Electrifying Manufacturing and Careers that Can Make a Difference

Linked In Post from Gerald Johnson-

One of the highlights of our calendar at General Motors is “National Manufacturing Day,” celebrated the first Friday in October, where we have the chance to share examples of exciting and rewarding manufacturing careers with students and stakeholders across the country. Of course, this is 2020, a year (hopefully) unlike any other. A year that has many of us thinking differently about the problems in the world and renewing our passion to be part of the solutions. And more than ever, I urge kids who care about their communities, innovation and the environment to see manufacturing as their chance to change the world and make a big difference.

What led me to this conclusion? I’ve seen it in practice this year, over and over – at GM, and around the country. In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, we put a team of engineers on a plane to Washington state, where in short order they worked out a manufacturing partnership with Ventec Life Systems to expand the production of their lifesaving critical-care ventilators by 100-fold – sourcing more than 400 parts from new suppliers, converting a GM facility in Indiana and shipping the first ventilators to Chicago-area hospitals in 30 days. Separately, a group of GM employee volunteers in Michigan developed a high-volume mask production facility from scratch, from which we have now donated over 6.5 million masks to frontline workers and organizations in need.

These teams worked tirelessly, during a time of great uncertainty for themselves and their families. Yet the feedback we consistently heard was that it was one of the most personal and rewarding projects they’d ever undertaken and renewed their passion for making a difference through engineering and manufacturing. I’m sure if you spoke with the teams across the pharmaceutical industry who are prepping now to manufacture a Covid-19 vaccine, they would say the same.

We also hear this sense of fulfillment from our teams who are working to engineer and manufacture electric vehicles, and to help GM reach the goal of a zero-emission, all-electric future. Our passion isn’t just to sell the best, or the most electric cars (although, to be clear, we intend to) – we are doing this because at our core we believe climate change is real. We’re not alone here – and among younger generations, concern about climate change is one of the most important societal issues on their radar. According to a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll, more than 7 in 10 teenagers and young adults say climate change will cause a moderate or great deal of harm to people in their generation.

Electrifying manufacturing – manufacturing electric vehicles at scale, and sustainably, is necessary to achieve real progress against climate change, as is integrating sustainability practices across the entire manufacturing sector. Whether it’s in developing and engineering products, like electric vehicles, or working on the renewable energy technologies that can better power our factories, kids and young adults who are passionate about making a difference on climate change will find these careers to be personally and professionally rewarding. And we need many, many more of them. According to Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, the manufacturing industry will need to hire 4.6 million workers between now and 2028.

Manufacturing isn’t what you may imagine from old images of manual assemblies or acres of smokestacks. It is often high-tech, STEM-focused, pays well, and it is growing – offering both challenges and stability. And that is why I challenge kids and young adults today, who are more energized than ever to make a difference: Think about the problem you want to solve, and if takes an innovation, creative thinking, a new or improved product or real scale to solve it, remember that manufacturing is what it takes to make your vision a reality.

Gerald Johnson Executive Vice President, Global Manufacturing

At General Motors, we’re celebrating National Manufacturing Day today by reflecting on our amazing team while also raising awareness about the rewarding careers available in hashtag#manufacturing. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturing has demonstrated its critical role in producing and delivering essential items needed. My hope is that students everywhere are able to see manufacturing roles as an opportunity to make a difference in the world. Our Electrifying Manufacturing Toolkit is an opportunity for people of all ages to get a behind-the-scenes look at manufacturing. To learn more visit: https://bit.ly/3laepI6 hashtag#MFGDay20

Mary Barra Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at General Motors

Wonderful piece, Gerald. I started my career on the manufacturing floor and might not be where I am today without that experience. Manufacturing has the ability to help support the greater good – as we saw through our efforts in producing ventilators and masks – and now as we create more hashtag#EVs. I join you and the General Motors team today in celebrating National Manufacturing Day. hashtag#MFG20

Source: Linked IN

proclamation issued by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Sept. 28 recognizes Michigan’s more than 11,000 unique manufacturing firms, which account for 626,000 jobs and $98.64 billion of total output annually.

“Michigan is home to hundreds of thousands of hardworking men and women who are dedicated to making the innovative products so many of us rely on every day,” Governor Whitmer said. “They were some of the first to go back on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of them creatively retooling their operations to provide critical PPE and other products to keep our state safe and healthy. I’m proud to recognize these dedicated Michiganders not only this week, but every week of the year.”

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