The manufacturing skills pipeline – broken but repairable
Friday 1 Oct 2021
Despite US manufacturing activity hitting a 37-year-high this spring, half a million factory jobs remain unfilled. The talent gap, which has plagued goods producers for over a decade, continues to hold back not only the industry’s growth, but our entire economy’s: A recent report suggested it could shortchange GDP by up to US$1 trillion by 2030. In Northeast Ohio, it’s estimated that simply filling the 8,000 manufacturing jobs now open would boost the region’s economy by US$5 billion annually.
Unwarranted fears that automatons will take our jobs, a misperception of factories as dark and dangerous, memories of mass layoffs in the ‘70s and ‘80s—all of this obscures the truth, which is that advanced manufacturing jobs offer a world of opportunity in everything from robotics to blockchain to artificial intelligence, and an average salary of more than US$75,000 a year.
So, what’s stopping manufacturing decision-makers from fixing the talent gap and seizing all this potential at the very moment we need to the most?
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