1. Get the Good News Out & Dispel False Impressions
This can be advocated through conversations and speeches and by conducting events like Manufacturing Day to make the U.S. public more aware of the strong and positive truths about manufacturing.
“Did you know?” types of campaigns—to help disseminate real facts associated with the manufacturing industry, like it having the highest wages, longest tenure, and strongest multiplier effect among all industries—can go a long way in improving the present perception of the industry among the general public.
2. Highlight Top Priorities that People Seek in a Career
"Office Space"/ 20th Century Fox
Manufacturers can underscore areas that matter most to prospective candidates. The manufacturing industry already provides careers that have good job benefits, pay, and are interesting and rewarding—key things that the American public desires. Recognizing that the war for top talent extends far beyond the manufacturing industry, companies will likely need to increase focus on what will attract and retain the best and brightest talent so they can become destinations of choice.
4. Create More Awareness of Manufacturing Events
John Hitch/ NED
Only 8% of Americans surveyed are currently aware or familiar with it. However, over 90% of those attending Manufacturing Day events are more convinced that manufacturing provides interesting and rewarding careers, and more than 80% are likely to tell others about manufacturing. Such events, if successfully conducted, can go a long way in creating awareness, dispelling false perceptions, and providing a practical experience that demonstrates the benefits of a manufacturing career.
Furthermore, inviting friends and family to local tech expos, such as our own M&T Expo, will give them a chance to see how all the current technology and innovations fit together. And they can play with robots, too!
5. Leverage segments with Higher interest & Perception Levels
Surveyed segments such as women, Americans with high manufacturing familiarity, and American parents are more positive about manufacturing in the sense that they have a better image and perception about the U.S. manufacturing industry. These demographic segments can be leveraged as brand ambassadors in order to improve and influence manufacturing perception within other segments.
6. Tap into the Strong Associations Between Manufacturing & Economic Prosperity
It’s clear that Americans surveyed believe a strong manufacturing industry is vital to the nation—its economy, people, and national priorities. Manufacturers could do more to tap into the patriotic pride of a strong industrial base.
7. Generate Awareness Around State-of-the-Art Manufacturing Tech
John Hitch/ NED
Advanced technologies like predictive analytics and advanced materials—which are deemed critical to the future of manufacturing by executives—should have top-of-mind awareness among the American public. Manufacturers can emulate their Silicon Valley counterparts, (such as Jabil's Blue Sky Innovation Lab pictured here) by weaving a “cool” image of their industry with that of advanced technologies and innovation like 3D printing.
Anecdotal evidence also suggests that Gen Y and Z Americans are tech-savvy and always look forward to what technology has to offer, both in their personal and professional lives.
8. Design Collaboration Initiatives that Bring Industry, Government, & Academia Together
Carnegie Mellon University
Manufacturers could benefit from better enabling and tapping into a larger ecosystem that fosters innovation and creates more opportunities to attract top talent across a broader spectrum. That's what many manufacturers have done with Carnegie Mellon to research, test, and commercialize several advanced technology innovations. The manufacturing industry can benefit from ecosystem players coming together for awareness-raising campaigns and initiatives.
We believe there’s a need to create a collective call to action by all key stakeholders to make manufacturing a destination of choice.