As a long-time American manufacturer, we have seen manufacturing rise and fall, as well as rapidly change due to up-and-coming technologies. Today, we certainly see how American manufacturing is experiencing a renaissance, due to reshoring and new technology that has been introduced into the production process. However, there is one looming issue that is poised to greatly affect manufacturing’s success—that would be the skills gap.
While there are plenty of manufacturing jobs available, there are not enough skilled workers to take them on. Older generations of manufacturers are nearing retirement, and younger generations are not looking to manufacturing as a career path. According to U.S. News, young students are not learning proper skills, such as math and computer skills, in order to prepare them for a manufacturing career, thus creating this “skills gap.” As the article states, “Part of the challenge for manufacturing business leaders in attracting young talent lies in correcting the stigma associated with work in the industry.”
Manufacturing companies throughout America are finding a variety of ways to rectify this issue. For example, there are some local schools that are trying to start STEM programs, giving young students a solid background in science, technology, engineering, and math fields. The City of Chicago is partnering with Chicago Public Schools and other organizations to offer an education focused on technology and sciences, ensuring that students are prepared for future careers in STEM fields.
While the skills gap is a problem for the manufacturing industry, educational organizations and many companies are working tirelessly to prepare young workers for our modern, technical, and challenging workforce. We encourage younger generations to realize the skills and opportunity that lie in a manufacturing career, and we hope to see you on the production floor soon!