- August 6, 2014
What Is Manufacturing?
Our country’s huge success has been built on the back of a strong manufacturing base. Our ability to produce our own planes, tanks and ammunition have made it possible for us to fight and win many wars. It has also provided our citizens a lot of very high paying jobs.
Unfortunately, many American icons are no longer owned or manufactured here. For example, Motorola recently sold their cell phone business to China’s Lenovo. This followed by several years a previous sale by IBM of their PC business to the same Chinese company. As I wrote in my past article http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/16740529-what-is-manufacturing all sorts of tricks are being employed to fool consumers into thinking a product is made in the U.S. For example, boxes of television sets are shipped to huge retailers like Best Buy labeled, “Assembled in the USA.” However, are they really produced here? What may surprise most consumers is how little content is really manufactured here.
The U.S. invented the television industry and in its heyday of the 1950’s had as many as 150 TV manufacturers! Today, not even one, single U.S. company produces TV components in the U.S. For example, the priciest part of the flat-screen TV (the delicate glass panels), which make up about 65% of the cost, are produced in Asian factories and later integrated with the other electronics parts in a process know as backlighting. Some of this process may be done in the U.S., but most is not! Therefore, to say that a TV is assembled in the U.S. is misleading.
As I wrote in my past article http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/digital-hubs-a-good-start-more-lean-manufacturing-investment President Obama’s efforts to improve manufacturing are a good idea, but a lot more needs to be done! For example, most of the talented manufacturing workers at Motorola’s cellular phone division http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/where-will-the-motorola-engineers-go who will probably be replaced as control of the company moves more to China where Lenovo’s headquarters are.
As an engineering recruiter, I am very worried about this misleading label. Furthermore, many R&D recruiters, scientific recruiters, technical recruiters, management recruiters, IT job recruiters, electrical engineering recruiters and executive recruitment agencies that I regularly meet with to discuss industry trends are worried as well. History demonstrates that jobs at manufacturers pay a lot more than service industry firms. Besides the selfish reason of higher fees to executive recruiting firms like mine, it is in our national interest to vigorously boost our manufacturing prowess. Our further prestige is at stake.
What are your thoughts?