The importance of manufacturing to the Rochester economy was the focus of a forum held at RIT Friday. It was part of a national effort, called Manufacturing Day, and it's an annual event that happens on the first Friday in October in an effort to bring attention to the importance of manufacturing and the need for a skilled workforce in order for area companies to remain competitive.
The local forum was organized with the help of Nabil Nasr who is director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at RIT.
He says despite all the talk about the U-S having shifted to a service economy, manufacturing is still a key economic driver.
“I think a lot of the discussion about a shift to a service economy has really muddied the water for this discussion and I think we’re coming to the realization that our economy cannot survive without a strong manufacturing (base)…our national security is dependent on a strong manufacturing center.”
Some of those involved in the local manufacturing industry, especially those involving in machining and tool and die companies, say they are having trouble finding people with the skills needed to fill open jobs.