The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has invited Pamela Kan, president of Bishop-Wisecarver Corporation, to join a small working group devoted to education and workforce development issues. The group of 25 business owners and representatives held their first remote meeting on April 9.
As the workforce in the manufacturing sector continues to shrink, NAM seeks to improve the quality of education in primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools, as well as programs that train and re-train workers. The organization enhances the competitiveness of manufacturers by influencing legislative and regulatory environments conducive to economic growth. It does this through advocacy, research, and lobbying efforts. NAM, established in 1895, is one of the oldest trade associations in the United States.
NAM ‘s director of education and workforce policy, Health Weems, organized a workgroup to create an open dialogue among workgroup members about education and job training issues confronting their businesses. The information members share during workgroup meetings will drive future NAM initiatives brought before congressional leaders.
“I am very excited to be a part of this workforce group,” Ms. Kan says. “I am active in local and state groups that address this issue, but without changes in federal funding policies, some objectives will never be met. The federal government must make career technical education and workforce development a priority and make funding available. This workgroup helps me bring this crucial message to Capitol Hill through NAM.”
In its 2005 Skills Gap Report, the NAM found that 80 percent of businesses surveyed had serious workforce shortages, which impacted their ability to meet production levels, increase productivity, and compete effectively. The study also found that 90 percent of businesses surveyed reported a moderate to severe shortage of qualified, skilled production workers, including front line workers such as machinists, operators, and technicians. According to the NAM report, manufacturers surveyed believed that a highly-skilled workforce will drive future business success.
“Manufacturing has long been the driver of economic growth and improving our quality of life,” says Weems. “However, manufacturing in the 21st century global economy cannot rely on a workforce supply chain based on the 19th century. It is time for our education system to meet the challenge being brought by our global competitors. Our group is working to ensure that every student has the knowledge and skills necessary for today’s high-tech manufacturing workplace.”
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Bishop-Wisecarver manufactures, stocks and distributes guided motion components and systems for linear, rotary and curved track applications. The company’s products are used worldwide in industries such as packaging, medical device manufacturing, wood processing, food processing and semi-conductor fabrication.
The National Assocation of Manufacturers (NAM)
Filed Under: Automotive, Factory automation