According to a 2009 national survey, Americans believe that manufacturing is the most important industry for a strong national economy. Yet only 17 percent said their schools encourage manufacturing careers, and only 13 percent
said their own parents encouraged them to pursue a career in manufacturing.
With the U.S. manufacturing worker averaging 50 years old and some areas having difficulty finding skilled production workers, we need to prepare our workforce if we really want to maintain a healthy manufacturing base. Hickman County, Tennessee has a quality workforce including its share of production workers, but we must maintain the mindset that manufacturing is not going away. It is dynamic and will continue to require more technical skills and trainability from its workforce.