Every manufacturer is keenly aware of the 500,000 jobs that are going unfilled. Most feel it in their operations and are diligently creating solutions and programs to attract more workers.
Creating awareness on a national effort is the goal of the National Association of Manufacturers(NAM) State of Manufacturing Tour that kicks on Feb. 19 in Denver, Colo.
This grassroots tour is traveling to 25 cities in eight states over a two-week period, and visiting companies including Ball Aerospace, Anheuser-Busch, ABB and Polaris. The message is that manufacturing is a great field for creative individuals offering a rewarding, high-paying.career.
Now is an excellent time to share this message, says Jay Timmons, CEO of NAM, given that manufacturers are the most optimistic about the industry than they have been in the 20 years since NAM has been surveying them.
Along with this optimism is a favorable policy environment. “We have federal policies that align with the success of this sector and manufacturers are keeping their promise to hire more employees and provide good paying jobs and benefits,” says Timmons.
And Timmons is a position to further the efforts of providing educational opportunities to train the workers the sector needs. Timmons was recently named to the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board.
“Last year was the best year for manufacturing job creation in more than two decades,” Timmons pointed out in a recent statement.
Timmons sees this trajectory continuing. “The advisory board will continue to expand the apprenticeship program that was started last year,” he explained. “We will also suggest that more resources be directed toward higher institutes of learning as well as state workforce programs to focus on manufacturing.”
The industry, however, has had setbacks, particularly with the recent layoffs at GM. But Timmons points out that while those layoffs were unfortunate, the “good news offsets the bad and monthly new facilities are opening across the country.”
These facilities will be creating products of the future which should appeal to upcoming generations. In its tour message, which over the past two years has reached 50 million people, is the connection between the fact that the future trends of self-driving cars, precision agriculture or artificial intelligence will be guided by tomorrow’s workforce in modern manufacturing.
NAM wants future employees to understand the many ways the industry contributes to society. To quote the video talking to these future workers," ultimately the goal of manufacturing is to improve the human condition."