U.S. manufacturing to enter a 'golden age'

January 31, 2013

As the U.S. manufacturing revival appears to gather speed, traditional mainstays of the industry have been credited for their part in keeping America competitive. As overseas manufacturers are finding out, U.S. companies have benefited from the challenge of cheaper labor and a distant supply line by rethinking the way that they approach manufacturing at a domestic level.

According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, manufacturing in the United States is about to enter a “golden age.” While this may not sound that different to the highly popular renaissance that so many people believe is happening, the facts are becoming plain for all to see.

Fuel prices remain low, the costs of producing goods in overseas markets such as China continue to rise and the commitment to quality management in manufacturing is ensuring that orders are coming in on a regular basis. Thrown in the fact that a number of major American companies have publicly stated their intention to use  a domestic workforce, and it seems that the industry is set for a very bright future.

There is, of course, one other facet of U.S. manufacturing that could have an enormous impact on the growth of the industry; creativity. U.S. companies are committed to innovation, with manufacturing accounting for around 66 percent of all private sector research and development. Intellectual property is protected by the legal system and American firms are global leaders when it comes to not only inventing technology but implementing it into a workplace environment.

For example, the tech sector is responsible for some of the products that are making their way back from overseas assembly lines. Apple has announced that it will producing more goods in the U.S., while General Electric is keen to rebuild its legendary Appliance Park in Kentucky. Both of these companies were born in the U.S.A., and as such have their roots deep in the soil of innovation that made the country the number one manufacturer in the world. 

Manufacturing supports around 17 million jobs in the U.S., while one in six people in the private sector can claim to be involved in the industry. Technology has allowed companies to employ lean enterprise principles while ensuring that the production line remains efficient and competitive, another reason why the global market place still wants products that are “made in America.”

Ultimately, U.S. manufacturing is one of the prime drivers behind the recent improvement in the domestic economy, and with the country able to rely on the creativity of its workforce, then it looks like a golden age is a distinct possibility.