US remains most productive in the world

By Stan Jennings, - Superintendent - Scioto County Career Technical Center

Workforce is defined as the labor pool in employment, and as such “making things” are always among the most in-demand and required career path in any society. There are many areas that lend themselves to “making things”, but the manufacturing and construction trades have had a long standing relationship to the world of work. While trends for how things are made change and evolve-the outgoing product is a constant to the successes of quality of life in all citizenry.

The manufacturing industry creates NEW products directly from either raw materials or components. Generally these jobs are found in a factory, plant, or mill, or a home, as long as products, not services, are created. U.S. manufacturing workers are statistically the most productive in the world, much due to increased use of computers and robotics. And while paying premium wages for their work, 89% percent of manufacturers are leaving jobs unfilled. Manufacturing processes are changing, and so are the job skills that are needed. Two factors impact this: first, the demand for manufactured products is growing from emerging markets, and second emerging trends. Six of these include: nanotechnology, lightweight steel, aluminum, and carbon fibers are making cars lighter and more fuel-efficient, bio-engineering creates more customized pharmaceuticals, 3D printing creates prototypes by combining small particles rather than by casting or stamping, robotics and big data is being used to analyze trends and guide product development.

Construction is not considered manufacturing. New home builders are construction companies that build single-family homes. New home construction and the commercial construction industry are significant portions to the economy. The construction industry is always changing and evolving. Every year new trends appear with many making construction work easier and more efficient, so if you aren’t aware of them, you may find it hard to keep up with your competitors. While it can be difficult to know which trends will be more popular than others, there are a few important trends already starting to emerge. Here are seven major trends that will impact the construction industry over the next year. These include: more technological integration, increase in prefabrication and modular construction projects, additional focus on sustainability, improved safety procedures, rise in the popularity of project management software, slow growth, and rising material costs.

Manufacturing and Construction are central to service fields of employment and required to make any economy move forward. While many jobs in these markets pay above average wages, the workers in the fields are changing and their knowledge evolving to meet today’s needs.

By Stan Jennings,


Scioto County Career Technical Center