Article

Filling the Void

Bringing Sexy Back to Manufacturing

By Gaylen Webb

September 9, 2013

In phase one, the group brought together a steering committee of about 18 manufacturing executives who outlined the opportunities and the impediments within Utah’s manufacturing industry. Three priority issues came out of that steering committee, says Bingham.

First is the need for improved and continual workforce development—not only improving and tweaking the programs universities and colleges use to train individuals, but also encouraging more youth to go into fields needed by the manufacturing industry.

Second is tax policy. “We are looking at things legislatively that will help Utah continue to be the state where companies want to do business—not just those that are looking to relocate here but those that have been in Utah a long time and want to operate in a strong business climate,” Bingham says.

Third is the recognition that Utah’s manufacturing industry does, indeed, have a perception or image problem. Bingham says the industry has to convey to today’s youth that the manufacturing industry needs them, that manufacturing is essential to our quality of life, and that nearly everything around us is manufactured.

“There is a demographic of students out there in our high schools that don’t want to get four-year degrees, but love to work with their hands and love to be inventive and creative. We in our industry have jobs for those kids and we want to put them to work,” he says. “If the youth of today were able to go into some of our manufacturing facilities and see what is produced there, they would be amazed by products that they never realized are manufactured in Utah. This is not your grandfather’s manufacturing industry. It is a highly advanced industry that provides a lot of opportunities, and it is time to change our image.”  

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