In many ways, the manufacturing industry is experiencing a level of dissatisfaction, resulting in the ongoing need to redefine how technology innovations and trade will continue to change the future of manufacturing, as we know it.

Reassessing Needs for the Industry

Rather than waiting on the maybe-yes, maybe-no possibilities of campaign promises actually taking root, it’s probably more feasible to know it will be up to American manufacturers to look for ways to increase innovation through relevant training and the support local initiatives to team with schools, businesses and other manufacturers to build the viability of manufacturing today and in the future.

Looking to the Past to Move Forward

In response, some larger companies such as Siemens are looking to resuscitate the apprenticeship programs of the past in an effort to build a workforce with the technological and digital skills needed for the next generation of manufacturers. Ironically, this path could be unintentionally slowed by a prejudice of sorts against education that doesn’t follow the traditional 2- or 4-year university route. As a nation on the brink of serious change, we have the collective option of offering a better, more lucrative option of apprenticeship or the choice to continue with business as usual, potentially deepening the scars of an already debilitating skills gap.

Influence of Smaller Players

As we see time and time again, change is often instigated in small ways. Individual players often have the ability to get the ball of innovation rolling in ways that might come to a standstill if attempted on a larger scale. One example of this is visible in the interactions of small- to medium-size manufacturers.

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