When it comes to big announcements by Apple, you may probably picture the late Steve Jobs pacing on some sleek stage wearing a clever smirk and his ubiquitous black turtleneck. That was the setting for so many innovative product launches over the years, from the culture-altering iPod to the equally influential iPhone and iPad.
New CEO Tim Cook has picked up where Jobs left off, making similar (if perhaps less dramatic) presentations such as the Apple watch. But Cook’s latest unveiling — that Apple will invest $1 billion in advanced manufacturing jobs — is not only different, but it has the potential for far-reaching economic impacts that appear to be all positive.
Cook is essentially counting on a ripple effect with the manufacturing investment, suggesting the new fund will not only create cutting edge advanced manufacturing operations, but the service jobs that support them. Cook says the first installment of the money would come this spring.
Apple was famously called out by President Donald Trump when he scolded the tech titan to begin making their computers in the United State rather than outsourcing that work overseas. Given the complexity of that manufacturing operation, plus the economics behind it, it is difficult to imagine Apple shifting a gear that big. But by investing the billion dollars into a sector of the economy Trump repeatedly championed during the election, Apple may be inoculating itself against future criticism as an outsourcer of jobs.
Advanced manufacturing is a relatively broad term that encompasses the creation of technologically advanced products or the processes to create them. Jobs in this growing sector are highly coveted and pay significantly more than traditional manufacturing positions. In turn, they tend to require more education and training.
Apple’s announcement carries some weight, considering the company already has some financial skin in the advanced manufacturing game. For instance, they also created a new job creation website page which points to the two million industry jobs Apple currently supports right here in the United States.