As a country, we’re struggling to recover from the economic turbulence we experienced during our last recession. The jury’s still out on whether the recession has truly ended as even while some of the key leading economic indicators say the recession is over, for many Americans, it’s far from obvious.
Manufacturing as an industry has been particularly hard hit, though here in California, this has been the continuation of a trend that started during the dot com bust of the late ‘90s (see Figure 1). While the manufacturing industry as a whole has suffered, California as a state has fared worse compared to others (see Figure 2).
Many say that one of the key solutions is to reverse the trend of off-shoring and to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. Although easier said than done, there are signs that some manufacturers have actually started to do this although the economic barriers can be tough to overcome.
Closer to home here in the Bay Area, there are attempts to resuscitate and create a resurgence in manufacturing, running the gamut from the pooling of resources and generating visibility in a cooperative effort, all the way to getting the next generation engaged and interested in a manufacturing career beginning with K-12 education.
Wherever the the answer lies, in new industries such as clean energy, energy efficient vehicles, or other new technologies, or in developing the next generation of manufacturing practitioners, it’s the goal of SME North Bay to support these efforts through our members, the parent organization of SME, the SME Education Foundation, as well as cooperation with the local manufacturing community. It’s our vision to be the go-to resource for everything associated with manufacturing when it comes to networking, knowledge, education, and professional growth.
In these difficult times, it’s incumbent on all of us in the manufacturing community to work together in the spirit of cooperation and it’s my commitment to lead SME North Bay in doing our part to support and be a resource for North Bay manufacturing.
SME Senior Member
Chapter Chair, SME North Bay #429