The results are in, and they’re not good. According to a survey commissioned by Kennametal (an IMTS exhibitor), only 9 percent of the 1,000 Americans surveyed felt that manufacturing was a “bright spot” on the U.S. economy.
But well known to those in the industry, manufacturing has actually been leading the recovery, in terms of both revenue and job creation.
This speaks to an unfortunate truth that our industry continues to face. Despite advances in mind-blowing technology, despite the good-paying and highly skilled jobs available throughout the industry, despite work to reach out to youth and encouraging them to consider a manufacturing career … a sullied image still pervades American sentiment. According to the survey, 71 percent of respondents would not recommend a career in manufacturing to young people.
So what can we do to change these perceptions? Clearly a walk through the show floor at IMTS would change a lot of minds, but we need to create a larger window of opportunity to truly work on improving the industry’s image. Polls like this show that no matter how far we think we’ve come, we’ve still got a long way to go.
If you could do one thing — anything — to improve the perception of manufacturing, what would it be?