The future of manufacturing in America may look completely different from the way you imagine it. As President Obama toured the country earlier this year, sharing his vision for bringing back high-paying manufacturing jobs to America, one might think the same manufacturing jobs that were sent offshore to low-cost destinations such as China, would soon be returning to places like Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Detroit.Instead, the new manufacturing hubs may be places like San Francisco, Raleigh-Durham, Austin and New York — vibrant tech hubs where young, creative individuals have access to cutting-edge technologies in fields ranging from robotics to nanotechnology. With new 3D printing technologies on the way, it may soon be possible to print anything you can imagine. As a result, the manufacturing companies of the future are more likely to be virtual, just-in-time collectives quickly assembled to plan, create and manufacture a product for a very specific market niche. In other words, say “good-bye” to the huge conglomerates and industrial titans.
Pittsburgh is a "vibrant tech [hub] where young, creative individuals have access to cutting-edge technologies in fields ranging from robotics to nanotechnology." In fact, Pittsburgh is a leader in such things. You might say the region wrote the book on the new wave of manufacturing.
Someone writing for the Washington Post should know better. However, journalists rely heavily upon geographic stereotypes and clichés when crafting a story. The mountain of revitalization just got that much steeper and higher.