Manufacturing continues to be on the rise in the U.S. This is especially true in Alabama, which is seeing growth at nine times the rate of other states of the union, according to Yellow Hammer News.
In general, the secret behind the industry's expansion and return to the U.S. is mostly in the changes happening to the sector itself. Jobs are becoming more technical, and computers and robotics have taken over occupations previously handled by people. Those who want to succeed in the industry now must be proficient in a number of areas having to do with technological literacy and the ability to quickly adapt to new tools as they become available.
Another area where manufacturing has begun to excel is in the supply chains that are forming around the factories in the U.S., according to Industry Week. Companies have begun moving back from foreign countries and returning to the states due to convenience and because the price of production isn't much higher when shipping costs are factored in.
One of the reasons prices became so low is that the cost for energy has reduced because of hydraulic fracturing, which has sent out a huge supply of oil and natural gas that companies can use to fuel their engines and power plants.
The lower expenses and better supply chains contribute to the move away from China back to the U.S. according to CCTV America.
"There is a good trend now because the cost advantage in China and other Asian countries is no longer as significant as before," said David Wang, a U.S. candle manufacturer.
Major manufacturing advances in Alabama
One state that has benefited majorly from this influx of manufacturing, which has led to more jobs for people with sufficient talent and expertise, is Alabama. The state has become an expert in the metal and plastic manufacturing businesses.
"Metal and plastic machine workers set up and operate machines that cut, shape, and form metal and plastic materials or pieces," according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cited by Yellow Hammer News.
These workers described above require certifications, but they make good money. Most people in the manufacturing business earn enough to support themselves with a high quality of life, comparable to many people who graduated from college.
Other manufacturing jobs in Alabama include using textile machines and working in the tire building industry.
"Alabama is ideally situated in the center of the Southeast auto corridor for new auto industry projects and expansions, particularly suppliers," said Greg Canfield, Alabama's Secretary of Commerce.
Whether other states will follow suit and become major players in the manufacturing industry remains to be seen. Alabama is certainly not the only state that has grown because of increases in the manufacturing industry.