Manufacturing | Will We Make it in America?

We’ve been exploring the role of manufacturing in job creation and the economy, using Make it in America (2011) as a jumping off point.

The author is Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical, and he makes a strong, clear case for reinventing our economy with manufacturing at the core.

To accomplish this, he outlines a US policy agenda with five key objectives:
  1. Make it easier for business to keep or locate operations in the US
  2. Remake the manufacturing sector with a focus on advanced, high-value products
  3. Create an economy that can sustain itself and produce long-term job creation and economic growth
  4. Prepare the next generation’s workforce for the changing economy
  5. Improve America’s global competitiveness, both in the short and long term

He also defines an Immediate Impact Agenda, which focuses on four ways to jumpstart the turnaround process. He recommends we:
  1. Change the way we tax
  2. Create a national incentive strategy
  3. Tackle regulatory policies
  4. Bond with good trading partners
I have issues with some specifics, and you may, too. That’s not the point.

Make it in America delivers both a wakeup call and a potential policy action plan for reviving US manufacturing and the economy.

This book is well worth reading, because as Deming famously said, everyone is responsible for the transformation.

Manufacturers and those who sell to, work with or associate with them will gain fresh insights into a complex picture.
                         
Educators, from college presidents to classroom teachers, will learn more about the vital role education plays in manufacturing today and tomorrow. Along the way, they’ll also discover ways to understand and work more effectively with industry partners.

Local, state and national public sector leaders and policymakers should be required to read every word. Liveris does a good job of drawing strong, straight lines between the US policies, taxes and regulations that with each passing year make it more desirable for manufacturing to pick up and go elsewhere.

Liveris contends we’re at a critical fork in the road. He includes this quote from Andy Grove, co-founder of Intel, which sums up the overall situation:
A strategic inflection point is a time in the life of a business when its fundamentals are about to change. That change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it can just as likely signal the beginning of the end.
We're at the crossroads. Will we choose to make it in America?

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