It comes as no surprise to anyone that the U.S. manufacturing sector has had its share of challenges over the past two years. Coming out the other side of a global pandemic, the manufacturing industry is plagued by unprecedented supply chain instability and historic workforce shortages. Despite these issues, there are signs of recovery and reasons for optimism, according to Deloitte’s U.S. 2022 Manufacturing Industry Outlook.

“The recovery gained momentum in 2021 on the heels of vaccine rollout and rising demand,” Deloitte’s report states. “As industrial production and capacity utilization surpassed pre-pandemic levels midyear, strong increases in new orders for all major subsectors signal growth continuing in 2022. Deloitte projections based on the Oxford Economic Model (OEM) anticipate GDP growth in manufacturing of 4.1% for 2022. As capital expenditures rise, a combination of high business valuations, strong earnings, and low-cost debt may also encourage companies to add technology capabilities, gain share, and expand in new markets with M&A. Policy initiatives and infrastructure investment have the potential to contribute to manufacturing’s recovery.”

Deloitte’s report is not all sunshine and roses, however, citing the industry will experience levels of elevated uncertainty from a range of potential disruptors, including the previously mentioned workforce shortages. “Record numbers of unfilled jobs are likely to limit higher productivity and growth in 2022, and last year we estimated a shortfall of 2.1 million skilled jobs by 2030.”

However, the Biden administration announced a gain of 367,000 manufacturing jobs — the most in nearly 30 years — during his first full year in office. Additionally, many American companies — including plumbing manufacturers — have announced major new investments in American manufacturing.

“American plumbing manufacturers have a tremendous and positive impact on the U.S. economy, directly providing nearly 200,000 jobs and $10 billion in wages to the American people,” Plumbing Manufacturers International Executive Director and CEO Kerry Stackpole notes.

Plumbing & Mechanical asked several plumbing manufacturers to explain what American manufacturing means to them today. Watch this video to see what they had to say.

This video features:

Kerry Stackpole, executive director and CEO of PMI;

Bruce Carnevale, president and CEO, and Peter Kattula, general manager, Bradford White Corp.;

Dave Dunbar, national sales manager, General Pipe Cleaners;

Jonathan Brill, president and founder, Infinity Drain;

Sri Deivasigamani, co-founder and CEO, Intellihot;

David Goodling, senior vice president, Supply Chain, NIBCO;

Maic von Thuelen, plant manager, REHAU Construction, Cullman, Alabama;

Jeff Albertini, director of marketing, Underground Technologies, RIDGID;

Jon Sillerud, vice president of operations, Uponor North America; and

John Clark, sales manager, Woodford.