That manufacturing is perhaps the most important sector of the US where regulating the economy and bringing in healthy profits is concerned is not a myth or a secret. Whenever manufacturing has taken a hit, so have the power and the stability of the nation.
Post the recession years of 2008-2009, manufacturing has seen a resurgence of sorts. New jobs are opening up, reshoring is fast becoming a trend and many major producers are choosing the United States as the manufacturing stronghold for its savvy and empowered millennial population of buyers.
There is however another aspect of this revival that is less focused upon but equally important for the sustainability of the manufacturing boom. It is the existing and rapidly widening skill gap crippling the sector.
WHAT IS THE SKILL GAP?
According to the data supplied by the Manufacturing Institute and the Deloitte Skill Gap Study, 84% of executives agree that there is a very real talent shortage in the manufacturing sector which is going to become more pronounced as the experienced Baby Boomers gradually retire leaving vacant positions that can’t be filled by the Gen Xers alone.
Millennials are interested in STEM careers but their enthusiasm is restricted to the cubicle and desk jobs of computer engineers and software programmers.
It currently takes more than 70 days to recruit the replacement of a skilled production worker and 94 days to hire an on-field researcher or scientist. Despite higher pays and best efforts, 6 out of 10 positions in the manufacturing realm remain vacant. This severely affects the ability of the manufacturing sector to support itself and the projected growth over the next decade. US may lag behind simply because it doesn’t have the manpower necessary to make the most of the opportunities coming its way on the back of the infrastructural improvements that have been initiated.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?
For manufacturers and producers large and small this may mean making do with employees who are not equipped to handle a role of importance. This can definitely impact the bottom-line performance and in time inculcate mediocrity in products, research and development and client service. The need of the moment is a crusade to banish the misconceptions and misperceptions that plague manufacturing.
AND THIS IS WHERE MANUFACTURING DAY COMES IN!
It has been found that students who are familiar with the challenges, exciting advancements and lucrative salaries of manufacturing positions are twice as likely to consider it as a career. Through open house events, seminars, conducted factory and plant tours and accurate estimations of the growth in compensation and expansion potential of manufacturing, the younger generation can be conditioned into accepting this sector as ‘rewarding’ and ‘worth a try’.
If you participate wholeheartedly and rope in educators, community influencers and decision makers, you might be successful in showing what the manufacturing of 2015 is and what it isn’t. This lucid communication breaks down preconceived notions and at least shows prospective employees the benefits for what they are.
Universal Polymer is an avid supporter of Manufacturing Day and will celebrate 2nd October with a number of events registered on http://www.mfgday.com/user/register.