In 2015 Alabama experienced game-changing developments in important industry sectors, including aerospace, technology, automotive and advanced manufacturing. From Airbus launching aircraft assembly in Mobile to Google selecting Jackson County for a major data center project, it’s been a massive year for Alabama and its economic development team. Check out a short video that captures the significance of these developments.

Perceptions of Detroit leave the city with a bad reputation but according to a new study, Wayne County is number 1 in the country for manufacturing job growth. California, Indiana, North Carolina, and Missouri also had counties place in the top ten for manufacturing job growth.

Technology is improving at a rapid rate, but many people can't keep up. The pace at which technological progress is happening is too fast to create enough new opportunities for humans. This calls for better training and schooling to keep up with the advancement of technology.

Mayor Sherman Guyton says Gadsden is holding its own when it comes to job growth. A report by the economic research firm Headlight ranked Gadsden third in the "Fastest Growing Manufacturing Metros in 2014."

Employment is on the rise in sectors outside the farming industry. Construction, health care, manufacturing, computer systems design, engineering, and many other categories added thousands of jobs in January 2015.


The chart below provides details on specific industries. For a closer look by month, see the full article.

During the recession, many states' manufacturing employment faced steep job losses. Between January 2007 and mid-2009, Indiana lost more than 100,000 manufacturing jobs. In Michigan, nearly 125,000 manufacturing jobs were lost between January 2008 and January 2009 alone.


But today, many of these states have seen employment rebound. Michigan had the fastest manufacturing job growth in the nation from the end of 2009 to the end of 2011. And, in Indiana, manufacturing employment grew more than 3.5% a year from 2010-2012.


Overall, investments in manufacturing are having a positive impact on the economy.

Manufacturing accounted for 19.0% of Michigan's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2013.  Ranking as the 5th most significant U.S. state for manufacturing.

In 2013, Kentucky exported a state record of $25.3 billion in goods to approximately 200 countries. And over the past five years, Kentucky's manufacturing GDP has grown by more than a third, making up a significant portion of the state's growing export market.

According to a June 2014 report by J.P. Morgan Chase, Alabama's durable goods and non-durable goods manufacturing sectors account for a bigger share of the state's economy compared with the national average. One factor behind this above-average performance is Alabama's reviving motor vehicle industry. As a state, Alabama accounts for 6.2% of auto manufacturing employment within the U.S.

In 2013, manufacturing accounted for 17.3% of South Carolina's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), making it the state's largest industry, with durable goods contributing $17.9 billion and non-durable goods contributing $13.8 billion. Overall, the state's GDP grew 3.4 percent from 2012 to 2013.

The largest sector of Ohio's economy was manufacturing, accounting for almost 17.7% of the state's total output in 2013. With production of $99.8 billion worth of goods, Ohio ranked 4th among America's overall manufacturing output.

From April 2010 to April 2014, three Michigan Metro areas -- Detroit, Warren, and Livonia -- added 46,100 manufacturing jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Following close behind on the list of top 20 manufacturing growth metros was Houston, Sugar Land, and Baytown, TX with the addition of 42,000 jobs.


The number one metro area in terms of manufacturing jobs added during this period was Detroit (25%); making a strong case that manufacturing does have a future in this region.

From February 2010 through April 2014 the states that topped the list of manufacturing jobs added were Michigan (96,800), Texas (73,00), Indiana (63,500), Ohio (58,000), and Wisconsin (42,600).

Detroit's entrepreneurs go beyond growing their business; they want to rebuild and grow their city.  Some educated in other states and some locally, all have used their technical education to build new businesses at home.

87% of job gains in manufacturing relate to: transportation equipment, fabricated metal products, and machinery.

With a 38% output growth since the end of the recession, the manufacturing industry has a bright future led by new innovations.

The manufacturing job sector has added 646,000 jobs, and manufacturers are actively recruiting to fill another 243,000 positions.  More than half of the jobs added were in five states: Michigan, Texas, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The “New Virginia Economy Workforce Initiative” is a plan to better train workers for skilled jobs. It focuses on “middle-skills jobs,” which require some training past high school but not necessarily a four-year degree, and are most in demand in Virginia and elsewhere.


Virginia's Governor Terry McAuliffe, who likes to call himself the state’s “chief jobs creation officer,” wants workers to earn "credentials, licenses, apprenticeships and associate degrees" that translate directly to jobs.


Andy Van Kleunen, executive director of the nonprofit National Skills Coalition agrees, "It's a smart way to target investments and skills, and it's going to get more people to jobs more quickly."

Re-shoring jobs to the U.S. are a result of our skills and productivity, innovation, energy, and access to markets. Harnessing programs such as SelectUSA will continue to strengthen our economy, create high-paying U.S. jobs, and assist job growth in competitive U.S. industries.

Programs like SelectUSA are driving investment into U.S. labor capital through reshoring and investment by foreign owned companies.  According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics & Statistics Administration, the U.S. workforce is 30% more productive than Germany's and twice as productive as South Korea's.

In the United States 646,000 manufacturing jobs were created from February 2010 until May 2014. At the same time, manufacturers began increasing workers' hours and boosting their payrolls. With the number of manufacturing plants increasing for the first time in over ten years, these job gains and the need for highly-skilled workers to fill them will continue.

"Aligning Education with Employer Needs"

Multi-State Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (M-SAMC)

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*AMTEC is supported entirely by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technology Education (ATE) Program Grant (0903193). (AMTEC,NSF ATE DUE-0903193)