For generations, the strength of our country has depended upon American factory workers. Manufacturing has been and remains a critical component of the structure of our economy. Global trade is based on goods, not services—and many services are dependent on manufactured goods. The manufacturing sector jobs staffed by millions of middle-class Americans result in a vast economic impact which ripples across the country. [SR1] Along with these jobs are a wide range of associated professions that are quite different from the usual image of manufacturing.
According to the Indiana Manufacturers Association, more than 50% of all employment in Indiana has some connection to manufacturing. Nationally, manufacturing jobs are on the rise. It is one of the most important sectors of the U.S. economy in terms of productivity and employment. Manufacturing fuels the economy by creating jobs and advancing technology. It is the engine that drives the culture of innovation and converts research into new products.
Employment in this industry is more than doing manual labor or working on an assembly line. While there is certainly routine labor that takes place in manufacturing plants, an enormous amount of collaboration and knowledge work is taking place there as well. In our Allison Transmission facilities, inventive people are developing ideas and methods to make our products better, faster and more economically.
Labor and innovation are just part of the manufacturing story. This industry also requires people. Employees are needed for a variety of roles in areas such as engineering, information technology, finance, human resources, legal, purchasing, sales, distribution, operations, facilities, communications and marketing. Getting from R&D, raw materials, production, assembly and selling to shipping the end product to the consumer is a complex process.
Allison Transmission manufactures propulsion solutions that help move America. Our employees are proud, knowing that the work they do every day makes a difference. Our systems fuel the agricultural industry, growing food for our families, and drive the energy sector to produce electricity powering our homes and businesses. Fire departments and emergency squads rely on our products to quickly get them where they’re needed. Because of our efforts, students arrive to and from school safely and soundly. Military personnel depend on our defense products in the most difficult of situations. Our entire manufacturing workforce—in the plant and in administration—comes together to make products that improve the lives of our customers around the world … and they are proud to do so.
That’s why manufacturing is important. It drives America.
Mary Anne M. Hoffman is vice president, human resources, at Allison Transmission.