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How to Revitalize U.S. Manufacturing

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How to Revitalize U.S. Manufacturing Nine policies that could spark new growth in factory jobs and the economic benefits they bring By Bob Tita June 7, 2016 10:05 p.m. ET   After a long decline, manufacturing is returning to the U.S. Now it may be time for U.S. policy makers to give it an extra boost.   The U.S. shed 5.7 million manufacturing jobs from 2000 to 2010—more than a third of the manufacturing workforce—as companies abandoned plants and workers in favor of low-cost foreign countries. But in recent years, manufacturing employment has grown slightly as the auto industry rebounded and domestic plants became more cost-competitive with those of other countries where manufacturing expenses have escalated because of higher wages.   Now researchers, politicians and business leaders are coming forward with strategies to accelerate job gains and investment in manufacturing. Their ideas range from pruning regulations that raise the cost and effort of running a manufacturing operation to imposing a value-added tax on imports to beefing up training programs so companies have an easier time finding skilled workers.   Reviving the manufacturing sector won’t be easy—but, these advocates argue, it’s crucial. Manufacturing is one of the best generators of wealth for an economy, requiring processes, materials and work skills that create employment and profits at each step in an assembly. Countries that don’t make anything eventually start to lose their edge in research and product development.   “Manufacturing and design drive each other,” says Steven Schmid, an aerospace and mechanical engineering professor at the University of Notre Dame. “If you lose one, you’ll lose the other, too.”   The U.S.’s reliance on foreign-made goods provides a conduit for trillions of dollars to leave the country. The U.S. trade deficit—the difference between what is imported and what the U.S. exports—amounted to $500 billion, or about 3% of total U.S. GDP last year.   That money is used by foreign investors to purchase assets in the U.S., such as real estate or stocks, or to lend to Americans who are increasingly willing to become debt-saddled consumers. Left unchecked, the trade deficit will continue to soak up the country’s wealth and manufacturing know-how, with little more than IOUs to show for it.   Here’s a look at some of the proposed strategies for getting U.S. manufacturing back on track. Make exports more valuable   Under a plan promoted by investor Warren Buffett, companies that export goods from the U.S. would accumulate certificates equal to the value of their exports. But companies that wanted to import goods would have to purchase certificates from exporters.   The certificates, the thinking goes, would create two desired reactions. U.S. exporters, with a cash cushion from the sale of their certificates, could offer U.S.-made goods to foreign customers at lower prices, making them more competitive and shrinking the trade deficit over time. Meanwhile, foreign-made items imported into the U.S. would become more expensive to reflect the cost of import certificates, making U.S.-made goods more cost competitive with cheap imports.   As exports increase, though, more certificates would flow into the market, and their cost for importers would fall. The price could eventually slip to zero if a trade surplus was achieved.   The appeal of this approach: It’s a more decisive way to knock down the trade deficit than waiting for U.S. exports to become more desirable over time, perhaps from a weaker dollar. And unlike standard tariffs, which typically penalize a specific product from a particular country, the certificates provide a direct and immediate benefit to U.S. companies that export.   The downside, initially at least, is that Americans would face higher prices for imported consumer items. So, the plan would likely be a tough sell in Washington. Impose a value-added tax   A similar idea for lowering the trade deficit is imposing a value-added tax. The tax, which is used by more than 130 countries, is applied to each step along a production chain as a product or material increases in value or is consumed. How does this help domestic... Read More

