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Manufacturers Looking at a Big Shortfall of New Workers

Feb. 25, 2015
A study survey showed while nine in 10 Americans believe manufacturing is essential to the U.S. economy, only one in three parents would encourage their kids to pursue a career in the industry.

The manufacturing industry is looking at shortfall of more than 2 million workers over the next decade, according to new reports from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute.

The shortage is led by the expected retirement of nearly 3 million Baby Boomers and fewer young people who see the industry as a career destination. A study survey showed while nine in 10 Americans believe manufacturing is essential to the U.S. economy, only one in three parents would encourage their kids to pursue a career in the industry.

“The skills shortage pervades all stages of manufacturing — from engineering to skilled production,” said Jennifer McNelly, president, The Manufacturing Institute. “This challenge will only grow as the demographics of our workforce evolve with retirements, new technological advances requiring a higher level of training and certification, and our K-12 education system, which continues to lack the necessary focus on STEM education.”

As production costs rise in countries like China, more and more companies are going through some sort of reshoring, and the talent shortage will only become an even bigger issue.

Companies say they're offering higher pay for many of the jobs, but have to be proactive in addressing the shortage. Many already provide internal training and worker development programs. But others are hitting the streets, working with their local schools and community colleges to create external training and certification programs, and others have implemented veteran hiring programs.

To see the in-depth reports from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, follow the links below:

The Skills Gap in U.S. Manufacturing: 2015 and Beyond

Overwhelming Support: U.S. public opinions on the manufacturing industry

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