ST. LOUIS — The National Association of Manufacturers ended the fourth-annual State of Manufacturing Tour in St. Louis, highlighting Missouri’s manufacturing industry and the future ahead.

During the visit, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons and Emerson Chairman and CEO and NAM Board Chair David Farr, an industry leader in championing workforce development, joined manufacturers, students, parents, employees and business and community leaders to discuss manufacturing’s confident future, the rewarding opportunities the industry offers and the urgent need to build a modern manufacturing workforce across the country.

“Innovation is changing the way our industry looks, but it doesn’t change what’s at our core: men and women who have lent their talents to build something bigger than themselves—people finding purpose in making things that matter,” said Timmons. “Manufacturing in America is a confident industry. We’re growing—and the American people want to see manufacturing in this country grow even stronger.”

“Missouri is home to the two largest advanced manufacturing sectors—aerospace and transportation equipment. And as the industry continues to become more innovative and technologically advanced, institutions like Ranken Technical College and manufacturers like Emerson are leading the charge—and leading by example—to ensure our future workforce is ready,” Timmons added, noting that over the next seven years, manufacturers will need to fill around 3.5 million jobs, according to Deloitte and the NAM’s Manufacturing Institute.

Timmons and Farr began the day at Ranken Technical College, where they toured the student learning facility and participated in a panel discussion with Emerson, Ranken leaders and nearly 200 students. Emerson has worked with Ranken to launch their Manufacturing Incubator and to help design a curriculum around Emerson’s technologies that will equip students with the skills needed for careers at Emerson and in the broader manufacturing industry. Emerson is also providing $1.75 million over five years to help support scholarships for students at Ranken.

Panelists at the day’s event discussed the future of manufacturing, the wide range of opportunities the industry has to offer and the importance of skills training. Timmons ended the tour with a toast to manufacturing at the Anheuser-Busch Biergarten.

“Leaders in Washington are showing a great commitment to manufacturing, and the industry is responding,” said Farr. “Confidence among manufacturers has risen to historic highs, especially as workers and companies of all sizes see the benefits of tax reform. As more jobs are created and the industry expands, schools like Ranken are essential to meeting our workforce needs. Emerson has been proud to partner with Ranken and to support and invest in our local community. We recognize that responding to this generational workforce challenge demands leadership, not only from educational and government institutions but also—and perhaps most importantly—from the industry itself.”

For the past four years, the annual NAM State of Manufacturing Tour has focused the nation’s attention on the industry that is the backbone of the American economy, highlighting the more than 12 million men and women who are building our future. The tour has traveled the country, bringing policy discussions and conversations about the future of work to shop floors, schools, economic clubs, television studios, the White House and more. At a time when the future of work is top of mind for workers and thought leaders alike, this year’s tour spotlighted the industry’s rapid transformation, while also focusing on manufacturing’s well-paying careers, the industry’s diverse workforce and the real-world solutions for manufacturing’s continued growth.

“We’re thrilled to have the NAM conclude their fourth-annual State of Manufacturing Tour at Anheuser-Busch,” said Anheuser-Busch St. Louis General Manager Jim Bicklein.;“Brewers are manufacturers, too, and we’re proud to call the NAM a partner. Cheers to the NAM on a successful 2018 State of Manufacturing Tour!”

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