CNC Jobs Are In Demand In Michigan

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According to reports for 2013, CNC Machinists and operators are on the list of top ten jobs that are in demand for skilled trades workers in Michigan. This is reflective of a nationwide trend that reveals that manufacturers in the States desperately need many different types of skilled trades workers, including machinists. A great many high schools have discontinued their shop classes — even as extracurricular options for their students — resulting in a dwindling stream of new trades workers in recent years. There was a drastic drop in manufacturing in 2008 as a result of the poor economy, but demand for skilled trades workers like CNC machining with experience in manufacturing is on the rise. After all, a thriving manufacturing industry is the engine that helps keep a healthy economy going, regardless of the country. For those unfamiliar with advanced manufacturing techniques, CNC is the method of taking raw materials like steel, aluminum and brass and crafting them into a product like a screw, bolt or stud. The machine itself is controlled by a computer that has been programmed to craft items to match the exact specifications of each individual project and client. Most advanced manufacturing businesses utilize some kind of CNC machine system due to their versatility. However advanced and useful these machines might be, they’re useless without someone who knows how to make the machine work. As with most professions, the more you know, the further you can progress in your field. For CNC operators and programmers, that translates into being life-long students. If an entry-level CNC operator is willing to devote the time and continue their education through on-the-job training, apprenticeship, or taking additional classes, they can make a decent living and never have trouble finding a CNC job. Technology is constantly evolving and improving, so CNC operators should be willing to learn as much about the new technology as they can. Shops and businesses are always looking for experienced CNC operators and CNC jobs are often waiting for them when their training is complete. Every shop is different, and it’s important to find the right company and the right CNC machinist to work with that company. It’s also essential for students fresh out of machinist training to go to local manufacturing shops, to see first hand what CNC machining jobs are like and what they entail. A student doing well in CNC manufacturing training will have all the essential skills that an employer is looking for in a CNC operator. The Michigan Works training program, for instance, provides students with a strong foundation in manual machining as well as important entry-level skills in CNC technology. Why choose Diversified Industrial Staffing to help you find your next job? Our unique approach is all about you. Rather than taking a job description and trying to fill it, we market you and your skills to the best employers. Regardless if you are a Machinist, CNC Machinist, CNC Programmer or other highly skilled industrial worker, Diversified Industrial Staffing can help match you to the right opportunity in the right location quicker and more accurately than anyone... Read More

The States That Pay CNC Machinists The Most

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates the median salary for machinists and tool and die makers – a category which includes Computer Numerical Control Machinists (CNC) – at about $19.19 an hour, or $39,910 a year. Some states, like the ones listed below, pay even more. Sometimes they can pay as much as $47,000 a year, depending on demand. This is a position that will experience an estimated 7% growth between 2010 and 2020, adding upwards of 29,900 machinists to the workforce in that time. In this list, you’ll find the states that offer the highest salaries for CNC Machinist jobs. We gathered the salary information from real-world CNC Machinist job listings, along with the pay being offered for those particular jobs. We’ve referred to several sources to collect this information, including many of the more common job listing sites, including SimplyHired, PayScale, Glassdoor.com, and Indeed. We’ve based these results on salary information that’s been extracted from millions of job listings from a multitude of sources over the last year. More often than not, job descriptions will not include salary information, but there are enough listings to calculate the median salary results for any number of industries and keywords. The number one state for CNC Machinists based on pay: Sharing the number one spot are Mississippi and New York, where the average salary for a CNC Machinist is $22.60 an hour, which means a salary of $47,000 a year. The average salary for machinists in these two states is 16% higher than the average salary for CNC Machinists nationwide. #2 Massachusetts and Washington DC share second place, offering CNC Machinists a salary of $22.12 an hour, or $46,000 a year. The average salary for CNC Machine Operator jobs in these two states is 14% higher than the average salary for CNC Machinists nationwide. #3 In third position, we have three states: California, Georgia, and Connecticut. All three of these states offer CNC Machinists an average salary of $21.15 an hour, or $44,000 a year. The average salary for CNC Machinists in these states is 10% higher than the average salary for machinists nationwide. #4 In fourth place is the state of New Jersey. New Jersey offers its CNC Machinists an average salary of $20.67 an hour, or $43,000 a year. The average salary for CNC Machinist jobs in these states is 6% higher than the average salary for machinists nationwide. Honorable mentions: We’re also including three U.S. territories as honorable mentions for this list. These territories offer salaries that are on par with the U.S. states on the list, however, they would only be a consideration for any machinists who are comfortable with the idea of relocating outside of the U.S. U.S. Territories: In first place for the U.S. Territories is the Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands offers machinists an average salary of $22.12 an hour, or $46,000 a year. This salary is on par with that of Massachusetts and Washington DC. The average machinist’s salary in the Virgin Islands is 15% higher than the average salary for machinists nationwide. In second place is the territory of American Samoa, which offers its machinists a salary of $20.67 an hour, or $43,000 a year. This salary is on par with that of New Jersey. The average machinist’s salary in American Samoa is 8% higher than the average salary for machinists nationwide. In third place for the U.S. territories is Puerto Rico, which boasts a salary of $19.71 an hour, or $41,000 a year. This salary is on par with that of Montana and Alabama. Although those two states didn’t make the list for highest-paying machinist jobs in the nation, Puerto Rico was included on this list as one of the highest-paying machinist jobs available in the U.S. territories. The average machinist’s salary in Puerto Rico is 1% higher than the average salary for machinists nationwide. Why choose Diversified Industrial Staffing to help you find your next job? Our unique approach is all about you. Rather than taking a job description and trying to fill it,... Read More

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