“Automation-weakens-manufacturing” stories are fake news, according to National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons.
Contrary to what billionaire investor Mark Cuban recently stated about robots costing Americans jobs, Timmons attests technology will have a more positive impact.
“This is our time. Manufacturing animated the presidential race,” Timmons told audience members Monday (Feb. 27) at an Ohio stop in NAM’s 2017 State of Manufacturing Tour. “Manufacturers propelled a change election, and the President of the United States has made manufacturing in the United States a signature issue. The automation-weakens-manufacturing stories we’ve been hearing are — in the true meaning of the words — ‘fake news.’ Technology, like here, is upskilling, upscaling and future-proofing jobs, so that more Americans can find rewarding and long-term careers in modern manufacturing.”
Timmons said to unlock the full promise of modern manufacturing’s future, “we need to encourage more investment in the United States — and that comes with lawmakers in Washington pairing the rhetorical support of manufacturing with the right actions now on meaningful tax and regulatory reform, infrastructure investment and workforce opportunities.”
Manufacturing contributes an estimated $2.17 trillion to the U.S. economy annually with about 12.3 million Americans employed in the industry as of 2016. This equates to one in 10 being employed by the sector compared to 1960, when one in four Americans held a manufacturing position, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since 2000, the U.S. has shed approximately 5 million manufacturing jobs.