Each year, the first Friday in October (this year falling on October 1st ) recognizes Manufacturing Day–designed to create awareness in opportunities and careers that can be found in the manufacturing arena. The race is on for the incorporation of technology into manufacturing, and the U.S. is seeking to fill 4.6 million jobs over the next decade just in the high-tech manufacturing space alone. This day also provides a focused lens on the importance of local, national, and global manufacturing and allows us say to THANK YOU and give our respect and appreciation for all of those who work in this important economic sector. Falling into the essential worker classification, manufacturing employees strap on their work boots every day in the United States and provide a wide array of end-user products.
During a time of crisis, these workers were able to pivot and provide us with products that we had simply run out of as the supply chains were cut off or depleted. I have had the privilege of speaking and working with many in this industry who are putting in more hours than they ever imagined. This is partly tied to the disparity in the number of workers needed versus the number of actual workers currently employed in this category. Some employers have been forced to place “mandatory overtime” work to keep up the pace, which certainly could impact family life, hobbies, and personal interests of these workers. In short, the average manufacturing worker is often overworked and underappreciated. Today signifies an opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate all they do each and every day.
Manufacturers and their employees drive the United States economy. From the latest numbers produced by the National Association of Manufactures (NAM), there is a total of $2.345 billion in manufacturing output. From the above total, $1.171 billion was manufactured exports alone, giving validation to our importance in the global economy. This critical and volatile space of manufacturing needs a resurgence and further engagement, and technology is the path forward in terms of competition. This path will ultimately create jobs and opportunities for businesses both big and small and fundamentally is the fabric of America.
The reality of how delicate and volatile the manufacturing supply chain can be, especially when unpredictable disruptors such as the pandemic are in play, is now known by all. Many of us assumed our essential needs would simply just be there when we needed it. This has proven to not always be the case over the past year and the struggle with supply chains will continue to wreak havoc on manufacturing, both domestic and abroad, for a long period of time.
The depiction below illustrates the impact of U.S. manufacturing and highlights the continued pressure that will be applied in this industry. It is for this very reason we highlight and celebrate National Manufacturing Day and note the importance of the integration of technology to help recruit future generations and spur continuous engagement in this space.
Even though the manufacturing sector will continue to face an uphill battle, our future is seemingly bright. This industry is quite literally the foundation this country was built on over the past century. Support needs to come from all sides to continue this success. We at Sentinel Risk Advisors, LLC are thankful for all the hard work that goes into creating our U.S. based manufacturing products. Our gratitude is not easily measured; however, our acknowledgement and appreciation can be stated. Thank you for what you do in providing us and the entire world products that proudly present the label: MADE IN THE USA.
Dana Vorholt earned his Master’s degree in Safety and Environmental Management from West Virginia University, and is an accredited Associate of Risk Management. As Director of Risk Engineering, Dana’s professional passion puts Sentinel clients on the path to workplace safety, compliance and optimal profitability. Vorholt is widely known and well respected in the loss control arena. He provides workplace and occupational safety guidance and training, assuring compliance standards are met for businesses with a diverse set of operational risk portfolios.