November 11, 2004
According to Peggy Smedley, author of Mending Manufacturing: How America Can Manufacture its Survival, U.S. manufacturers face three key issues in 2005: competing in a global economy; incentives for investments in equipment and technology; and high-tech worker training.
A statement released by Smedley November 10 said, "There must be a clear understanding among national leaders that the U.S.'s future cannot be built on a total service economy. We cannot leave the U.S. vulnerable by neglecting segments of our manufacturing infrastructure.
"Jobs and the economy were a major issue in the presidential campaign. U.S. workers will not be content trading $20-an-hour manufacturing jobs for half that as a greeter at Wal-Mart. Citizens and politicians need to understand that a strong manufacturing sector means a strong economy. Without a strong manufacturing environment, we are a weakened nation, and a weakened nation is not safe. U.S. manufacturers are resilient, strong, and determined to succeed."
The statement went on to say, "We are in exciting times in which sophisticated technology and unprecedented productivity are essential for global competition. U.S. manufacturers must capitalize on advancements, such as lean manufacturing, machine-to-machine technologies, and global value chains, which, for example, can make possible custom-built vehicles in a matter of days.
"In part, this is a lobbying effort, but mostly it is an effort for midsize and smaller manufacturers to rally together. The solution must come from the grassroots efforts of manufacturers through their networking rather than just petitioning lawmakers."