Office dogs, yoga classes, good pay — welcome to the modern Mass. factory
After a prolonged period of little or no growth in the manufacturing industry, Massachusetts — one of the country’s original powerhouses — is reasserting itself as a leader in what is known as advanced manufacturing, selling products that are transforming the industry nationwide. Innovation helped drive production output in the state to a record $50 billion last year and boost employment by 1,700 jobs in the first quarter, the biggest year-over-year increase since 2000-2001.
The high-end parts Massachusetts manufacturers make are often hidden inside other products — shafts for machines that create flu vaccines, lens housings for night-vision goggles, sensors for submarines — as well as in robotics that manufacturers increasingly rely on to automate their processes. And this upscale niche has contributed to the state’s manufacturing strength, whereas production of some lower-value items has shrunk or moved overseas, said Branner Stewart, a senior research manager at the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute.
“We’re kind of like Japan or Germany, where we’re competitive in very high-value-added, technologically advanced goods, as opposed to China, which, though advancing quickly, is better known for mass-produced goods,” Stewart said.
June 07, 2018