One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) and the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA). The two associations joined forces in 2008, using their federal government advocacy program to give a voice to the thousands of middle-market manufacturing companies in the country who supply tooling, components, and other manufactured products to Original Equipment Manufacturers and their Tier I and Tier II suppliers. One Voice advocates for policies that will ensure a strong manufacturing sector in the United States.
April 29, 2014
The U.S. manufacturing sector employs more than 12 million U.S. workers directly and creates almost 7 million more jobs in related industries. But American manufacturers are struggling with the problem of the skills gap.
Washington is taking an increased interest in the manufacturing skills gap issue. President Obama issued an official memorandum in January stating that Vice President Biden will lead an across-the-board reform of the country’s training programs. The focus of the initiative is to better match the skills training initiatives with the needs of employers.
The Office of the Vice President will coordinate this effort with the National Economic Council, the Domestic Policy Council, the Council of Economic Advisers, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Office of Management and Budget as well as the Secretaries of Labor, Commerce, and Education. The president’s memorandum specifically states that the secretaries shall consult with industry, employers, and their associations.
Increasing engagement with employers and trade associations, developing best practices for workers, job seekers, employers, trainers, and better coordination among educators and federal workforce training program development are among the inititative's goals. An important focus is also encouraging regional partnerships among industry, educators, unions, and training providers regarding training programs.
In a recent survey of metalworking manufacturers including National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) and Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) members, 74% of companies reported they currently have skilled job openings. Further underscoring the problem, 90% of respondents said they are having severe or moderate challenges recruiting qualified employees.
This data clearly shows a skilled workforce is essential to manufacturing our way to a stronger economy. It is encouraging that some in Washington are beginning to recognize the need to address the skills shortage manufacturing businesses face.
The National Press Club (NPC) will take a closer look at the manufacturing skills gap on May 6 at one of its Newsmaker events, which is a one-hour news conference open to all credentialed press members of the National Press Club and their guests. The event will feature the NTMA Chairman, Ted Toth, PMA Chairman, Jody Fledderman, American Jobs for American Heroes Campaign Director, Steve Nowlan, and Lackawanna College President, Mark Volk.
- Edited by Jessica DuBois-Maahs, Associate Content Manager, CFE Media, email@example.com