New Pathways to Boost Manufacturing

Deloitte as a part of their series on making America stronger, recently released a new report titled Manufacturing Opportunity: How America can regain global leadership in manufacturing. The report lists four pathways that could help American Manufacturing explore new opportunties and increase manufacturing employment. The first pathway lies in advanced technologies and innovation. The second pathway is enhancing talent. The third pathway to greater competitiveness is to reform taxes and regulations. Fourth pathway is to make investments in infrastructure.

Manufacturing is experiencing a crisis of confidence in the United States. Americans view the manufacturing sector in the U.S. as fragile and unstable. They are concerned about the long-term stability of manufacturing employment and fear that manufacturing jobs will inevitably be moved to workers in other countries. Despite these fears, Americans remain steadfast in their support of manufacturing in the United States and the economic benefits that result.

Today there are new pathways to manufacturing opportunity in America that are both available and achievable. And public policy has a major role to play in supporting these directions.

This report relies on collaborative efforts with a number of organizations working on important issues affecting the manufacturing industry, as well as surveys of American citizens, business and labor leaders, university presidents, and directors of some of the United States’ largest national laboratories.  It presents a case for optimism – and for hard work. It examines some of the main challenges facing any attempt to cultivate an American manufacturing renaissance, and highlights recommendations that could help the United States overcome these roadblocks.

The Elements of Competitiveness
The linkage between manufacturing capabilities and economic prosperity is a much stronger predictor of a vibrant, successful, and growing economy than any other measure typically used by economists. 

Actions for Policymakers: Making America More Attractive for Business
To develop specific recommendations regarding U.S. competitiveness, Deloitte and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness sought the input of CEOs, university presidents, leaders of U.S. national laboratories, and labor union leaders. Deloitte conducted one-on-one interviews with dozens of representatives from these constituent groups across America and then distilled the recommendations. These interviews are documented in the Council’s Ignite series of reports, which form the basis for the recommendations presented here.

  • Education and workforce preparation – Manufacturing CEOs agreed that worker talent—specifically the talent that drives innovation—trumps all other factors in gauging competitiveness. Developing this talent through education, then, is the most important element in ensuring manufacturing success.
  • Innovation – Across the spectrum of policy, from the tax code to the direct incubation of small businesses, government has an important role to play in boosting innovation.
  • Economic, trade, financial and tax issues –  Regulatory compliance costs, labor laws and regulations, and intellectual property protection and enforcement all have a strong influence on competitiveness and growth.
  • Infrastructure – Transportation infrastructure is vitally important to U.S. manufacturing competitiveness in terms of attracting business investment, improving the effectiveness of logistics, the movement of raw materials, and in producing finished products on time and at minimum cost. Modern power grids and telecommunications networks play similar roles in moving energy and information.

Download the Manufacturing opportunity report for further insights.

Source: Deloitte University Press.


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