U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, center, and German Education Minister Johanna Wanka watch as trainee Til Pagenkopf demonstrates the use of a CNC machine at the Siemens training facility in Berlin, Germany, on October 28. Perez visited the center to learn more about the German trainee system, in which manufacturers offer paid multiyear training programs to recent high school graduates. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Survey: Talent Shortage Could Short-Circuit Resurgence

Nov. 18, 2014
A ThomasNet survey finds that the manufacturing sector's resurgence is in danger of being squelched by the shortage of young talent the sector faces coupled with baby boomers' negative perceptions about millennials.

The U.S. manufacturing sector's resurgence is in danger of being squelched by the shortage of young talent the sector faces coupled with baby boomers' negative perceptions about millennials, according to ThomasNet's latest Industry Market Barometer research survey.

The annual survey of manufacturers shows continued growth in the sector, with companies consistently hiring new workers, increasing production capacity, and investing for further growth.

Fifty-eight percent of manufacturers grew during 2013, and 63% expect even more gains by the end of this year, according to the survey.

Moreover, 52% of the responding companies said they expect to add staff in the next several months, up from 42% who planned to add staff last year. To keep pace with projected demand, companies are looking for trained, experienced workers: production management, line workers, skilled trade workers and engineers.

Forty-six percent of respondents said that in their experience, young people still perceive manufacturing as dirty, blue-collar work, and 43% of the manufacturers surveyed said they believe that the millennial generation lacks the work ethic and discipline to succeed.

"At a time when the American manufacturing sector is poised for a comeback, the talent shortage is the elephant in the room that could impede progress," ThomasNet's Holst-Knudsen says. "It will take the concerted effort of every manufacturer to reach across generational lines and bring in the people who are critical to the industry's continued success."

For its 2014 Industry Market Barometer, ThomasNet surveyed almost 500 manufacturers.

To download the research, go to ThomasNet.com/imb.

Popular Sponsored Recommendations

Top 5 Ways AI is Transforming Manufacturing Operations

Feb. 17, 2024
Unlock the power of Industry 4.0 with AI and IoT. Explore how real-time data and automation are reshaping manufacturing, driving efficiency and quality to new heights. Dive into...

Moving Sustainability Forward in Manufacturing

Aug. 9, 2023
This paper presents results of a survey of industrial end users. Respondents provided feedback on a range of topics including their company’s sustainability priorities, current...

Transformative Capabilities for XaaS Models in Manufacturing

Feb. 14, 2024
The manufacturing sector is undergoing a pivotal shift toward "servitization," or enhancing product offerings with services and embracing a subscription model. This transition...

Optimizing Connected, Resilient Supply Chains in 2024

Dec. 19, 2023
Discover how manufacturers fortify supply chains amidst change, explore the 2024 manufacturing industry outlook and delve into Gen AI for resilient supply chains.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!