Big Ideas for Spurring the Manufacturing Industry

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Companies, colleges, and even the United States government have ideas on how to get America's manufacturing industry back to normal. Manufacturing ideas have the potential to lead to increased growth rates and economic activity that could flow into other sectors. The potential for a true manufacturing renaissance exists in America, as many factors are currently aligning that could encourage exceptional growth in both jobs and investments in the future. Manufacturing ideas are only the first step; following through on these ideas could give workers and business owners something to look forward to in the next few years.

Development of natural resources in America has led to the country capturing the number one spot on the list of oil and natural gas producers in the world. The nation now exports more refined hydrocarbons than it purchases from other nations. This has led to many manufacturing ideas as well as new business ideas that involve putting the oil and natural gas surplus to use across the nation. The costs of manufacturing in America have grown very slowly over the past few years, while other nations have seen growth rates that have nearly quadrupled their manufacturing costs since 2000. This means the United States is quickly moving toward a point where it can compete with overseas businesses as easily as it did in the past.

Manufacturing ideas come from the governmental sector as well as the private one. The White House announced plans to create a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation in 2012 to deliver support and training for manufacturing projects. The NNMI has a stated goal of making American manufacturers more competitive in world markets, developing new business ideas and ventures, and boosting economies across the nation. The president has expressed a desire to create the next revolution in manufacturing innovation on native soil.

Government intervention does not need to be as heavy-handed as the creation of new networks. A government-sponsored contest gave Clemson University the funding it needs to help spur interest and innovation in the manufacturing market. The school's manufacturing ideas include a focus on encouraging manufacturers to use federal, state, and local resources and engage in domestic company expansion. Clemson University also seeks to encourage foreign investing in America's manufacturing sector. The funds provided to the school are to be used to create a Virtual Innovation Hub that will enable others to exchange manufacturing ideas and resources using distance-learning technology. The winnings were awarded as part of the Make It in America Challenge, which was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce along with other groups.

Many emerging manufacturing ideas have the ability to change the shape of American markets for some time to come. A perfect storm of ample fuel resources, government assistance, and private or educational institution innovation may well lead the industry into the future.


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