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Missouri Chamber highlighted during manufacturing workforce summit

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As part of the Missouri 2030 strategic plan, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry is taking a hands-on approach toward improving the state’s manufacturing workforce.

While many industries in Missouri face workforce problems, manufacturing has been particularly hard hit due to outdated, negative perceptions of the industry. To help combat this problem, the Missouri Chamber brought the Dream it. Do it. program to our state. Through Dream it. Do it., the Missouri Chamber has initiated several new strategies to educate students, teachers and parents about the good, high-tech careers available in manufacturing today.

The Missouri Chamber has an innovative approach to these programs in how it utilizes both a statewide voice and a network of local chambers of commerce to spread awareness and increase participation.

This approach was highlighted on May 24 during a national manufacturing workforce conference near Chicago hosted by the National Association of Manufacturers – Manufacturing Institute.

“Traditionally, the responsibility for organizing manufacturing workforce programs has fallen to local school districts, community colleges or even the manufacturers themselves. But here at the Missouri Chamber, we’ve developed a different model where we utilize the collective strength of the business community and local chambers of commerce to address this problem,” said Brian Crouse, Missouri Chamber vice president of education. “In our state, we’ve seen that the business community gets it, they understand that a strong manufacturing industry base leads to a strong economy for everyone. Improving the manufacturing workforce is something the entire business community should stand behind. We were excited to share our innovative model during the conference and we hope other states follow our lead by engaging the broader business community.”

The Missouri Chamber’s manufacturing workforce programs under Dream it. Do it. include the statewide Show-Me Manufacturing Video Contest, a manufacturing ambassador program, regional workshops that take school counselors inside local factories and support to local manufacturers for Manufacturing Day.

During the conference, the National Association of Manufacturers rolled out new data showing that these programs are working.

Over the last three years, the percentage of Americans who see manufacturing as high-tech has increased from 43 percent to 64 percent. More Americans now also believe that domestic factories can compete globally and that the manufacturing industry in the US will continue to grow.

 

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