Opinion

Five steps to bring back American manufacturing jobs

Many proclaim that American manufacturing is gone, never to return. The numbers certainly are frightening. Yet other signs point to a possible resurgence. Manufacturing executive Carol Ptak argues that significant numbers of good manufacturing jobs can and will return if America takes the following five steps.

2. Develop and use “Thoughtware”

Companies must invest in and unleash the intellectual capital within their organizations. Too many companies are spending fortunes on hardware and software and getting little return on that investment. While technology continues to advance, there is still no substitute for thinking. Hardware and software are ineffective without the right “thoughtware.”

Currently America’s educational system prepares students for more education rather than teaching them to think critically and adapt to a changing environment.

The late Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt, author of “The Goal,” frequently commented that the average manager would rather spend $5 million than spend 5 minutes thinking. Economic recovery through the development of a strong manufacturing base is not as dependent on money as it is on creative critical analysis.

Such idea-generation has always been at the heart of success in American manufacturing and entrepreneurship. Companies and schools must continue to nurture that spirit – and tap into it.

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