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Youngstown 4.0.: How Innovation is Revitalizing Manufacturing in America's Heartland (VIDEO)

Posted by IndustryNet on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

RethinkingManufacturing

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, recently got in touch with us regarding a video they produced on how technology is revolutionizing manufacturing in small towns and cities across the U.S.

As compilers and publishers of U.S. manufacturing data since 1912, we are proud to publish this compelling look at how innovation is helping hard-hit towns recover their industrial sectors.

The video, which we’ll show at the end of this article, takes an intimate view of two young natives of Youngstown with deep ties to manufacturing, who brought new life back to its industrial sector--setting the course for new generations and Youngstown’s future.

Youngstown Then and Now

In the first in a series of posts on U.S. manufacturing, Zara Brunner, Communications Director of the Office of Advanced Manufacturing at NIST, takes us on a historical tour of fated Youngstown, Ohio–arguably the heart of U.S. steel manufacturing and a favorite destination of many a presidential candidate.

Brunner describes Youngstown as “like many other cities across America,” including her own town of Buffalo, New York, but that following a struggling economy and factory closures, the town is “still fighting to transform.”

A brief look back at Youngstown’s history reveals a turbulent economic past. “Black Monday in the Steel Valley” resulted in thousands of steel workers losing their jobs in Youngstown and other neighboring steel towns.

And although this happened in 1977, the region shed 40,000 jobs over the subsequent decade.

Yet Ms. Brunner notes in her article that Youngstown is showing signs of change. She writes “As I walked and drove through the now shrunken city, I saw encouraging developments. Amidst the boarded-up windows there were growing signs of strength and hope. New opportunities. New businesses. Innovative new technologies that were bringing a different, productive and energetic spirit to the town and inspiring young, educated people to stay, work and build a life right where their families had raised them.”

This glimmer of hope is also reflected in data collected by MNI. According to MNI’s historical data, the state of Ohio lost nearly 200,000 jobs during the Great Recession – one of the hardest-hit states.

But more recent data shows a steady revitalization in recent years as manufacturers began to embrace technology and worker training programs. Public/private partnerships blossomed, and the auto industry revived.

For an in-depth look at Ohio’s manufacturing job growth in the post-recession era, read our post: Ohio Manufacturing Job Growth Accelerates.

Trading Steel Mills for 3D Printers

NIST’s inspiring video follows the story of two young natives of Youngstown and their families. At a time when younger generations are fleeing the depressed economies of their hometowns, these two individuals brought new life to the city’s ailing manufacturing sector through the help of America Makes, the first of the nation’s 14 Manufacturing USA® institutes.

America Makes is an accelerator and collaborative partner for technology research and innovation in additive manufacturing and 3D printing. It is one of 14 manufacturing institutes located all throughout the U.S. that focus on innovative manufacturing processes, revolutionizing all types of industries, from biopharmaceuticals to textiles to electronics. You can read more about America Makes here.

Brunner concludes: “What we do now as a nation, as it relates to advanced manufacturing, has deep implications for future economic growth, energy efficiency, national security, and global competitiveness.

Likewise, it will lay the foundation for the future that we build for our children, communities like Youngstown, the state of Ohio, and indeed, our country.”

About NIST

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was founded in 1901 and is now part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST is one of the nation's oldest physical science laboratories.

Congress established the agency to remove a major challenge to U.S. industrial competitiveness at the time—a second-rate measurement infrastructure that lagged behind the capabilities of the United Kingdom, Germany, and other economic rivals.

From the smart electric power grid and electronic health records to atomic clocks, advanced nanomaterials, and computer chips, innumerable products and services rely in some way on technology, measurement, and standards provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Manufacturing USA® is a network of 14 manufacturing institutes. Each institute is a unique public-private partnership, jointly funded by government and private industry, focused on a different advanced manufacturing technology area but working toward the same goal: to secure America’s future through manufacturing innovation, education, and collaboration. Institutes connect member organizations, work on major research and development collaboration projects to solve industry’s toughest challenges, and train people on advanced manufacturing skills.

About MNI Industry Data

Established in 1912, MNI is the nation's largest and oldest compiler and publisher of U.S. manufacturing data. MNI's 85-person data research team collects and verifies detailed information on 400,000 U.S. manufacturers, providing comprehensive data for industrial sourcing and purchasing as well as industrial prospecting, sales, and business development. Learn more at https://www.mni.net

 

 

 

 

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