A recent blog post from the Alliance for American Manufacturing was simultaneously concerning and promising. The post titled “Pentagon Warns Deindustrialization and Supply Chain Gaps Put U.S. At Risk” discusses how we got here and what we must do to get out of this situation.
It is no surprise that US manufacturing has been on the decline over the past 50 years. The reduced number of companies can in some part be attributed to mergers and acquisitions. However, it was concerning to learn that the manufacturing contribution to GDP has dropped from 40 percent to 12 percent in that same time frame.
The post was somewhat promising, primarily because the report referenced states that workforce is a priority. “Ultimately, the most important asset our defense industrial base possesses isn’t machines or facilities, but people. America needs an ambitious effort, like the Eisenhower National Defense Education Act, to support education and training for manufacturing skills required to meet DoD and wider U.S. requirements.”
The post ends with specific steps that can be taken to resolve the issue. These include:
- Building a modern workforce
- Modernize the government’s acquisition process
- Better private/public sector partnerships
Ultimately, the degree to which the administration can strengthen and support any Made in the USA initiative will be determined by the support they provide manufacturing, starting with building the workforce.