The Future of Manufacturing
Increasingly the manufacturing focus at the national and state level is on strengthening the economic competitiveness of the United States. Terms such as "reshoring," "additive manufacturing," and "twentieth-first-century workforce" are top of mind as businesses, government, and communities strategize how to put the US at the forefront of innovation and production. One proposed solution will engage students, parents, and school administrators in conversations about the modern manfucturing industry and the many available career paths. And already collaborative teams made up of government leaders, research and academic partners, advisors, and industry specialists are applying their collective muscle to the task of overhauling manufacturing for the future.
In Indiana County, manufacturing was an especially significant part of the economic development of the county in the past and it promises to be so in the future. The "Big Picture" for the County includes both building on existing businesses and encouraging new or innovative companies to perfect their practices here in order to stimulate the manufacturing sector of the county.
In 2012 a large defense industry consultant firm chose Indiana County for its new headquarters and intends to encourage companies to locate in the County as part of its plan to act as a kind of "incubator" for the manufacturing sector here. The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) works with the defense industry and its contractors to streamline processes, increase economy, and train the workforce in new technologies. Read more about NCDMM on their website.
About NAMII and AmericaMakes
In August 2012, the NCDMM was chosen to manage the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII), a pilot project for the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI). The NNMI is part of a larger initiative proposed by the Obama Administration in March of 2012 to improve innovation in American manufacturing.
Industry, universities and community colleges, federal agencies, and the states are now collaborating at approximately fifteen Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation located around the country. These institutes facilitate investment in technological improvements, connect research with product development, and provide the resources and environment to accelerate innovative methods and training in manufacturing. The NCDMM’s award was the first step in developing the pilot institute, that has served as a proof-of concept for the remaining NNMI Institutes.
On January 18, 2013, the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, and the Rockefeller Foundation released the second annual top ten list of the most innovative economic development initiatives across the country, including the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute of Youngstown. "Given that NAMII was only founded in August of last year, it is particularly rewarding to know that NAMII's efforts to promote entrepreneurialism within additive manufacturing ... have warranted such great recognition by the Brookings/Rockefeller Project," said Ralph Resnick, acting director for NAMII and president and executive director of the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining. Read more in the full NAMII article from the Youngstown Vindicator.
The NAMII project was officially renamed "AmericaMakes" in 2014 in order to better communicate its mission with regard to private industry and to push US innovation and creativity. AmericaMakes is a highly collaborative member organization at the forefront of development and innovation in the manufacaturing sector.