It won’t come as a shock to the  PlasticsToday audience that the general public has an obsolete view of manufacturing, but a new survey commissioned by Proto Labs (Maple Plain, MN), the on-demand manufacturer of prototypes and low-volume production parts, gives us some fresh numbers to contemplate. Notably, the survey reports that almost three-quarters of Americans (71%) do not perceive manufacturing jobs to be high-tech occupations, and one-third do not believe that manufacturing jobs pay well. Those misperceptions are having a negative impact on industry at the worst possible time: Over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will need to be filled because of baby boomer retirements and U.S. economic expansion, according to the Manufacturing Institute, cited by Proto Labs in a news release. “An estimated two million of those jobs could go unfilled,” it adds.

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Manufacturing, News