GREENSBORO, N.C. -- How often have you been told, “My manufacturing job went overseas.”
There is some truth in that -- particularly with what analysts refer to as, “low-skilled manufacturing.” But the reality is, what is happening in American manufacturing is happening across the planet.
According to the business site Bloomberg, world manufacturing output is up 30 percent since 1995. And, over that same time, the world has lost 22 million manufacturing jobs. Everyone is doing more with less.
North Carolina has not been an exception, during those years since the number of manufacturing jobs in the state is barely above half of its peak of about 820,000 in 1995. But things are looking brighter, thanks to a higher-tech version of manufacturing, like what is coming out of the cluster the Triad is developing in aviation.
“I've been following HondaJet and I think they have an awesome product,” Gordon Pipkin told us. He is one of the dozens of people who normally wouldn’t have come to the big, high school basketball tournament held this time of year at the Greensboro Coliseum. He came because Honda Jet -- along with tournament sponsor, Haeco, were two of the several aviation and aviation manufacturing businesses that met with potential employees for the hundreds of opening that they have as the industry booms.
“There are more than 10,000 aircraft that are lined up for manufacturing,” said Blakely. “So, if you won a lottery today and you went to Boeing and said, 'I got to have one,' they'd say, 'I'll get it to you in 2026.’ ”
Pipkin thinks he can help with that. He’s from Pleasant Garden but had to move to Georgia for work after he lost his job at Timco, at the Piedmont Triad International Airport, back in 2006.
“I'm all hyped up, ready to go, I really am,” he said.
And he should be, according to Blakely. This area’s workforce has most of what these manufacturers are looking for.
“We are finding that people coming out of the furniture industry are just outstanding,” Blakely said. “So, we really don't have much trouble hiring for those in the manufacturing area. Where we have our biggest difficulty hiring are technicians and aeronautical engineers.”
Job fair events Goodwill is holding
Wednesday, Dec. 30, Eden Community Resource Center, 220 W. King’s Highway, suite H.
Tuesday, Jan. 5, Eden Community Resource Center, suite H.
Wednesday, Jan. 6, Reidsville Community Resource Center, 1551 Freeway Drive.