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Hats off to the makers

October is Manufacturing Month in Wisconsin. It’s a celebration and recognition of all things manufacturing and is designed to inspire the next generation of manufacturers.

And Wisconsin manufacturers certainly have a lot to celebrate.

The manufacturing sector, its roots running deep in Wisconsin, drives economic growth for the state. For every $1 spent in manufacturing, another $1.81 is added to the economy, the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector.

Manufacturing also has a dramatic impact on employment in the state:

  • Nearly 10,000 manufacturers employ more than 450,000 workers
  • Wisconsin’s manufacturing concentration is 87 percent higher than the national average
  • Manufacturing workers, on average, earn $10,000 more and tend to have better benefits than other private sector workers
  • Wisconsin ranks second in the nation, trailing only Indiana, for the percentage of the workforce (16.4 percent) employed in manufacturing
  • The industrial machinery sector ranks first in the state for manufacturing jobs, followed by food processing

With an expanding economy, the continuing mass retirement of baby boomers and the re-shoring of manufacturing work that had been shipped to Mexico, China and other foreign markets, job opportunities will continue to abound in manufacturing and provide a highly viable career option. In addition to advancing the state’s economy, it is a robust and dynamic industry, driving the creation of family-supporting jobs and inspiring innovation.

Manufacturing Month draws attention to the challenging and rewarding careers that manufacturing offers. It also provides manufacturers the opportunity to shed the outdated stigma of providing a dirty and dangerous work environment.

Wisconsin manufacturers have been hosting visits, tours and other events for students, parents, teachers, guidance counselors and other members of the community. Those taking tours of plants during Manufacturing Month have come to the quick realization that a large portion of today’s manufacturers offer high-skill, advanced manufacturing jobs in a clean, high-tech environment, shattering those outdated images.

Manufacturing is critical to who we are, and Manufacturing Month allows an up-close look at all the sector has to offer. But the celebration of manufacturing shouldn’t end when the calendar flips to November. Let’s make it a year-round endeavor.

The WMEP is proud to sponsor, participate in and promote manufacturing events throughout the state in October. The organization has a long history of creating opportunities for small and mid-size manufacturers.

 

For more information on the WMEP’s program offerings, go to www.wmep.org

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Tim Wiora is executive director and CEO of the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a private, nonprofit organization committed to the success of Wisconsin manufacturers. Tim previously worked as a senior administrative program specialist for UW-Madison and served as a senior manager and practice lead at Scientific Commercialization in Madison. Raised in New Lisbon, Wis., Tim graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a deg

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