20th Anniversary of Manufacturing Appreciation Week

by Kim Shackelford 29. April 2014 17:26

        This year marks the 20th anniversary of Manufacturing Appreciation Week in Georgia. Each year, appreciation week is celebrated as a way of recognizing the contributions that manufacturers make to the overall economy of Georgia. Throughout the week various organizations host manufacturing focused events including the annual Manufacturing Appreciation Week luncheon and awards ceremony hosted by the Technical College System of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Economic Development. This year, Governor Deal personally awarded the title of Manufacturer of the Year to three companies in different categories throughout the state. The winners were:

  • Gulfstream (Large Manufacturer - Savannah and Brunswick)
  • Hitachi (Medium Manufacturer - Monroe)
  • ddFood (Small Manufacturer - Tucker

        In addition to these awards, individual awards were given to Georgia K-12 students who participated in the annual Manufacturing Appreciation Week art contest.

        So, in honor of this 20th anniversary, let’s take a look back. The changes made in the Georgia manufacturing industry over the past 20 years have been innumerable. However, those made in technology use, environmental concern and employee salaries really stand out.

        Like just about every other sector, technology has had a major impact on the daily operations of manufacturing plants in Georgia. In 1994, 17% of employees used computers WEEKLY. In 2014,  more than 40% of employees at a typical plant use a computer or programmable controller at least once a day. Beyond computer usage, the number of new technologies available is astounding. In 1994, The most commonly used technologies were personal computers or terminals for non-manufacturing purposes. In 2014 manufacturing companies are commonly utilizing specialized software for scheduling and purchasing, computer aided design programs, bar code readers, radio frequency identification (RFID) and even robotics.

        In 1994, up to 35% of manufacturers considered environmental concerns to be a major problem. However, few solutions or goals were available at that time. Two years later, in 1996, ISO14001, the international standard for environmental management systems was introduced. Now in 2014, 7 in 10 manufacturers have targeted goals in place to improve environmental impact. In addition, in a recently conducted survey, only 13.5% of manufacturers listed environmental concerns as a major problem in their workplace.

        Changes in employee salaries have also been sizeable. In 1994 the average wages of manufacturing employees was $22,460/yr. This has increased substantially over time. In 2014, the average salary of employees of mid-sized manufacturing companies in Georgia was up to $40,125/yr.

        It is easy to see that manufacturing is headed in the right direction in Georgia, but this upswing can only continue with support. You can show your support by participating in manufacturing related events, including the upcoming Georgia Manufacturing Expo  (June 13-14, 2014 in Duluth) or an event in your area celebrating National Manufacturing Day on October 3, 2014. And remember, the best way to appreciate manufacturers every day is by buying products made in Georgia.

Sources:

http://georgiamaw.org/

http://www.georgia.org/industries/Manufacturing/

https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.gms-ei2.org/finrept94.pdf

http://www.gms-ei2.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/GMS-2012-report-of-survey-rev2.pdf

http://www.georgiamanufacturingexpo.com/ 

http://www.mfgday.com/

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