S. manufacturing industry during the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) Summer Conference, held in Rosemont, Ill., June 10-13. According to Gold, U.S. manufacturing “contracted more than 21 percent during the recession,” but began to recover faster than the gross domestic product (GPD) beginning in the third quarter of 2009.However, following a 10 percent growth in the first quarter of 2010, manufacturing recovery has slowed.
During the presentation, Gold noted the headwinds that have slowed U.S. manufacturing growth, preventing an “economic renaissance:" a weak global economy, high structural costs relative to trading partners, political gridlock and the worker skills gap.
In regards to the worker skills gap, Gold noted that this has been “a problem in the making” due to the canceling of many vocational programs, which has left five percent of manufacturing jobs unfilled because of the lack of skilled workers.
While Gold believes job growth for the U.S. manufacturing industry may never reach the levels of the 1990s (17.5 million jobs), it is possible to “regain the jobs lost during the recession if the right policies are in place in Washington.” Additionally, Gold noted that the energy revolution, narrowing age gap between China and the U.S., new shipping and supply chain strategies, as well as re-emergence in the U.S. housing market are all tailwinds for U.S. manufacturing recovery.
Stephen Gold is president and CEO of MAPI. During the past three decades, he has represented U.S. manufacturers in a variety of senior-level roles in nonprofit membership organizations, including in government relations, communications and operations.
More information about AAMA and its activities can be found via the AAMA Media Relations page or on the AAMA website, www.aamanet.org.