Chris Scherer kicks off manufacturing week in Oregon with some Q&A.
Why do you feel Manufacturing Day is an important day to celebrate?
It’s important to celebrate for 2 reasons
1. To increase public awareness of manufacturing’s contribution to Oregon’s economic growth
2. To honor the workforce that exists now, and makers within our cultural history.
What has been the most rewarding part of being involved with Manufacturing Day?
I am amazed at the response from individuals, schools, and government to a tradition that’s only in its third year. We had no idea the traction Manufacturing day would receive, and it’s gratifying to see such radical results. Not only is manufacturing becoming more a part of public awareness, creativity and making in manufacturing are being honored and celebrated across the nation.
Who is your favorite Oregon ‘manufacturing hero’? (Historic inventor, manufacturer, innovator)?
I’m not able to name names – there are too many every day folks who carry their lunch boxes to work and push themselves to make things better. Their work as manufacturers is creative, inspiring and innovative, and their work conditions haven’t always been ideal. Often, major leaders and innovators receive their reward through public acclaim and recognition, but I’d like to call attention to the everyday makers.
Where do you see manufacturing going in the next 5 years?
It is impossible to deny the impact of emerging technology on manufacturing. Simple math indicates that higher productivity and fewer workers per product are assured. We need to focus on expansion to maintain and increase the number of jobs, and expand working skills of employees to function in upwards technology trends.
What are you most excited about for in regards to the future of manufacturing? And in Oregon?
I’m excited to see the dramatic increased public recognition of the impact of manufacturing in our state, as well as the emerging opportunities to re build manufacturing in the US because of rising costs of doing business offshore.
What do you think is the most important thing for Oregonians to understand or know about manufacturing?
I think people are not aware of the fact that Oregon is a manufacturing state; it’s important to understand the implications of manufacturing on the preservation of society’s middle class.