Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ron Bloom's Manufacturing Strategy Promotes Innovation and Ingenuity

Written by Allison Way, writer and videographer for Think Big Partners.

In a recent study done by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, it was found that 78% of Americans believe that manufacturing is important to the nation’s economic prosperity. But just saying that manufacturing is important is an understatement. Manufacturing is vital to the development and sustainment of the U.S.’s high standard of living. In today’s economy, manufacturing’s presence has shrunken dramatically—from a gross domestic product of 30% in the 1950s to 11% in 2010. Because of this dramatic drop, manufacturing jobs dropped from 19.2 million to 11.6 million since 1980, when globalization was booming and free trade agreements were prevalent. Clearly, something needs to be done.

Ron Bloom has been appointed by Barack Obama to
solve today's manufacturing problem.
Ron Bloom, a Harvard M.B.A. with vast experience on Wall Street, within the United Steelworkers, and with the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler, has been appointed by Barack Obama to tackle America’s manufacturing problem. By invigorating the private sector initiatives in certain industries, applying a more restrictive approach on trade policy, and rewarding domestic production, manufacturing will, once again, provide research and development, well-paid jobs, and increasing exports for America.

Unwilling to accept manufacturing’s decline, Bloom is reworking various strategies. While workers call for a more expansive government role in manufacturing (like that of China, Germany or Japan), others believe that it is the government’s role to direct banks to lend to particular companies would suffice. Bloom, however, has a strategy of his own, different than that of the “China strategy".

In the long run, Rom Bloom is all about innovation. “I am deeply afraid that if you lose the ability to make things,” he said, “all the intellectual activity involved in innovation and design will over time erode as well.” With the implementation of a new manufacturing strategy that thoroughly analyzes the nation’s industrial base, small businesses, entrepreneurship, and innovation all have a better chance to increase.

In the New York Times, journalist Keith Bradsher notes that “The Obama administration, modest as it is, is nevertheless ‘huge’ in comparison with previous administrations, which generally accepted the proposition ‘that manufacturing’s decline was inevitable in a mature, service-oriented economy.’”

Innovation is what can turn this economy around. Barack Obama has stated, “We see a future where we invest in American innovation and American ingenuity; where we export more goods so we create more jobs here at home; where we make it easier to start a business or patent an invention; where we build a homegrown, clean energy industry – because I don’t want to see new solar panels or electric cars or advanced batteries manufactured in Europe or Asia. I want to see them made right here in America, by American workers.”

As entrepreneurs, we can only hope that manufacturing in America will grow so that we can launch our new small businesses and help to benefit today’s economy and the high standard of living. We can continue to hope that Ron Bloom’s manufacturing strategy will not only provide more entrepreneurial ventures with more achievement in the American Dream, but also that the 42,400 American factories that have closed down since 2001 will be up and running once again.

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