Mirus recently sponsored the Advanced Manufacturing Summit in Worcester, which attracted hundreds of executives, local and state political leaders, and academics interested in the manufacturing industry. Governor Deval Patrick spoke about the important role advanced manufacturing plays in the local economy and multiple speakers discussed how their businesses, and the manufacturing sector, have changed over the years, sharing success stories along with some of the challenges they faced.
With the main events hosted in the DCU Center ballroom, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Timothy Murray, INCOM President and CEO Michael Detarando and MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones spoke about the current state of manufacturing in Massachusetts and where things are headed. Many business leaders told of the difficulty they’ve had in finding and recruiting technical workers – people with the skills and/or aptitude for modern CNC machine shop work for example. Even at entry levels, for those without an undergraduate degree, these positions are paying over $50k a year in Massachusetts. Training centers, partnerships with local community colleges and other approaches seem critical to maintaining a critical mass of talent to support the commonwealth’s manufacturing industry.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers, manufacturing accounts for over 10% percent of the total output in the state, employing 7.2% of the workforce. Total output from manufacturing is over $40 billion, with computer and electronic manufacturing (over $13 billion) and fabricated metal products manufacturing (over $4 billion) leading the way. Manufacturing has generally been growing in Massachusetts, however the Associated Industries of Massachusetts Business Confidence Index has been hovering around 50 for the past few months, indicating a balance between those manufacturing employers who are optimistic about business conditions and those who are pessimistic.
We’ve worked with a number of Massachusetts and New England based manufacturers and would agree that maintaining (and growing) a base of talented manufacturing staff is key to ensuring a thriving manufacturing sector in our area. We’d welcome your thoughts on this topic. Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org .