Editor's Note: Mfg Day, Mfg Always

October 7, 2014

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Will Ng big croppedIn three years, National Manufacturing Day has grown to become the largest and highest-profile public relations effort for the manufacturing sector, taking place once again last Friday at production plants and civic events all across the country.

The official tallies for National Manufacturing Day 2014 were 1,600 manufacturing plant tours and events and 100,000-plus attendees. That latter number is almost the same number of multinational attendees at the preeminent International Manufacturing Manufacturing Show in Chicago recently, except that the vast majority were youngsters, students, non-industry people, and general media members whom manufacturers looked to woo and influence. The president of the National Association of Manufacturers “kicked off” the day on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” with a close ally, the chairman of Caterpillar, which held 200 local events across the U.S. and whose giant trucks and construction equipment, as the White House says, capture the imaginations of America’s children.

The biggest validation yet of this annual effort came in remarks by President Obama at a visit to an Indiana steel manufacturer on Friday, while members of his Cabinet and the Department of Commerce traveled to various parts of the country for other manufacturing celebrations. Read the official Presidential Proclamation of National Manufacturing Day here. And proving that the government wasn’t merely paying lip service, the announcement of another new manufacturing innovation institute was timed for the day. That’s four institutes and counting, with two more to be announced before the end of the year.

On Friday, the day’s message, that manufacturing is about advanced technologies and state-of-the-art facilities, and the day’s intent, to dispel myths and outdated images, weren’t necessarily new, but that didn’t take anything away from the point that needs to be hammered home: Manufacturing is now and always.

William Ng, Editor-in-Chief



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