And manufacturers are not repeating the mistakes they made decades ago, when short-sightedness created spiraling costs and unsustainable business models. According to the American Small Manufacturers Coalition, more than 86 percent of manufacturers cite “process improvement” as important or even highly important to their future, while 84 percent cite “customer-focused innovation.” These entrepreneurs are focusing on improving their business and getting better every day, not getting comfortable and letting things slip away.

This is a trend that has me excited, and I hope to see it continue. I believe we will especially see a growth in Right to Work states, where workers have the right to climb—or fall—based on merit. The closed shop model is what got us into trouble the last time, with its ever increasing costs and ever decreasing productivity. Our workers are the most exceptional in the world, and the development of incentivized profit-sharing plants, encouraging workers to work harder and smarter, will be at the heart of sustainable growth in manufacturing.