ABB will open more than 30 of its state-of-the-art facilities across the United States to the public this week in celebration of Manufacturing Day — an annual event that showcases modern, digitally driven manufacturing as an engine of the nation’s economic growth and a creator of vital jobs in America.
Manufacturing Day, on Oct. 5 this year, is supported by thousands of manufacturers around the country. The celebration provides opportunities for students, teachers, parents, job seekers and other community members to attend open houses, plant tours and presentations designed to demonstrate advanced industrial technologies in modern factories, which can offer rewarding skilled jobs to future workers.
“Today’s high school students are tomorrow’s highly trained workforce,” said Greg Scheu, ABB Americas Region President and U.S. Managing Director. “Manufacturing Day provides a unique opportunity for us to show what modern manufacturing looks like today and where it is headed. By observing our operations firsthand, students will see for themselves that a career in manufacturing and automation is a great way to make a difference in the world.”
The Manufacturing Institute, the social impact arm of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), views the annual event as a good way to help the American public recognize that today’s manufacturing is one of the bright spots in the U.S. economy.
“Our Manufacturing Day initiative provides so many great opportunities to show young people the endless possibilities of modern manufacturing and, thanks to ABB, I’m confident we’ll be able to inspire even more to picture themselves in an exciting new manufacturing career. That has never been more important,” said Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee.
Recent years have seen a resurgence in U.S. manufacturing, which is now a major source of American exports. Robotics and ‘‘smart factory“ technologies pioneered by ABB now handle many of the highly repetitive and physically dangerous tasks of factory work, while requiring ever more skilled human workers to oversee the automated machines and computer networks that connect them.
Today‘s automation — a collaboration of people and machines — can make manufacturing work more fulfilling for workers than ever before. And amid growing global concerns about the climatic impact of energy-intensive factories, modern manufacturing is increasingly focused on environmentally sustainable, scientifically based production methods. That includes reducing the need for long-distance transportation of goods after they’re manufactured.
All of these trends are why more and more manufacturing jobs are returning to the U.S. — to put more of the finished products closer to the customers in one of the world’s biggest markets and to take advantage of an educated, productive workforce.
In fact, demand for those workers is now so high that one of the challenges is ensuring that the manufacturing workers of today and tomorrow have the education and skills to fill these rewarding jobs. A major purpose of Manufacturing Day is to engage companies, local communities and schools and higher-education institutions in a public-private partnership to provide those skills.
For ABB’s part, interested students and prospective employees can join the company at one of its 30 participating locations for plant tours, presentations and Q&A sessions. For a complete list of the events and schedules, please go to https://www.mfgday.com/events.
“The good jobs are waiting,” ABB’s Scheu said. “It’s in everyone’s interest to make sure we have the human talent to fill those jobs.”
As a global leader in electrification, robotics and industrial automation technologies, ABB employs 147,000 people worldwide — 24,000 of them in the United States. The company has invested more than $14 billion in the U.S. since 2010, resulting in b65 next-generation US manufacturing facilities and R&D centers.
Those sites are leading the country’s industrial transition from old-line manufacturing to smart factories connected by ABB Ability — an advanced platform of digital solutions that streamlines complex processes and enables wired and wireless network monitoring of all the operations of modern manufacturing. By seamlessly integrating with existing equipment, ABB Ability? delivers data insights to enable and optimize automation without replacing existing components.
For its innovative technologies, ABB was recently ranked No. 8 globally on Fortune magazine’s list of “Change the World” companies. To continue that culture of innovation, ABB promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education programs and supports preparing the future workforce to succeed in modern manufacturing environment. In addition to supporting Manufacturing day, ABB’s commitment includes career fair participation and partnerships in K-12 and higher education programs.
ABB is also a sponsor of FIRST, the world’s leading youth-serving nonprofit organization supporting STEM education. FIRST programs inspire innovation and leadership through engaging, hands-on robotics challenges developed to ignite curiosity and passion among students in grade K-12.