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Retirements Loom

Exacerbating the shortage of skilled manufacturing workers is the age profile of the people currently in those jobs. An illustration: The average age of skilled workers at the 2,500 companies that are members of the National Tooling & Machining Assn. (NTMA) is 54, says NMTA president and COO Matthew B. Coffey. Within the next 10 years, "our members have the potential to lose virtually half" of the 80,000 journeyman-level tool-and-die makers and precision machinists they currently employ. NTMA members represent about 30% of the U.S. companies that employ workers in those two classifications.

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