Tom Grasson, Associate Publisher /Editorial Director
Let's face it. The U.S. is the focal point of the world. Other countries are envious of our standard of living, and justifiably so. Anyone who does not believe the manufacturing sector of our economy is the No.1 reason for our success needs to take a history lesson.
This is why it is disheartening to hear so much doom and gloom about how U.S. manufacturing is dying. We at AMERICAN MACHINIST don't buy into this negativity, and we hope you feel the same. Unfortunately, we've experienced a slower recovery than expected, as have other countries. The reason is one we've all heard many times now: Today's manufacturers face a challenge unlike any they've faced before — true globalization.
This supplement is AMERICAN MACHINIST'S first bigpicture look at this challenge. But it won't be our last. In the pages that follow, we are setting a long-term agenda — a discussion guide of the big issues that need to be addressed for American manufacturers to compete with the upstarts of the world. We'll follow up with webcasts, supplements , and conferences that will expand on what we've started in these pages. Our goal is to spark better conversation, which is the first step to increasing competitiveness. It's a longterm commitment to the industry we've served for 128 years.
In setting our agenda for this initiative, we focus on four key areas: training the workforce of tomorrow, revising domestic policies that hinder competitiveness, leveling the international playing field, and using technology to boost productivity.
The pages that follow provide many stories from the battlefield. Manufacturers are certainly vocal about the problems they face. They're organizing and lobbying their local, state, and federal governments to lower taxes, lower trade barriers, save MEP programs, enact healthcare reform, pour money into training programs, and much, much more. Now, it's time to elevate the dialogue. We need the general public to understand that manufacturing is vital to the economic health of this country.
After you read this report, please share it with your friends and family. I hope it motivates you to write a letter to your Congressman, join a trade association's lobbying efforts, or find some other way to stand up and say "We're putting U.S. manufacturing back on track — and there's no stopping us."
As always, I'm interested in your comments and your stories from the front lines. You can e-mail me at [email protected]