TRAVERSE CITY, MI – U.S. manufacturing  needs a resurgence to be competitive in global markets, David Dauch, chairman, president and CEO of American Axle & Mfg., says Monday in a CAR Management Briefing Seminars address here.

Dauch underscores that U.S. manufacturing jobs have slipped from 29% of the working population 50 years ago to 12% now, with a major impact on middle-class-level employment.

“We will have to (find a solution) to protect our manufacturing base,” he says. Among the challenges faced by the manufacturing sector are cost pressures, adapting to new technology, finding and retaining skilled workers and overcoming “structural U.S. cost burdens.”

Dauch thinks manufacturing jobs have gotten a bad rap. Calling for increased emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Dauch says “manufacturing is not promoted at home; it’s looked down on (and that’s) a wrong view.”

The manufacturing environment these days, he contends, is “high tech, clean and full of technological innovation.”