CARY – SAS will play a critical role in North Carolina’s workforce development, according to the Cary-headquartered analytics company’s CEO and co-founder Jim Goodnight.

“We are committed to help teach and reskill a workforce to the demands of modern manufacturing,” said Goodnight in opening remarks at the kickoff event of MFG Day 2022 on Wednesday.

The full agenda for the event will take an in-depth look at how manufacturing companies are driving digital transformation, which Goodnight said would drive the global economy and the economy in North Carolina.  Governor Roy Cooper, who also delivered remarks at Wednesday’s kickoff event, also delivered remarks about how manufacturing will drive the future of state’s economy.

“But what drives manufacturing?” Goodnight asked the audience. “Increasingly, technologies like artificial intelligence and IoT analytics drive manufacturing.”

And that’s why the local economy, as well as the state and the nation, will need to expand its workforce to match the current and future jobs in the manufacturing sector, Goodnight noted.

“We are educating students and future leaders curious about manufacturing technology careers such as data scientist, process engineer, robotics technician and more,” said Goodnight.

Manufacturing jobs will be a driver of NC’s economy, governor says

Will there be enough skilled workers?

But there’s currently a skills gap, a recent SAS report found, particularly in artificial intelligence, even as the global market is expected to grow from $387 billion in 2022 to $1.4 trillion by the end of the decade.

While the report notes that 43% of decision-makers at U.S. firms across nine industry sectors believe that AI and machine learning will be their top investment priorities in the next two years, 63% of respondents said that their organizations currently had skills shortages in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

“Critical not only at a global level, but right here in North Carolina,” said Goodnight.

The kickoff event is also being livestreamed online.

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