MIT To Host Conference: The Future of Manufacturing In The U.S.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson joins experts to probe gains and losses in manufacturing and explore opportunities to spur economic growth.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson joins experts to probe gains and losses in manufacturing and explore opportunities to spur economic growth.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Leaders for Global Operations program will convene a two-day conference, The Future of Manufacturing in the U.S., May 8 and 9 at MIT’s Wong Auditorium.  In addition to Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, this forum will feature a roster of thought leaders drawn from various sectors of the manufacturing industry as well as academia, government and labor.

Through this conference, MIT aims to accelerate national discussions about reinventing the U.S. manufacturing industry that are dominating presidential and policy debates. Speakers will address current challenges in global operations, current and future manufacturing workforce development issues, opportunities for new government policies, and the impact of new technologies.

This two-day forum coincides with the one-year anniversary of the Obama administration’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), a national effort co-chaired by MIT President Susan Hockfield. AMP brings together industries, MIT and other universities, and the federal government to invest in the emerging technologies that will create high-quality manufacturing jobs and enhance America’s global competitiveness. 

“MIT Leaders for Global Operations will showcase the ideas and actions of leaders who are effecting transformative change in the manufacturing industry by initiating thought-provoking discussions on emerging best practices during our two-day conference,” said Donald Rosenfield, director, MIT Leaders for Global Operations, and senior lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management.

Experts will deliver keynote presentations and host panel discussions centered on three main themes: Workforce of the Future, Innovation in Manufacturing, and Barriers to Success in Manufacturing. Topics and speakers will include:

  • The three forces inspiring companies to implement a regional manufacturing strategy in the U.S.—David Simchi-Levi, MIT professor and author, Operations Rules: Delivering Customer Value through Flexible Operations (2010)
  • The impact of robotics in manufacturing—Rodney Brooks, Chairman and CTO, Heartland Robotics, and co-founder, iRobot
  • Economic development and human capital — Daron Acemoglu, MIT professor; co-author, Why Nations Fail (March 2012)
  • Labor trends in manufacturing — Cindy Estrada, Vice President of UAW, United Auto Workers
  • Global manufacturing: challenges, opportunities and impact for the U.S. — Diana Tremblay, Global Chief Manufacturing Officer, General Motors

MIT Leaders for Global Operations is a two-year, dual-degree graduate program for highly qualified students who want to develop engineering and management skills geared toward careers in operations and manufacturing. The upcoming conference is an extension of MIT Leaders for Global Operations’ mission to develop knowledge at the intersection of management and engineering. Students graduate with a Master of Science from one of seven programs within the MIT School of Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

MIT Leaders for Global Operations is hosting the two-day event in partnership with the MIT Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) and the Forum for Supply Chain Innovation. For more information or to register for The Future of Manufacturing in the U.S., visit The registration deadline is May 1.  Early bird registration is open through April 13. 


The MIT Forum For Supply Chain Innovation is at the center of one of the most pivotal areas of business. Formed in 2002, the Forum provides a unique collaborative environment that brings together academics, researchers, and practitioners to develop ideas, practical principles and critical thinking in supply chain management.

The Forum is a unique community composed of academics and industry members whose support allows Forum researchers to provide customer-focused solutions to design and manage the new supply chain. The Forum has pioneered a deeper understanding of the supply chain and its relationship to corporate strategy and has broad support from a wide cross-section of industry.

The MIT Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) is dedicated to creating and strengthening mutually beneficial relationships between MIT and corporations worldwide. Established in 1948, the ILP continues to be a key player in making industrial connections for MIT.

With continued acceleration of advances in technology and knowledge discovery and a more demanding corporate funding environment, the ILP is committed to creating productive interactions with industry. The ILP continually evolves to meet the interests, needs, and aspirations of MIT faculty and corporate partners.

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