Total manufacturing employment has been declining. At the same time, manufacturing productivity has been increasing. Even in mature sectors of manufacturing, there are companies capable of producing high value added per worker.
I learned this lesson some years ago while doing and detailed analysis of the manufacturing sector in Rhode Island. During the 1950s and 1960s, the textile industry move out of New England and headed south. The companies that remained could compete in relatively high cost environment, primarily because they had developed a specialized niche with high value production.
One example I remember vividly was a lace manufacturer. Lace manufacturing machines required complex set ups and skilled operators. The company survived by combining production expertise with fast turnaround times.
posted by Ed Morrison |
Some Background on EDPro Weblog
The purpose of this weblog is to help economic development professionals -- EDPros -- keep up with the changes sweeping our profession. Strap on your goggles. It's a whole new game. There are no experts any more. The only place to learn about economic development is from other EDPros who are doing it.
One other point: the prevaling approach (paradigm, if you like) in economic development is shifting from competition to collaboration. There are a lot of reaasons underlying this shift, but here's the important insight: You, your community, and your region will do better by collaborating and sharing information.
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Speaking and workshops on Open Source Economic Development
As the idea of Open Source Economic Development starts spreading, more people are asking about it. Visit the I-Open web site to learn more. My colleagues and I are happy to explain the basic concepts in a talk or a workshop. E-mail Susan Alshuler if you'd like to learn more about workshops and speaking.
Background on Ed Morrison
Download some background information on me here.