female manufacturer

2024 Heralds the Year of the Manufacturer

US manufacturing jobs have recovered faster since the COVID-19 pandemic than from any other recession in modern history.

Today, there are nearly 13 million US manufacturing jobs – a rebound and then some from the 11.41 million jobs the industry had in April 2020 after the pandemic started.

Against this backdrop, NJBIA has dubbed 2024 the Year of the Manufacturer to shine a brighter light on the industry’s successes and challenges, especially given new government initiatives to reshore manufacturing and strengthen supply chains.

The 2022 federal CHIPS Act is providing billions of dollars in incentives to make the US competitive in the production of semiconductors, which are the brains of modern electronics and vital to many industries including military systems, communications, computing, healthcare, transportation, clean energy, and more.

NJBIA and its partners, including the New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program and the National Association of Manufacturers, are working with federal and state policymakers to ensure the CHIPS Act leads to strong investment in domestic and New Jersey-based manufacturing, R&D, and STEM education.

New Jersey manufacturers produce a wide array of products, including critical components for the aerospace and defense industries. Growing New Jersey’s role in semiconductor manufacturing – and making it a leader in providing the intelligence for our nation’s security, electronics, household machines and automobiles – will also boost New Jersey’s economy and competitiveness.

The Year of the Manufacturer is also an opportunity to focus on challenges, such as the onslaught of government regulations undermining manufacturers’ ability to expand operations, hire new workers and boost wages. A recent NAM study found manufacturers spent $349 billion in 2022 complying with environmental, economic, tax, and occupational safety, health and homeland security regulations. That is a 26% increase from a decade ago.

Looking ahead, New Jersey will host the Conference of State Manufacturers Associations in July. COSMA, of which I am vice-chair, is a nationwide network of manufacturing partners that work with NAM to advance smart policies. This is an opportunity for New Jersey to shine at an event that drives manufacturers’ priorities on state issues and mobilizes action on federal policies.

In 2024, let’s get to work on leveraging incentives to grow New Jersey manufacturing and strengthen relationships between industry and educational institutions to build the skilled workforce needed to produce New Jersey-made products. Over the next 12 months, we will highlight some of our unique manufacturers in this magazine. Read about Switlik’s 103-year evolution on page 21 of our January 2024 issue.

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

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