There was a time when many Americans thought of factory work as a noble profession, and most people viewed manufacturing as the foundation of our economy.
Somewhere along the line, white-collar jobs became the holy grail of career aspirations, and parents began urging their children to earn college degrees—so they can avoid a loathsome life of factory work.
Fast-forward to 2013.
Manufacturing now gets primetime play in State of the Union addresses, while a chorus of lawmakers, business leaders and public-policy experts trumpet manufacturing as the key to our economic recovery and future competitiveness.
Has manufacturing really recaptured the nation's attention and imagination?
It's a question that IndustryWeek editor-in-chief Pat Panchak ponders in a recent article.
"Can it be that manufacturing once again is viewed as the vanguard of the economy's future, rather than a relic of its past?" Panchak wonders aloud.
For more of her musings, read "Manufacturer's Agenda: Manufacturing Innovation Captures the Nation's Imagination."