The manufacturing sector is showing a job creation trend and economists expect that it will do so for the next decade, but people question whether there will be workers to fill those jobs. People complain of a skills gap in many business sectors, including manufacturing, but the manufacturing industry has unique barriers to fixing the problem.
Manufacturing jobs have a negative connotation. Many view them as dirty, dangerous jobs that require little skill and pay badly. Recent surveys state that parents of teens wouldn’t encourage their children to pursue a manufacturing career, and teens show little interest in doing so. The good news is that parents and teens are agreeing on something. The bad news is that they’re wrong!
In order for the manufacturing sector to continue to grow, this negative perception must change. The reality is that manufacturing jobs pay well. In 2013, the average wage for someone in manufacturing was $77,500. And these positions not only require specialized skills, they often require a degree or certificate.
Battling this worker shortage problem requires both changing this incorrect perception and building a future workforce by talking to teens, and when appropriate, involving them in technical programs through their high schools or higher education.