White House’s manufacturing policy guru acknowledges ALL manufacturing is advanced

By Taylor Garland

Manufacturing job loss is the top concern among voters, according to research conducted for the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM). On Wednesday, the third John White, Jr. Forum on Public Policy was hosted by the Brookings Institution and focused on the policies and possibilities of expanding manufacturing in the US.

Jason Miller, Special Assistant to the President for Manufacturing Policy at the White House, delivered the keynote address, emphasizing the importance and the broad scope of influence that the manufacturing industry has on the entire US economy. He advocated for research and innovation in all of manufacturing:

I actually don’t like the term ‘traditional manufacturing', because we generally think of advanced manufacturing as all of the manufacturing we do in the United States. All of this work operates as a part of a broader integrated system.

In a poll published earlier this year, AAM found that “favorability of American manufacturing drops 20 percent when the term ‘advanced’ is included.”  The consensus?  We need to focus on all of manufacturing.

Here at AAM, we’re also pretty excited about an announcement Miller made: A new manufacturing hub will be unveiled this fall. This fifth hub — focused on digital manufacturing and design — will join Chicago, Youngstown, Detroit, and most recently Raleigh as a part of President Obama’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation.

Said Miller:

We’ve seen an overwhelming amount of support around the country, we’ve seen bipartisan support in Congress and enormous demand from industry. This work is still in early stages, but we’re proud of what’s been accomplished, but we recognize that this will be a big team effort and a big effort to make it last, to make it successful going forward.

There’s still plenty of room for progress. Manufacturing hubs are a good idea for America’s future industrial competitiveness, but as the last jobs report shows, we’ll need more than a few manufacturing hubs. We need strong public policy like infrastructure investment to seriously grow manufacturing employment.

You can watch the event online, and join the conversation at #USmfg on Twitter.

This post was written by AAM intern Lauren Pak.