Planned U.S. Manufacturing Investments: Momentum for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

If you have been following the news over the past three months, you have undoubtedly heard a great deal about the “wall,” a Russian-hacked election, the early work to repeal the Affordable Care Act and border taxes.  But what has also made news are the significant investments that are being planned in the United States and the efforts towards job creation/retention on U.S. soil.

It started in late November, when now-President Trump announced that he had reached a deal with Carrier to keep a thousand jobs in Indiana that were due to be moved to Mexico (I think as it turns out that number was closer to 700, but who’s counting!).

In the past month, several mega-corporations have made announcements for U.S. investments.  Walmart has announced that it intends to invest $6.8 billion in capital investments in the United States and create 10,000 jobs.  Additionally, Walmart said it plans to open 160 training centers this year.

General Motors announced a $1 billion investment in its Warren, Michigan technical center campus and the addition of approximately 2,600 jobs.  And South Korean automakers Hyundai-Kia plan a $3.1 billion investment with the potential for a new plant. 

Bayer (with its planned acquisition of Monsanto) intends to invest $8 billion, primarily for agricultural research. 

And the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Innovation Hub, led by Carnegie Mellon University with more than 220 partners in industry, academia, government and the nonprofit sector, will receive $80 million from the Department of Defense and an additional $173 million from the partner organizations. The goal of the collaboration is expanding the capabilities and applications of robotics in the manufacturing world. 

These announcements were all made prior to President Trump taking office last month.  It will be interesting to see if additional companies follow suit, to advance our country in its fourth industrial revolution. 

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