American manufacturing: it’s an industry filled with innovation and technology, is the backbone of the country’s economy, and is responsible for every single item we all count on in our daily lives. In short, it’s critical to our existence, and is something we as Americans and as manufacturers can and should be very proud of.

After all, numbers don’t lie, and here are just a few, courtesy of NAM*:

  • Manufacturing supports an estimated 17.4 million jobs in the United States—about one in six private-sector jobs.
  • In 2013, manufacturers contributed $2.08 trillion to the economy, up from $2.03 trillion in 2012.
  • For every $1.00 spent in manufacturing, another $1.32 is added to the economy, the highest multiplier effect of any economic sector.
  • Manufacturers in the United States are the most productive in the world, far surpassing the worker productivity of any other major manufacturing economy, leading to higher wages and living standards.

For these reasons, and so many more, the manufacturing industry deserves to be celebrated, which is precisely what was done on the third annual Manufacturing Day, October 3, 2014. Thousands of events and companies, and tens of thousands of participants took part in this nationwide event, individually and collectively celebrating this great industry.

Of course, they did more than just celebrate. Companies opened their doors to their communities, showcasing their work, their products, and their contribution to society and the workforce. Countless students were given the opportunity to see firsthand what manufacturing is all about—a high-tech, exciting field in which innovation abounds.

Now more than ever, as the industry is in the midst of a renaissance yet faces a shortage of skilled workers, it’s critical that we all show the young people of the country just how rewarding and invaluable a career in manufacturing is. Manufacturing Day does just that, and we can all continue, throughout the year, to demonstrate this to young Americans.

Manufacturing Day was an excellent way to both celebrate and promote the industry, and we hope that the momentum continues every day thereafter.