Helping to connect U.S. school children (the workforce of the future) with manufacturers, and providing manufacturers with a performance excellence framework, performance assessments, and other resources to help them improve their risks, supply chains, and overall operations are ways that the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program has supported U.S. manufacturing for nearly 30 years. By being an endorser of Manufacturing Day 2016, the Baldrige Program also is showing its support for this initiative by encouraging organizations across the country to participate in or host related events.
Manufacturing Day (on October 7 this year) is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers and support entrepreneurs who are manufacturing their first product in the United States. The goal of the day is to address common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is—and what it isn't.
According to a July 2016 Industry Week article, "The top challenges to meeting [manufacturing leaders'] strong growth expectations are market volatility, rising material costs, price reduction pressures and increasing labor costs. To thwart such threats, according to our research, manufacturers are pushing hard to improve performance across a range of capabilities, starting with improving production processes, strengthening customer relationships and finding people with the right skills and experience."
Baldrige Performance Assessments and Other Tools, Including for Cybersecurity
The Baldrige Program, which began in 1987 to develop, educate about, and promote criteria to help manufacturers become more competitive with their global counterparts, continues to promote manufacturing with customized tools to address and improve such performance issues as those noted above.
- Baldrige Excellence Builder is a free, downloadable, self-assessment to help organizations improve the most critical aspects of their operations. It was designed with small- and medium-sized manufacturers in mind.
- Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder (draft release date fall 2016) is the result of a collaboration of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Applied Cybersecurity Division and the Baldrige Program—with the help of U.S. Chief Information Officer Tony Scott and industry volunteers—to develop a self-assessment tool integrating Baldrige performance improvement and assessment concepts with the cybersecurity risk management concepts of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. The tool will enable organizations to better understand the effectiveness of their cybersecurity efforts and identify opportunities for improvement based on their cybersecurity and organizational goals and objectives.
- The Organizational Profile and Are We Making Progress? ,as well as other free resources, are designed to help manufacturers assess their organizational performance and seek feedback.
- The Baldrige Excellence Framework (which includes the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence) provides a systems approach to leadership, management, and organizational performance improvement that ensures an integrated focus on the unique factors that drive success for an organization. The framework is therefore complementary to the quality and process improvement tools that many manufacturers also use, such as Lean, Six Sigma, and ISO. The Baldrige framework works in conjunction with such improvement tools to ensure that an organization is making appropriate improvements to its most important processes in order to achieve organization-wide goals and objectives. Organizations can use the framework to seek feedback from training Baldrige examiners by applying for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
Outreach to the Baldrige Community, including the Education Sector
The Baldrige community supports the connection of schools and industry organizations to provide a forum for manufacturers to address their collective challenges, including connecting with future generations and addressing skilled labor shortages. The community includes a nationwide network of Baldrige-based state, local, and regional programs called the Alliance for Performance Excellence. The Baldrige community also includes an ever-growing pool of public and private schools at the elementary and secondary level, and colleges and universities that use Baldrige resources to monitor their progress and improve.
With the support of the Baldrige Program, Baldrige Award recipients have shown their dedication to and benefitted from a focus on manufacturing. For example, in Garland, Texas, in 2015, Baldrige Award recipient KARLEE partnered with the Garland Chamber of Commerce, Garland Independent School District, Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), and local businesses to promote Manufacturing Day with tours of KARLEE throughout the day for students, families, and friends. As part of the Manufacturing Day event, several of the DCCCD community colleges, including Eastfield College and Baldrige Award recipient Richland College , toured KARLEE. To learn more about this event, read "Students from One Baldrige Community Learn Importance of Manufacturing."
To support U.S. manufacturing within the Baldrige community,
- Higher education and K-12 school systems may be interested in participating in real or virtual field trips with manufacturers to introduce students to manufacturing careers and STEM education. Free resources for educators, employers, students, and parents include lesson plans and teacher resources.
- Manufacturers can host events, such as facility tours, presentations, and roundtables, to educate their local community, media, and prospective employees and customers, about operations. Manufacturing Day resources provide tips to inspire a new generation of manufacturers.
- Businesses, hospitals, associations, service providers, and other organizations can participate as community supporters of manufacturing; resources and ideas are available in the Manufacturing Day Community Planning Guide (PDF).
Find a local event in your community to learn about modern-day manufacturing and how to support the jobs and skills such manufacturing represents.