Summary of Skills and Innovation Strategies to Strengthen U.S. Manufacturing

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Skills and Innovation Strategies to Strengthen U.S. Manufacturing summary
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The “valley of death” – the gap between basic research and the commercialization of new products – is a chasm too wide to cross for many US manufacturers, especially those in small and medium-sized businesses. Not so for Germany’s thriving manufacturing sector, which benefits from a top-down culture built on innovation. The Brookings Institution’s intriguing report shows how the United States can prepare for a manufacturing renaissance by nurturing innovation through government, industry and civic cooperation. getAbstract recommends this informative study to manufacturing executives, policy makers, educators and researchers.

About the Authors

Alan Berube is a senior fellow and deputy director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings Institution, where Joseph Parilla is a research analyst and Jesus Leal Trujillo is a research assistant.



Despite a recent recovery, US manufacturing hasn’t realized its potential to create jobs and wealth. Manufacturing accounts for just 10% of total US jobs and 12% of GDP. In Germany, by contrast, manufacturing employs 20% of the workforce and constitutes 22% of GDP. While America carries a $667 billion trade deficit in manufactured goods, Germany has a surplus of some $425 billion, despite an average hourly pay rate of $45.79 versus US workers’ $35.67. Innovation is critical to Germany’s success: German manufacturers conduct 86% of private-sector R&D; US companies, just 64%. ...

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