to fill this gap, this paper explores the extent to which workers without BA college degrees can help fill this gap.

Author
Gad Levanon, Elizabeth Crofoot, Frank Steemers, Robin Erickson

Labor shortages are having a strong impact on the US economy. If left unchecked, today’s conditions could easily develop into one of the worst labor shortages of the last 50 years, particularly for companies that employ blue-collar and manual services workers. Through comprehensive data analysis, research, and its own surveys, The Conference Board explores likely outcomes for future labor markets and shares solutions to hiring and retention challenges.

Author
Ranita Jain, Nichola Lowe, Greg Schrock, Maureen Conway

This report evaluates a novel variation on the programming offered by the US Manufacturing Extension Partnerships (MEPs), public-private partnerships supported by the US Department of Commerce. In July 2014, with the support of the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance (CWFA), the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) launched the Genesis initiative to improve both business success and job quality at small and medium-sized manufacturing firms in the Chicago region.

Author
Ball State University

The 2019 Manufacturing and Logistics National Report shows how each state ranks among its peers in several areas of the economy that underlie the success of manufacturing and logistics. These specific measures include: manufacturing and logistics industry health, human capital, cost of worker benefits, diversification of the industries, state-level productivity and innovation, expected fiscal liability, tax climate, and global reach.

Author
Alan Berube

This report identifies 141 legacy communities, counties containing a city with between 20,000 and 200,000 residents, that have a significant history in manufacturing and experienced lower-than-expected job growth from 1970 to 2016. It compares their conditions, assets, and challenges to those in two other types of counties containing small and midsized cities: non-industrial and transitioned.

Author
MIT Work of the Future

MIT President Rafael Reif convened the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future in the spring of 2018. Its goals are to understand the relationships between emerging technologies and work, and to explore strategies to enable a future of shared prosperity.  This report will not provide definitive answers, but instead aims to enable decision-makers to ask the right questions.

Author
Robert D. Atkinson

This paper examines the nature and prospects of robotics and associated production technologies, reviews the literature on their impact on spatial dynamics, reviews recent data on robotic adoption, including controlling for robot adoption rates by domestic worker compensation rates, and speculates on future trends in the spatial distribution of manufacturing.

Author
Robert D. Atkinson AND Stephen J. Ezell, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

For manufacturing enterprises, the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) will reshape the source of value creation, the formation of new business models, and the delivery of value-added services such as mass customization, predictive maintenance, and “product servitization”. As AI becomes more prevalent in various aspects of business management and operations, investing in people will become even more important.

Author
McKinsey Global Institute

Much of the research on automation has focused on the potential for job displacement and has taken a national-level view. This report looks beneath the national numbers to examine the present and potential future of work for different people and places across America. Local economies across the country have been on diverging trajectories for years, and they are entering the automation age from different starting points.

Author
Josh Bivens

This policy memo focuses on one major economic argument in favor of increased infrastructure investment—that it would increase demand for American manufactured goods and, in turn, generate American manufacturing jobs. As this memo shows, more jobs will be created if policymakers take steps to reduce the yawning U.S. trade deficit that allows jobs to “leak” outside the U.S. economy as U.S. spending increases.

Author
Sridhar Kota, Thomas C. Mahoney

This MForesight report identifies fundamental weaknesses in U.S. manufacturing and the risks these weaknesses pose for long-term wealth and security. It emphasizes the need for concerted national action to rebuild and restore manufacturing skills, capabilities, and productive capacity. The problems have developed over decades but have become worse with time, now reaching the point where we have lost the ability to scale emerging technologies because of a weak industrial commons.

Author
Anthony P. Carnevale, Neil Ridley, Ban Cheah, Jeff Strohl, Kathryn Peltier Campbell

The glory days of American manufacturing in the 1970s—when workers with a high school diploma or less held 79% of the industry’s jobs—will not return. By 2016, these workers made up just 43% of the manufacturing workforce. Upskilling and Downsizing in American Manufacturing finds that workers with postsecondary now outnumber workers with a high school diploma or less in manufacturing. 

Author
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce

The Way We Were: The Changing Geography of US Manufacturing from 1940 to 2016 explores how manufacturing has lost ground in many places and is now the largest employer in only two states.

Author
Marcela Escobai, Ian, Seyaljose Morales-Arilla, Chad Shearer

Although today’s U.S. labor market is strong and unemployment is low, many working-age American remain marginalized. As communities across the country grapple with the challenges of an ever-evolving labor market, this report provides a framework for local leaders to grow good jobs through industrial development strategies that are based on their regions’ unique capabilities.

Author
Manufacturing Policy Initiative School of Public and Environmental Affairs Indiana University

Smart manufacturing depends critically on information governance: rules (formal and informal) concerning the collection, flow, and analysis of information, often in digital form. To explore information governance issues in depth, the Manufacturing Policy Initiative at Indiana University hosted a roundtable event in Washington, DC, with executives from nearly 20 manufacturers. Policy experts from academia were asked to contribute to papers on specific topics including AI in manufacturing.

