Manufacturing is not dirty. Manufacturing is high-tech. Manufacturing pays wells and leads to prosperous careers. Manufacturing is thriving in the United States. How can we change misperceptions about manufacturing? We can counter each statement with facts.
A decades-long national bias against vocational careers continues to inform high school graduates that four-year college degrees are the only option for achieving success. Government data tells us otherwise. There are millions jobs in the United States that pay an average of $55,000 per year and don’t require a bachelor’s degree.
Perception issues cause plentiful, high-paying jobs — including manufacturing jobs — that require shorter, less-expensive training, to remain unfilled. Programs like SME PRIME (Partnership Response In Manufacturing Education) aim to address skilled trade shortages by offering tailored curriculum and hands-on training with modern equipment.
Business and industry representatives gathered at Center Line High School to hear from Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, Center Line Public Schools Superintendent Eve Kaltz, Michigan Manufacturers Association Vice President of Government Affairs Mike Johnston and Rob Luce, vice president of the SME Education Foundation.