If you hang out on Twitter, follow some of the manufacturing blogs, or just read the business section of the papers, you may have noticed that suddenly manufacturing is a hot topic. From being the old-economy, dirty, boring subject nobody wanted to pay attention to because everything virtual, online, mobile or i-ified was more fun, and manufacturing was dying anyway, it's now gone to being the hero that's dragging the country (slowly, painfully, but still. . . ) out of recession.
Some of us knew all along that ignoring manufacturing or letting it die off was a really bad idea and said so, but it seemed nobody was listening. Now the Powers that Be inside the beltway seem to be sitting up and taking notice.
Thanks to our friends at The Fabricator, here's news of a chance to tell Washington what you think should be done about advanced manufacturing in the U.S. This is from the website at http://pcast.ideascale.com/
"Give us your ideas as to how the U.S. can enhance its advanced manufacturing capability.
The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology is conducting a study on how the nation can enhance its advanced manufacturing capabilities. Your input will help PCAST develop recommendations for the President on this topic. According to the Executive Office of the President paper "A Framework for Revitalizing American Manufacturing," the manufacturing sector generates significant benefits for society including
* Providing jobs that have higher pay and benefits than similar jobs in other sectors;
* Generating manufactured goods that represent 69 percent of exports;
* Creating wealth if there are consistent productivity improvements;
* Providing a career path to the middle class for people for whom a four-year college degree is not the best fit; and
* Supporting 70 percent of all research and development spending performed by industry in the United States.
Provided below are a list of questions for which PCAST would like your input. They are organized in four broad categories: Development of New Manufacturing Technologies, Support for New Manufacturing Firms, Support for Existing Manufacturing Firms, and a National Manufacturing Strategy. Please provide your responses within these categories. This conversation will conclude on Tuesday, April 20, 2010."
So do it. Can't hurt. Might help.