Manufacturing Day is observed on the first Friday of October every year, taking time to shine a spotlight on our important industry. However, in doing so, any negatives facing the industry are brought to light as well.
With the resurgence of American manufacturing, the skills gap has become clearer. The gap has the potential to hamper the American economy, and some project the gap will continue to widen as the COVID-19 situation continues.
What is the skills gap?
The skills gap boils down to a lack of the right people with the right skills in the right location to fill manufacturing jobs. This doesn’t mean there is a lack of talent, or a lack of work ethic -- it just means there’s a challenge finding the right candidates in regions where manufacturing is prevalent who can learn the ever-changing equipment.
The National Association of Manufacturing reports that 2.1 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by 2030. When the manufacturing industry lost a reported 63% of jobs during the beginning of the pandemic, 570,000 had not been added back as of the end of 2020. Additionally, 77% of manufacturers say they will have difficulty attracting and retaining workers for job openings in 2021 and beyond.
Addressing the gap
Steps are being taken to address the growing skills gap and prevent the American manufacturing segment from slowing down. The same study referenced above also found that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives have had a growing impact on workforce trends and can help manufacturers fill openings. By attracting a larger number of women and diverse workers, strides can be made towards closing the skills gap.
Manufacturing Day and the skills gap
One of the best ways to counter the skills gap is to put the benefits of a manufacturing career on display. That’s why manufacturers, trade organizations, and business communities across the nation join together every October for Manufacturing Day.
- When discussing reasons for the skill gap, attention should be drawn to a lack in key skills. Manufacturing Day events promote needed skills. Such skills range from technology to computer literacy to math and beyond.
- Short recruitment reach for the employer can also be attributed to the skill gap. Refined recruitment expand to schools and community colleges that might not be interested in the company on their own. These institutions have been identified by executives as the second most successful talent base where recruiting is done.
- Manufacturing Day can lead to information regarding manufacturing careers being spread. This information may not otherwise make it to the right individuals. High median pay found in the manufacturing sector, available careers, and long-term growth potential of workers are just a few details that can be shared.
Manufacturing Day has been one of the keys to the growing interest in manufacturing careers in the younger generation, and the hope is that it will continue to help the talent pool grow for the future. This is certain to help to reduce the skills gap, and will help to make sure that manufacturing continues to expand. Join us at American Casting and Manufacturing, or any of your other nearby manufacturers who are part of the events of the day and show your interest and support!