Opinion: Manufacturing has a home in Michigan
Manufacturing has been a staple in Michigan and its economy for decades. From putting the world on wheels, to creating revolutionary medical technology that has saved the lives of many – manufacturing is deeply engrained in our heritage.
But to continue that prestigious legacy of being home to the manufacturing industry, it takes a new generation of leaders to continue the innovation. Young professionals ready to try something new. A generation unafraid to join a professional trades career.
Creating more than 185,000 manufacturing jobs in the last nine years alone, the industry that employs more than 600,000 Michiganders is growing. It’s healthy; It’s stronger than ever before.
But misperceptions still stand between our young people and the rewarding and great-paying careers in the industry that keeps our state moving.
The state’s Going PRO in Michigan campaign is one way the Comeback State is leading the charge to change that. It seeks to address misperceptions on professional trades careers – including those in the manufacturing industry – and increase awareness of these great careers with a livable wage. And with a fresh website and easy-to-find information and stories of Michiganders in these great careers, Going PRO in Michigan is challenging the dated way of thinking. These are not the dirty and monotonous jobs of the past. These are high-tech, high-demand and high-wage careers that provide a sustainable lifestyle for all.
This week has been proclaimed by the governor as Manufacturing Week in Michigan, coinciding with National Manufacturing Day on Friday. This week is an opportunity to change the conversation and show Michiganders how the great-paying, high-demand and abundant career opportunities in the high-tech manufacturing industry have changed for the better. By celebrating this week, we are providing more opportunities for manufacturing companies to open their doors to students, educators and counselors so they can experience and learn about the industry that continues to move Michigan forward.
This week alone, more than 200 events are planned across the state to help students learn more about manufacturing careers and the pathways to them. They also provide an inside look at the new reality for the 21st century manufacturing facility.
As we celebrate the $93 billion industry that calls Michigan home, it’s important we celebrate the state’s rich manufacturing history and ensure it remains a staple in Michigan’s bright future with a talent pool ready to fill its hundreds of thousands of good jobs to continue the revolutionary inventions that improve our state and the world.
To learn more about manufacturing week in Michigan, visit www.going-pro.com/mfgweek.
Brian Calley is the lieutenant governor of Michigan.