Americans value manufacturing, have doubts about factory careers

NEW YORK -- While Americans value manufacturing for helping raise the standard of living, they also harbor grave doubts about their sons and daughters pursuing manufacturing careers.

In the second annual Public Viewpoint on Manufacturing survey, released by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, 78% of Americans said they see manufacturing as very important to the country’s economic prosperity. In addition, 76% indicate that manufacturing is very important to the standard of living in the United States.

Craig Giffi, Deloitte’s consumer and industrial products industry representative in the United States, noted that 75% of survey respondents believe the United States needs a more strategic approach to developing its manufacturing base. 

“(W)hy aren’t American workers going into manufacturing?” Giffi asked. He cited survey results indicating that respondents are insecure about the future health of the manufacturing industry: 55% think the long-term outlook for American manufacturing is weaker than today and only 30% of respondents would encourage their children to pursue a manufacturing career.

According to Deloitte, the survey shows that this trepidation is tied directly to concerns over government policies. Respondents consistently identified government-related factors as the biggest obstacles to the success of manufacturing in the United States; specifically policies relating to business, tax rates on individuals, and both state and federal leadership in this area.

Emily DeRocco, president of the Manufacturing Institute, said, “The public seems to be getting over its negative view of manufacturing as being dirty and dangerous work for unskilled laborers. What the public needs now is stability and certainty from policy makers. Without that, the public cannot commit itself to a manufacturing renaissance in the United States.”

Read Deloitte's press release.


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