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An open letter to Apple: Manufacturing thanks you

Dear Tim Cook,
On behalf of SME, thank you. Thank you for standing up for manufacturing. Thank you for investing your financial strength in the manufacturing industry that truly drives local, national and global economies. We applaud you and have the utmost gratitude and support toward Apple’s commitment. At SME, our vision is an inspired, educated, and prosperous manufacturing community; our mission is to promote manufacturing technology and develop a skilled workforce; and our purpose is to advance manufacturing and attract future generations.

As you referenced in a recent interview, manufacturing plays an even greater role than the $2.18 trillion that it contributed to the U.S. economy in 2016. For every $1 spent in manufacturing, an additional $1.81 is added to the economy, because of additional jobs it creates. The manufacturing industry alone would be the 9th largest economy in the world; directly supporting 12.3 million workers, getting it right matters.

The challenge: currently, there are 600,000 manufacturing jobs unfilled in America because people lack the job skills needed to perform in these positions, baby boomers are retiring (also known as the “silver tsunami”) and tools and technologies are advancing manufacturing. Manufacturers face a drought of skills in areas such as machining, welding, mechatronics, CNC programming, engineering, robotics and automation.

Our challenge – and opportunity!

  1. Rapidly advancing technologies mandate that we attract and equip students going into manufacturing fields with a solid education in math and science, as well as analytical and problem-solving skills.
  2. Help students become aware of the broad range of available, interesting, rewarding careers. And, we must show them – with parents, educators and counselors – how to connect their interests and skills to an educational pathway.
  3. Manufacturing pays. In 2015, the average manufacturing worker in the United States earned $81,289 annually, including pay and benefits. Compare that to the average worker in all non-farm industries, which earned $63,830. Manufacturing sustains families and economies.

And, please be assured that our organization, our members, our customers and our network of educators, students and professionals are behind you every step of the way.

Your advocate in support of advanced manufacturing,
Jeff Krause

About Jeff Krause:
Jeff Krause is the CEO and executive director of SME, a nonprofit manufacturing association. He is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organization, while leading day-to-day operations and working closely with customers and stakeholders to enable growth.