IMTS Blog

Be Proud of Your Role At IMTS

It's easy to get wrapped up in the everyday routines of our jobs. And in doing so, we often overlook that we're a part of something bigger - and often more important - than ourselves. We all lose sight of that.

If your profession is in or in support of manufacturing, there are few opportunities to find that kind of clarity of purpose than at an IMTS. In one place, the entire genome of manufacturing comes together to show off, research, and do business. Surrounded by peers, customers, competitors, partners, and service providers, it's easier to see the roles we play and who are affected.

But this IMTS is gonna be a bit different. It's a presidential election year, with stark ideological choices for this country. The US is beginning to rediscover the importance of manufacturing to its economic and national security. Manufacturing industries that have been decimated by decades of offshoring in search of cheap labor are beginning to reinvest in domestic production. These days, terms like "reshoring" and "trade deficits" permeate the national dialogue. We're being talked about. Again. Finally.

We're not out of the woods yet. There are still great challenges ahead to undo the damage done to our economy and our manufacturing base.

Regardless of your role in your company or your industry, you'll be playing a very important role at this IMTS - you're a part of an era of US manufacturing that is demanding it be heard, respected, and appreciated. I don't care what it is that you do - you may be a distributor, a custom manufacturer, an editor, a marketer, a CEO, an administrative assistant, an applications engineer, a purchasing specialist, a sales engineer, or a service rep - bring with you to Chicago a sense of pride and esprit de corps.

You're important. You're part of the US manufacturing team. And we're gonna win.

To inspire you in preparation for IMTS 2012, I give you Ro Khanna - author of Entrepreneurial Nation - Why Manufacturing Is Still Key To America's Future. Watch this video. You'll find this a strong, pragmatic message of hope for US manufacturing:

 

 Here are the key takeaways of Ro's interview:

  • The US is still a global manufacturing powerhouse, producing 20% of the world's manufactured output
  • Small & medium sized US manufacturers are still playing major roles, especially in the custom and discrete parts markets
  • Small & medium sized manufacturers are where meaningful jobs are created and sustained
  • STEM education is important to keep our design & manufacturing skills sharp, but a commitment to vocational training is also necessary to reinvigorate our abilities to execute
  • The US enjoys a productivity rate higher than that of China, Japan, or Germany
  • The US needs to return to its industrial principles - with government & industry working in concert - to support its overall economy and welfare, as first set forth in The Articles of Manufacture by Alexander Hamilton (1791). Within this framework, government should manufacturing through:
    • Fair trade enforcement
    • Infrastructure investment & support
    • Education
    • Strategic tax incentives
    • Regulatory reform

Understand that we all play a part in the strengths and the challenges that Ro discusses. Use them as talking points with anyone that will listen. Manufacturing is important. It always has been, and it always will be. There's plenty to be excited about as we gear up for IMTS. But there are plenty of reasons for us to be proud, too. This year, let's put a little extra swagger in our step, a bit more passion in our work, and a lot more appreciation for each other.

The world is watching.

Comments
Peter @ Polygon's Gravatar Great article, I'm really looking forward to IMTS this year for myself and my business.
# Posted By Peter @ Polygon | 8/30/12 5:36 PM
AJ Sweatt's Gravatar Thanks for the note, Pete. We'll see you there.
# Posted By AJ Sweatt | 9/3/12 2:44 PM