Earlier this month (This article was first published on October 17 2016 on https://qz.com/807828.) the first fleet of autonomous vehicles offered rides for the first time. The cars, sedans outfitted with a host of camera and sensors, weren’t fully autonomous (according to Pennsylvania law they must be manned by a living, breathing human until they are no longer in testing mode), but their drivers were as hands-off as possible, quite literally.
Consumers expect convenience. They want to be able to shop on the fly, without stepping foot in a store, and they expect the product to be delivered to their doorstep in record time. Flowers, footwear, books, beauty products, food, furniture and consumer electronics are highly trafficked through the internet largely because it’s easier than ever before for a consumer to purchase a wide variety of goods. Just point and click.
The future of manufacturing is one of the most talked-about issues in the U.S. right now, and it clearly resonates with the American people. Overseas companies operating within the U.S., many employing thousands of American workers and contributing to the technological strength of U.S. manufacturing, can play an important role in this discussion.
Over the next decade, research shows that a significant skills gap will leave many jobs unfilled in the manufacturing industry. As companies begin to look for new ways to address this challenge, companies like ours (Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems America, or MHPSA) have found an unexpected solution in military veterans. Even though many companies have instituted veteran hiring programs years ago, some are just beginning to realize the untapped potential.
The U.S. is rich in energy supply. We are almost unique in the world in having an abundance of coal, oil and natural gas, along with exceptional wind, solar and hydropower resources in many areas of our country. At the same time, we see an increasing focus on local air quality and global climate change. My company is responding to these emerging challenges and amazing opportunities by enabling the power plant of the future.

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