I work with a number of senior-level executives, mid-tier managers, and rank-and-file folks at manufacturers around the country, so this article in the November issue of CFO magazine caught my eye… see what you think of the following stats:
* Between 2000 and 2008, the U.S. global market share of manufactured goods fell from 19% to 14%, while China’s increased from 7% to 17%. During that same period, the value of U.S. manufactured exports increased by 60%.
* The percentage of Americans who said they would encourage their children to pursue a career in manufacturing was 30%.
* U.S. exports exceed U.S. imports in textiles/fabrics (and - not surprisingly - *not* in computers/electronics, chemicals, or paper).
* When asked to evaluate U.S. manufacturing competitiveness on 21 attributes, a majority of Americans said the U.S. is at a disadvantage in 7, all of which had these in common:
- pay scales/union influence
- government/tax policies
- high commodity/shipping/logistics costs
* When asked whether they were more likely to buy a product labeled “Made in America,” 61% of Americans said yes; this is up 2% in 2010 over 2009.
* In 2009, the median weekly earnings for a manufacturing-sector union member were $800. The median for nonunion workers was $762.
Many economists as well as on-the-street folks alike believe that one of the key ways back from the economic abyss is for Americans to “make something.” Most baby boomers today can cite at least one family member in their parents’ generation who worked for a company that “made something.” Whether its in alternative energy, healthcare, education, or some yet-undiscovered field, we must put our brain trust to work in this country finding short- and long-term solutions to economic independence and viable entrepreneurialism. And our government must simultaneously support such initiatives and ‘get out of the way’ where its intervention is clearly not needed. And, likewise, government must not put mandates that will break the backs of the typical entrepreneur or start-up company. Carpe diem!
– Jan Melnik, MRW, CCM, CPRW - President, Absolute Advantage
Be inspired. It’s your career. It’s your life.