It’s no secret. There are some serious misconceptions about the manufacturing sector, its roles, its people, and its overall impact in supporting daily life. That’s why we’re pausing to observe and celebrate Manufacturing Day this Oct. 2, and taking a moment to get to the heart of this often misunderstood field. Check out these interesting manufacturing facts.
Modern manufacturing is a cutting-edge profession
In a New Yorker article published in August, author James Ledbetter states that working in the manufacturing sector is “decidedly unpleasant.” While factory positions have long been associated with terrible work conditions, Manufacturing.net writer and industry profession Lou Washington wrote on the site that this notion is completely antiquated. He negated Ledbetter’s statement by explaining that modern factories are akin to any 21st century workplaces, as there are strictly enforced health and safety regulations that have improved factory conditions greatly over the past few decades. He pointed to his recent visit to a Toyota manufacturing plant, which featured pool tables, games, restaurants and even a credit union, as a shining example of a typical modern factory.
Manufacturing adapts gracefully to social and technological change
There’s also a notion that manufacturing is an industry on its way out, following in the footsteps of careers that no longer exist as viable work options. Once again, this common misconception is fueled by outdated ideas of what manufacturing actually means. According to Industry Week, Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, recently gave a speech at Purdue University with the goal of eradicating this incorrect rhetoric. He explained that manufacturing should continue to be celebrated as a solid middle-class profession, one that adapts gracefully to social and technological updates.
“Manufacturing is about incredible new technologies – 3-D printing, nanoscale chemistry, energy efficiency, satellite technology, medicines that are saving lives and changing the world,” he said.