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Manufacturing USA Program is Key to Maintaining American Manufacturing Industry as a Global Competitor

Manufacturing USA Program is Key to Maintaining American Manufacturing Industry as a Global Competitor

Last year a workshop was held to reexamine the Manufacturing USA program. The Manufacturing USA  program was established in 2014, and is comprised of a series of 14 manufacturing institutes, overseen by the National Institute of Standards and Technology under the Department of Commerce. The program was created to strengthen the state of American manufacturing and provide manufacturers with support such as federal funding and workforce development programs.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) recently released a report detailing this workshop, which examined and analyzed the work of the institutes thus far, and determined whether the institutes could continue their work if they lost their federal funding.

One of the key discussion points that arose throughout the workshop was the need for the United States to locate both its production and innovation domestically to help maintain—or reverse the decline of—its competitiveness. As one participant noted, it is important to maintain domestic supply chains, as a decline in domestic infrastructure will have the domino effect of a decline in innovative capacity. Another participant further elaborated on this, stating that if U.S. manufacturing is moved abroad, this may cause U.S. companies to lose their incentive to strive for the most advanced technologies. 

A similar topic of discussion surrounding the Manufacturing USA program was that the funding advanced manufacturing has received so far has been inadequate. The task the Manufacturing USA program is being asked to do is not to scale with the funding it has received. Part of this is also due to the fact that advanced manufacturing capability advances through growth, but as one workshop attendee noted, “we are not putting in money at a scale that we have put in the past toward this problem.”

Other topics of discussion summarized in the report include workforce development, increasing U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, and the future of the institutes.

To view the report in full, click here:

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