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Midwest News Opinions US

Join the ranks of those who built this country — manufacturers

TMA Media September 4, 2018
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In the Hill Monday, an appeal was made to the US workforce – please, consider joining the ranks of manufacturers.

Generations of workers in this country have built the mightiest economy in the world, one that stands especially strong today. But in one sector of the economy, manufacturing, we are facing a distinct lack of labor.

It’s a full-blown workforce crisis actually. As the executive director of the Manufacturing Institute — the social impact arm of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) dedicated to advancing modern manufacturing and the modern manufacturing workforce — I hear the same thing time and again from industry leaders around the country: America needs more manufacturing workers.

In a way, we should be celebrating this fact. We have this labor shortage in part because manufacturers have been doing so well. In a recent NAM survey, 95 percent of manufacturers felt optimistic about the future and about job growth, a record high.

But there’s a dark side to this bright summation: there’s just not enough interested team members for this incredible time in manufacturing.

But as bright as the future seems for manufacturers, it also looks underpopulated. In the same survey, 77 percent of respondents expressed deep concern about filling the skilled workers their businesses need to continue succeeding.

This manufacturing workforce crisis will only continue to worsen as we move into the next decade. Right now, manufacturers in the United States have nearly 500,000 open positions, and the workforce crisis is only projected to deteriorate with the industry having to fill millions of open jobs in the coming years.

Read the rest … by Carolyn Lee, the executive director for the Manufacturing Institute at the National Association of Manufacturers.

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