Manufacturing Isn’t Dead in Wisconsin (or the U.S.)


Export Boom Fuels Factory Town's Revival –

It's more a story of exchange rates (weak dollar) than Lean, but manufacturing isn't dead yet, especially in Wisconsin.

As someone who re-opened a closed factory says:

“America got tired of manufacturing,” Mr. Martinez says. “But it remains a great way to make money.”

Some handy stats on the U.S. manufacturing economy from the article:

Nationally, only about 10% of the U.S. work force is currently employed in manufacturing. That's down from a peak of about 42% in the early 1940s, and about 18% in the 1980s.

But while manufacturing now represents about 12% of gross domestic product, down from 15% a decade ago, exports have surged. Last year, the U.S. exported about $1 trillion worth of goods, up 39% from 2002, when the dollar started its decline. The National Association of Manufacturers, a trade group, estimates U.S. exports will hit $1.1 trillion this year. A weaker dollar makes U.S. goods more price-competitive in Europe and other lands with a strong currency.

Now let's hope the surviving and newly-opened factories are also applying Lean methods…

Do you know of similar stories from your part of the country? Factories being re-opened or mini-manufacturing booms?

Subscribe via RSS | Lean Blog Main Page | Podcast | Twitter @MarkGraban

Please check out my main blog page at

The RSS feed content you are reading is copyrighted by the author, Mark Graban.

, , , on the author's copyright.

What do you think? Please scroll down (or click) to post a comment. Or please share the post with your thoughts on LinkedIn – and follow me or connect with me there.

Did you like this post? Make sure you don't miss a post or podcast — Subscribe to get notified about posts via email daily or weekly.

Check out my latest book, The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation:

Get New Posts Sent To You

Select list(s):
Previous articleDriving in the UK
Next articleThe Value Stream of Succession Planning and Leader Development
Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. Unfortunately, that WSJ link seems to be dead now. I would have liked to read that.

    This is an encouraging story, and I hope they can survive after the dollar rebounds – which I think it will eventually.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.