Since the end of the Great Recession, there have been encouraging signs that America’s manufacturing sector is experiencing a renaissance, albeit a muted one. In the aftermath of the Great Recession, and given that the manufacturing sector in the United States has been in a state of decline for a number of decades, a turnaround of this sector’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) is most encouraging. While growth in the nation’s manufacturing sector since the Great Recession remains a very positive development, it also thrusts another challenge to the forefront: creating an adequately trained workforce in the states to staff the increasingly complex positions involved in the 21st century manufacturing process.
Given that a highly trained workforce is a central aspect of a thriving manufacturing sector, states across the country, particularly in the South, have placed a great deal of emphasis on ensuring that their economic development strategies incorporate the workforce development needs of these different companies. This Regional Resource examines the measures taken by the SLC states to create a better trained workforce for the various manufacturing operations in their jurisdictions.