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Bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States from overseas makes sense for any products, commodities, and other materials considered essential to our national defense, social wellbeing, and economic survival. As I had stated in a previous article (link below), according to the Reshoring Initiative (reshorenow.org), over 1,800 companies employing 224,000 people are projected for U.S. reshoring and foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2021. Plus, 80% of the projected jobs involve high- and medium-high technology, outpacing those involving low- and medium-low-technology.

Click Here To Read The Referenced Oct. 10, 2021, Article
“New Levels Of Automation Should Drive Early Equipment Management”

Let’s look at states where a high percentage of jobs have been/are being reshored. With the addition of Texas, half of them are in the Southeast and on major transportation corridors. What’s significant about this region when it comes to reshoring and FDI in manufacturing should be an eye-opener for any state recruiting such businesses. And for RAM pros everywhere. (More on that later.)

States in the cited region are home to numerous “Work Ready Communities” (workreadycommunities.org). They’re also quite aggressive with incentives for recruited companies. Consider four of these states:

1.  North Carolina saw the most reshored and FDI companies (68), in the first half of 2021 (with an average of 83 jobs per company). What’s also interesting is the fact that 6% of the state’s population is enrolled in Career Technical Programs (CTE) in high school and community colleges/technical schools.

2.  Texas is similar to North Carolina, with 6% of its population enrolled in CTE programs. It recruited 39 reshored and FDI businesses to the state in the first half of 2021 (with an average of 89 jobs per company.)

3.  Tennessee reflected a somewhat different trend with 49 reshored and FDI companies in the first half of 2021 (with an average of 206 jobs per company). Note: Although only 3% of Tennessee’s population is enrolled in CTE programs, the size of recruited companies typically indicates a commitment to training a local workforce with the state’s assistance.

4.  Alabama recruited 12 reshored and FDI companies to the state in the first half of 2021 (with an average of 436 jobs per company). Boasting one of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S. (3.3% in June 2021), Alabama has over 4% of its population enrolled in CTE programs.

BTW: The top five (on the top-10 list of) reshored and FDI industries and their number of projected U.S. jobs in 2021 are: transportation equipment (54,972 jobs); chemicals (37,233 jobs); computer & electronic products (36,635 jobs); medical equipment & supplies (28,086 jobs); and electrical equipment, appliances & components (13,762 jobs). The remainder of that list includes: machinery (14,002 jobs); primary metals products (5,632 jobs); food & beverage (5,589 jobs); fabricated metal products (1,762 jobs); and apparel & textiles (1,102 jobs).

As noted early in this newsletter column, these statistics on manufacturing-related reshoring and FDI should not just be of interest to states (including governors, legislators, economic developers, career- and technical-education programmers, and other entities). There are several good reasons why.

First, jobs really are coming back to the United States. Second, jobs tend to return to states with robust CTE programs and/or a strong commitment to technical-training infrastructure. Third, data is showing that recently reshored and FDI companies were not primarily large manufacturers, as many people had assumed. Smaller, entrepreneurial or boutique manufacturers are also finding new homes in the USA.

Some of the best news, though, is that all these businesses rely on skilled workers for their high- and medium-high technology jobs. And that means they all need strong RAM professionals in their ranks.TRR

Bob Williamson is a long-time contributor to the “people-side” of the world-class-maintenance and manufacturing body of knowledge across dozens of industry types. His vast background in maintenance, machine and tool design, and teaching has positioned his work with over 500 companies and plants, facilities, and equipment-oriented organizations. Contact him directly at 512-800-6031 or bwilliamson@theramreview.com.

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