The future of America’s economic competitiveness and its national security depends on the strength of its manufacturing industrial base, which in turn depends on our nation’s ability to produce a highly skilled engineering workforce. Unfortunately, industrially relevant manufacturing training is rarely a priority at U.S. universities. Increasing focus on “engineering as a science” has moved university engineering education away from real-world problem solving. If the United States wants to succeed in the advanced manufacturing economy of tomorrow and secure its future national security interests, America’s university engineering programs must move their engineering curricula toward more hands-on training in industry-relevant subject areas—including more joint industry-university research projects—and teaching students practical manufacturing applications of engineering skills.
Please join ITIF and the bipartisan Senate Competitiveness Caucus to discuss how public policies can support America’s universities as they work to train America’s future manufacturing workforce of tomorrow.