Author
Keystone Research Center Future of Work Project

This report analyzes AI’s likely impacts by examining past impacts of technology, including robotics and information technology, on the economy and jobs. It also considers how AI does—and does not—go beyond previous technologies and substitute for human capacities and intelligence.

Author
World Economic Forum

Many companies are piloting Fourth Industrial Revolution initiatives in manufacturing, but few have managed to integrate Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies at scale to realize significant economic and financial benefits. The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with McKinsey & Company, scanned more than 1,000 leading manufacturers. Subsequent outreach enabled visits to the most advanced sites and identification of the few factories that are true guiding lights.

Author
Kevin Klowden, Joe Lee, Minoli Ratnatunga

The State Technology and Science Index (STSI) endeavors to benchmark states on their science and technology capabilities and broader commercialization ecosystems that contribute to firm expansion, high-skills job creation, and broad economic growth. It aims to capture a state’s innovation pipeline. The index looks ahead, assessing the foundation on which future growth will build and focusing attention on the elements of a knowledge economy that will help states adapt to economic change.

Author
Mark Muro, Jacob Whiton, Robert Maxim, Ross DeVol

The State of the Heartland: Factbook 2018 benchmarks the performance of the 19-state American “Heartland” on 26 socioeconomic measures and is intended to help Heartland leaders and citizens better comprehend the region’s current trajectory at a time of rapid economic and social change.

Author
workcred

This report examines how credentials are used in hiring and retention practices, and how credentialing can be improved to advance the manufacturing industry at a time when U.S. manufacturers report a skills mismatch.

Author
National Center for the Middle Market

The growth of middle market manufacturing has brought both unique challenges and new opportunities. This new report serves to better understand the environmental conditions, challenges, and opportunities middle market manufacturers currently face; uncover what the best-performing middle market manufacturers are doing to mitigate risks and capitalize on opportunities; and present key findings and best practices manufacturers can use to navigate the shifting environment.

Author
John Engler, Penny Pritzker, Edward Alden, Laura Taylor-Kale

The world is in the midst of a transformation in the nature of work, as smart machines, artificial intelligence, new technologies, and global competition remake how people do their jobs and pursue their careers. The Work Ahead: Machines, Skills, and U.S. Leadership in the Twenty-First Century, the report of a CFR-sponsored Independent Task Force, assesses the future of work and workers and the implications for the U.S. economy and national security.

Author
Fran Stewart, Kathryn Kelley

Technological change, global competition, and a protracted economic downturn combined to usher in and hasten a new era in manufacturing. The digitally integrated factory, where machines are computer controlled, production is digitally connected to suppliers and customers, and all aspects of operation are constantly monitored and analyzed, requires workers with a new and emerging array of skills.

Author
Thomasnet

The news for the general economy may be mixed, but for manufacturers it's "all systems growth." Thomasnet's annual Industry Market Barometer® survey of North American manufacturers shows an upward trajectory for this sector, year after year, as they continue to lead the economy forward.

Author
Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, Manufacturing Extension Partnership

This report examines ten ongoing regional initiatives that support manufacturers. Drawing on a diverse group of individual case studies, the report identifies the key partners and their roles, the resources they accessed, the impact of the effort, and the prospects for the future. In particular, the case studies often note the many roles that the National Institute for Standards and Technology's Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) Centers are playing in the success of these efforts.

Author
Mark Barteau, Sridhar Kota

A country is only as strong as its capacity to build. Managed properly, the availability of low-cost shale gas could catalyze a renaissance in U.S. manufacturing, revitalizing the chemical industry and enhancing the global competitiveness of energy-intensive manufacturing sectors such as aluminum, steel, paper, glass, and food. This report summarizes and expands upon the University of Michigan-sponsored daylong Symposium "Shale Gas: A Game- Changer for American Manufacturing".

Author
Daniel Trombley

The manufacturing sector accounts for about a third of primary energy consumed in the U.S. While most of that effort has sought savings from large manufacturers, more energy efficiency programs are beginning to address the needs facing small to medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs). This report discusses barriers, opportunities, and solutions to designing energy efficiency programs that result in significant savings from smaller manufacturers.

Author
Manufacturing Institute, MAPI, National Association of Manufacturers

The 2012 Edition of the Facts of Manufacturing is a collection of the key facts and figures that define the state of the U.S. manufacturing industry. The report provides 65 figures that show the importance of the manufacturing sector and challenges that our industry faces.

Author
Gary Yakimov, Lindsey Woolsey, Contributions from MEP Staff

Focused on addressing the common myths and perceptions about manufacturing and identified the characteristics of successful manufacturers as: innovate constantly to adapt to economic and technological changes; embrace green and green lean; recognize and navigate opportunity in the global value chain; develop and retain current and future talent.