Manufacturing is the lifeblood of the American economy. It contributes trillions of dollars to the economy, provides opportunity, and is a source of innovation. If the United States didn’t have manufacturing, it wouldn’t be able to offer a high quality of life for its citizens, exploration and invention would fail, and a large cornerstone of its economy would crumble.
Modern manufacturing techniques owe their existence to the Industrial Revolution of the 1700s. It was the turning point from producing everything by hand, right down to the lowly pin, to having machines stamp, mold, and turn raw materials into a finished product. No longer were people required to put countless working hours into producing an item. A simple pin was produced in seconds instead of minutes. America embraced mass production and put its own unique spin on it.
Many people underestimate just how much manufacturing contributes to the economy, and not just in terms of pay. Taking raw material from its natural state and turning it into a finished product requires people who have specific skill sets: Someone comes up with a design idea and hands it to a designer. The designer creates concept art, then hands it to the engineer. The engineer creates a prototype with all the details worked out. A computer-aided design specialist takes information from the engineer and turns it into a 3D model that a computer-controlled machine then reads. A machinist runs the programs, works out the bugs, and then puts everything into action by creating a final piece. Many hands all play a role in creating the final product, and all their labor adds to the economy.