NGA Issues Report on State Actions to Strengthen Manufacturing
While saving manufacturing jobs has been a top priority for states over the last few years, many governors are optimistic that new opportunities exist to expand and advance manufacturing within their states, particularly in the area of sophisticated, high value manufacturing or “advanced manufacturing.” Eight states participated in a study conducted by the National Governors Association (NGA) that reviewed the steps being taken within their states to grow manufacturing through innovation, investment and entrepreneurship.
The NGA report, entitled Making Our Future, studied the actions taken in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania to develop new strategies that encourage and promote manufacturing.
The NGA approached this study by focusing on “lets lead in what lies ahead” for manufacturing, particularly for “advanced manufacturing,” which is defined as the production of tailor-made goods dedicated for a specific individual or industry and the innovations being adopted by manufacturers that include robotics and nanotechnologies. With this in mind, the NGA looked at what these eight states are currently doing to promote manufacturing as it evolves through the utilization of new technologies and other innovations, such as:
• Established new programs; (Connecticut’s innovation voucher program)
• Redesigned organizations or created new ones; (Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance)
• Passed legislation; and
• Secured funding allocations for their manufacturing priorities. (Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing Futures Fund)
The report also acknowledges the important dialogue between the public and private sectors in developing policies that will serve as a catalyst for manufacturing growth. This includes the establishment of innovation hubs or specific industry clusters like San Diego, Calif. for biotechnology or Austin, Texas for semiconductors. The success of these clusters could not be achieved without the public and private sectors working together.
During the review process of their state’s strengths and weaknesses, the participating states recognized that manufacturing matters for economic growth and that state policies can strengthen that growth. In addition the states concluded that new technologies and business models have created new opportunities for the manufacturing industry and that times have changed as important trends, such as increasing transportation and logistical costs, appear to make U.S. manufacturing facilities more attractive.