Apple's Billion Dollar Investment Provides a Blueprint for U.S. Manufacturing
Editor's Comments: Advanced manufacturing has created over 1 million jobs since 2010 according to the Brookings Advanced Industries Project. Apple is investing in a future where the jobs and workers will all be driven by tech. This is the long, strategic play.
Now the hard work begins! We must convince the Millennials and GenZ's plus their parents, teachers and guidance counsellors that 'it's not your granddad's manufacturing anymore!'
Advanced manufacturing requires a skilled technical workforce. If we just look at the home - whether manufacturing a refrigerator or a doorbell, technology is needed so the device can communicate to other connected devices.
ADD APPLE TO the list of companies trying to make nice with the Trump administration. Yes, even the richest company in the country, which rarely backs down from a fight with Washington, sometimes succumbs to government pressure. But unlike Carrier, an air conditioning manufacturer that recently scrapped plans to move its factory to Mexico, Apple’s response to Trump’s agenda may actually help create the kind of jobs that are growing, not disappearing.
In an interview with CNBC, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that the tech giant is launching a $1 billion fund to invest in advanced manufacturing companies in the United States, announcing its first investment later this month. “By doing that we can be the ripple in the pond,” Cook said. “Those manufacturing jobs create jobs around them.”
That’s true. According to the National Association of Manufacturers, for every $1 invested in manufacturing, $1.81 is injected back into the economy. “When you talk about why this matters, not only is it the billion investment, but the multiplier effect around it,” says Brian Raymond, director of innovation policy at NAM.
Still, that kind of fund isn’t precisely what President Trump had in mind when, on the campaign trail, he called for Apple to move its manufacturing operations to the US. “We’re going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries,” he said at the time. But such a drastic upheaval of the global supply chain, experts argued, would only serve to bring low-skill, low-wage, easily automated jobs back to the US, even as it would cripple Apple’s growth. And that, of course, would have a damaging effect on the roughly 2 million jobs Apple already supports in the US, when you account for American suppliers, app developers, retail employees, and the 80,000 people who work on its Cupertino campus.