Technology Drives Manufacturing Growth in Maryland

Manufacturers in Maryland have made significant strides over the past year, adopting technology to improve their competitiveness with companies in countries such as China that benefit from a large pool of low-cost labor.

Manufacturers are open to adopting digital and non-digital technologies that will set the stage for local production in 2022, Mike Galiazzo, director of the Maryland Regional Manufacturing Institute, said ahead of a maker event on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. Provided good service. 17.

“Manufacturers are embracing new digital technologies that allow them to increase efficiency and productivity,” Galiazzo said.

Technological advances in manufacturing have boosted the industry in a variety of ways, from a competitive advantage to attracting more women and minorities to work in the industry, he said.

The adoption of new technologies by Maryland manufacturers has also enhanced diversity in emerging manufacturing sectors, including biotech and defense companies that have not traditionally been considered manufacturers, Galliazzo said.

“Maryland companies make a huge variety of products,” he said.

In 2020, according to the latest Maryland Manufacturing Extension Partnership data, the top manufacturing sectors in the state by gross domestic product were chemical manufacturing, computer electronics manufacturing, and food and tobacco manufacturing. Machinery manufacturing and so-called miscellaneous manufacturing in the report rounded out the top five.

According to the same data, the state’s industrialists have grown faster than the national GDP since 2015. While the national average saw a decline in manufacturing GDP due to the coronavirus pandemic, Maryland’s manufacturing sector avoided a significant decline. Manufacturing wages also beat the national average, according to the state’s analysis of federal labor data. Manufacturing employees in Maryland earn an average of more than $40 an hour, compared with a national average of about $35 an hour.

However, Maryland producers still need help expanding the industry’s role in the local economy.

Galiazzo said the biggest challenge for manufacturers is filling open positions.

Maryland’s available labor force has declined sharply since 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the national average has bounced back from 2020 lows, Maryland’s workforce fell to its lowest level since 2016.

As of 2021, Maryland estimates its labor force to be approximately 3.17 million. State residents between the ages of 25 and 34 represent the largest group of available employees. They make up about 22 percent of the state’s workforce, in line with the national average.

The most significant gap between Maryland’s workforce and the national average is among workers between the ages of 35 and 44. Nationally, workers in that age group make up 21.5 percent of the workforce, while in Maryland, workers in that age group make up about 19 percent of the workforce.

Maryland manufacturers have thousands of job openings every month, Galliazzo said. He attributes the difficulty filling these jobs to a lack of awareness of their availability, rather than a lack of necessary skills among employees.

For example, Galiazzo said his company participated in a virtual job fair in Baltimore County, with 16 manufacturing companies looking to fill more than 300 positions.

“We had more than 250 people attend the virtual job fair, and we’re still having trouble filling vacancies,” he said.

Outgoing government Galiazzo said Larry Hogan’s government had done an admirable job of promoting the role of manufacturing in the state’s economy. However, improvements are still needed.

Recent conversations with elected officials, including Governor-elect Wes Moore, Comptroller-elect Brooke Lierman and Senate President Bill Ferguson, have convinced Galliazzo that the change in administration will not affect Annapolis’ support for boosting manufacturing.

“Maryland can be a national showcase for next-generation manufacturing. But we need to be able to accelerate the adoption of new technologies and then reskill our employees to work in those tech-savvy environments,” Galiazzo said.

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