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  • Writer's pictureBDS

Manufacturing Now: U.S. and Ohio Manufacturing Postured for Growth

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

A few weeks back I came across an article by Ryan Augsberger, who is the President of the Ohio Manufacturers'' Association (OMA). In it, he highlighted how Ohio is positioned to lead a new golden age for U.S. manufacturing which resonated as that is part of our mission: advance U.S. manufacturing and do it from base center of Ohio. So, we couldn't agree more!

ohio manufacturing

He made a couple of great points in the article, referencing a bipartisan study by the Ronald Reagan Foundation that calls for a "manufacturing renaissance" to confront global competition. This study highlights a number of points but some of the most significant include workforce skills gaps, weak supply chains, and insufficient investment.

Augsberger goes on to highlight some of the great work the OMA and other organizations are doing to confront these challenges in Ohio, which is fantastic and needed in a collaborative effort from organizations and businesses. It was interesting to note that manufacturing provides "more in total wages than any other sector ($44 billion, at last check)." Ohio is also a Defense Manufacturing Community, which means it has access to federal funding to help with development, training and investment.

Today, the U.S. is a great option for domestic manufacturing as we have seen global supply chains get twisted up the last few years, and Ohio is a great place to produce. A couple key thoughts on reflection:

  • Reshoring is real and possible - and needed. We have seen what COVID-19 and other global factors have done to supply lines. This makes in region for region more practical today rather than just piece costs and volume alone as had been done the last few decades. Domestic options have to be on the table.

  • Workforce development is critical. The Reagan Foundation study highlighted the need to train more than 2 million workers by 2030 to stay ahead of competition, namely China. Ohio has been active in driving workforce development but we need to do more. We talked about the importance of team members in this post. Our people and their skill will still be the differentiator, not technology or methods alone.

  • The caveat to the above - investment will be needed in technology and equipment to stay competitive. Automation, precision machinery, and infrastructure will be needed along with the skilled workforce to support it. It will have to be in concert with lean concepts to drive maximum productivity.

  • Focusing on solutions to challenges will be key and being flexible. If the pandemic taught us anything, it is that anything can happen and being agile and prepared for solutions is key. The world has changed in the last 24 months perhaps more so than any recent time in history.

As Augsberger notes, "manufacturing is part of Ohio's DNA." We agree and feel we are at a time of rapid change with many challenges but also great opportunity in American manufacturing. Seeing the challenges as opportunities will help us focus on the path ahead, which is re-establishing America as the leading manufacturing economy in the world.


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