Manufacturing Misconceptions

A new survey has determined that Americans have negative misconceptions of manufacturing.

1. They think that manufacturing is in decline. In fact, manufacturing jobs are on the rise, and manufacturers have trouble filling those jobs.

2. They think that factory jobs don’t pay well. In fact, manufacturing jobs average more than $20.00 per hour, with benefits much better than most U.S. jobs.

3. People think that manufacturing jobs are unsatisfying. In fact, the researchers found that Americans believe that “manufacturing jobs are repetitive, monotonous, underpaid, and involve working in decrepit, dirty factories.” In fact, they say, the typical American factory is now most like a space station. But with plenty of oxygen in the air.

This isn’t the news. The news is that people still have this impression, even though factories are changing. This mental image of manufacturing — that the jobs are going away and they’re bad jobs anyway — has been the standard mental image of American manufacturing for decades. Things have improved in the industry. So why aren’t people changing their minds?

Bad reputation

The problem with having this bad reputation is that, as mentioned above, manufacturers have trouble filling jobs. Finding skilled workers who want to work in manufacturing is a challenge. Many manufacturing jobs are hard work, they have less flexibility than a lot of jobs, and sometimes the machinery sets a challenging pace.

But it’s not the way it used to be.

Americans don’t know this. For one thing, factories are not public places. The general populace sees doctors, lawyers, teachers, waiters, and zookeepers at work, but not factory workers. Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory continue to be the mental image of factory work for many Americans because the “I Love Lucy” rerun is the only factory work they’ve actually seen.

Manufacturers working to improve their image and increase the number of workers competing for their jobs often focus on the engineering jobs and the more exciting high-skilled work. People working on the line get less attention. Yet their jobs are better paid, safer, and cleaner than jobs of this kind were in the past.

Your Rexroth motion control systems might have powered conveyor belts back when manufacturing employed armies of low-skilled workers. Now the same servos, drives, and controls power machines that save human workers from dangerous and dirty tasks. Keep that motion control technology in good condition for the factory of the future. Call us for field service, factory repair, or reman.

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Call (479) 422-0390 for immediate assistance

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