Regarding the March 16 Business article “This is what a U.S. manufacturing job looks like”:
It’s disappointing to see one person’s experiences extrapolated to an entire industry, particularly when that industry continues to be frequently and unfairly portrayed as low-paying and low-skilled and affording little in the way of career growth. The reality is that manufacturing today is a high-tech industry that offers better average wages than many other employment sectors, with new hires in manufacturing continuing to earn an average of 38 percent more than their counterparts in non-manufacturing jobs. As one of the leading contributors to U.S. gross domestic product, manufacturing is invaluable to economic growth and was the leader in pulling us out of the Great Recession of 2009.
At present, U.S. manufacturing is facing a shortage of skilled workers, as its post-recession overhaul necessitated better global competitiveness and more automation in production facilities. The simple assembly line job is a thing of the past, and today’s manufacturing work requires critical thinking and computer skills.
While Chris Young’s experiences as a contract worker for Nissan do seem unfortunate, The Post would have done well to talk to other manufacturing workers who are more representative of what the industry looks like today.
Douglas K. Woods, McLean
The writer is president of the Association for Manufacturing Technology.