Year of Manufacturing will help position Iowa’s leading industry for even greater success

May 12, 2017 | Women in Manufacturing Emily Schettler, Iowa Association of Business and Industry,

For 114 years, the Iowa Association of Business and Industry and its predecessor, the Iowa Manufacturers Association, have served as the voice of Iowa’s manufacturing industry. Over time, ABI has evolved and grown more diverse in its membership, but the organization remains committed to serving manufacturers and the more than 200,000 Iowans they employ.

That is one reason the Year of Manufacturing is such an important initiative for ABI. In April, ABI leaders joined Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds to formally kick off Iowa’s Year of Manufacturing, an initiative aimed at increasing the state’s manufacturing GDP to $32 billion from $29 billion over the next five years.

To do so, we should focus on three things: building a skilled workforce, promoting innovation and research and development, and improving global competitiveness.

ABI and its members are well-positioned to help turn this goal into a reality. Elevate Advanced Manufacturing has already made great strides in the effort to educate K-12 students, parents and educators on the great manufacturing careers available in Iowa. It has done this by bringing students and teachers into manufacturing facilities and introducing new curriculum in classrooms.

The Year of Manufacturing initiative brings even more resources, including an online toolkit, educational opportunities for the manufacturing community and increased awareness of the resources available to assist Iowa manufacturers. 

ABI is proud to partner with the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS) at Iowa State University and the Iowa Economic Development Authority to help lead the effort. Watch for activities and other opportunities in your area of teh state soon.